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Gloucestershire Business News

£375k boost for county mental health services

Gloucestershire County Council  and Gloucestershire's NHS have secured £375,000 in extra funding, over three years, to help prevent suicide and improve the positive mental wellbeing of people in the county.

This money, which is part of a national NHS England and NHS Improvement Suicide Prevention Transformation programme, will be used to support a number of schemes in the county.

The projects will include:

  • A new grant programme for community projects that prevent suicide and self-harm in high risk groups by promoting mental wellbeing and reducing social isolation.
  • Recruitment of a co-ordinator to provide support and advice to voluntary and community groups, working with people in emotional distress or at risk of suicide and self-harm and help them access mental health services.
  • Training for agencies, such as the ambulance, police and adult social care professionals on responding to people in mental health crisis.

The funding will compliment two new county council services to help people with their mental health and wellbeing during the current COVID-19 crisis. These include Qwell for adults and Kooth for young people aged 11-18. 

Both services are open to anyone experiencing issues with their emotional wellbeing, such as stress or anxiety and include self-care resources and access to online counsellors.

Councillor Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "It's OK to not be OK, particularly at this really difficult time. 

"That's why the county council, working with NHS partners is making mental health an absolute priority. This funding is great news - and will let us target extra help directly to the people who need it most.

"If people want help and support, please, reach out - we are all working to help."

Dr Lawrence Fielder, GP and clinical lead for mental health at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "As a health community, we are already working together to intervene quickly when someone is in distress or in crisis and to support vulnerable people and keep them safe from preventable harm.

"Suicide is a complex and sensitive issue, and we welcome this funding which will enable us to strengthen support in the community to support those who are affected by it."

John Campbell, chief operating officer for Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: "There is no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak has put increased strain on many of us and we fully anticipate this leading to an increase in the numbers of people requiring mental health support.

"This additional funding is very welcome and we look forward to putting it to good use in supporting people within our communities."

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