TWO grants totalling £6,500 enables the Dorchester Trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy to provide low-cost counselling for people struggling with the impact of Covid.
Among those helped are people in abusive relationships and frontline workers. sions with a trained professional counsellor for key workers.
The group suffered a loss of income during the pandemic because it felt unable to charge its usual fee for sessions online so the two grants enabled it to maintain its services through the lockdowns – just when they were needed the most.
Trust administrator Kate Hooper said: “There is always a need for our service but it is of particular importance at the moment as we are all aware of the huge toll the pandemic is having on people’s lives and mental health in particular.
“Extra stress has been added in terms of job and financial concerns, health concerns, bereavement, rise in domestic abuse, family and relationship problems, the impact of lockdowns and restrictions on people’s lives, isolation and loneliness among others. Our work will address the mental health needs of people who may be struggling for any reason -whether linked to/exacerbated by the pandemic or not.”
One patient told the group:“I cannot get over how free I feel in my life; how good it is to enjoy life properly at last.”
Another said: “No one, throughout my whole life has helped me as much as my counsellor at DTCP has.”
Miss Hooper said: “Our work has helped people to manage their mental health problems and therefore to be able to cope with and enjoy life again.
“We know that good mental health is vital and that problems which are left untreated can lead to violence, problems at work, family and relationship issues, physical health problems, crime and suicide. Our work enables people to regain control of their lives and deal with problems before they can deteriorate any further, often with disastrous effects.”
Find out more about the group here.
Mental Health Awareness Week , which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year .
This year, the theme for the week is ‘Nature’. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways.
A spokesman said: “During Mental Health Awareness Week, why not try to make a habit each day of connecting to the nature in your local area? Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections.
“Share images/videos/or just sound recordings of the nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.”
Find more details about the week here.