Charities come together to support people in East Durham with their mental health

Jan 25, 2021 | Leisure & Lifestyle

Two local charities have come together to help people improve and manage their mental health.

Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery, Hartlepool and East Durham Mind are working in partnership with East Durham Trust to offer help and support as well as encourage everyone to do their bit to help each other.

The two charities have created ‘Let’s Connect East Durham’, which makes space for people to talk, explore what is going on for them and what can be done about it.

There is one to one support, positive activities, groups and training with everyone being encouraged to also help each other. “When people start to talk, get access to good information, when we can take practical steps toward change and we realise we can also help others, really dark situations begin to change” said Jo the Let’s Connect Co-ordinator “things are tough for many but by coming together in our streets, neighbourhoods and communities things can feel a whole lot better”

Iain Caldwell CEO of Hartlepool and East Durham Mind said, ‘The last nine months have been terrible. People have lost family, friends, their jobs, fallen into financial hardship while others have felt horribly alone. We are so sorry for what people have been living through but we know what has made a difference: Connection! These last months has seen a huge rise in old fashioned “Neighbourliness” and mutual aid. We have all started to remember the importance of looking out for one another. We are trying to build that connection through this project as well as encouraging everyone who gets involved to reach out to others. If we all work together, bringing all our skills and strengths, offering kindness, care and practical support we can start to turn this around”

The project is supporting mutual aid groups across East Durham Area, encouraging individuals and the voluntary sector to come together to help one another in all kinds of different ways: ranging from practical support, sharing skills or talents to solving a collective challenge. If you are in a group that could use some help or think such a group would work in your area then please contact the team to discuss how they might be able to support you.

The project is hosted at East Durham Trust Communities House and has a team of Wellbeing Practitioners providing talking support and also a Mutual Aid Groups Guide on hand to support groups and individuals. The East Durham Trust has continued to support communities throughout the pandemic and have seen the need for mental health support continue to rise. Graham Easterlow CEO of The East Durham Trust said ‘Positive mental health and wellbeing is vital part of living a healthy life. Reaching out and making connections with other people is important. Talking, listening and working together can help meet the needs in our communities.

Let’s Connect support groups are happening throughout December both in person and online. Anyone who wants to talk on a 1:1 basis or in a small group, or being part of a mutual aid group can contact the Lets Connect East Durham Team on 0191 5185070 or 07508401871 or email: LCED@hartlepoolmind.co.uk