Increasing challenges with accessing mental health support for those who most need it is a constant challenge for virtually every organisation in CoLab. Needs seem to be increasing whilst service thresholds rise. The recent closure of Mind in Exeter is another factor which has exacerbated the problem. The CoLab Community would like to use the resources we have more effectively to improve our offer and alleviate pressure in the system, as a means of making a difference.
The aim is to develop a universal offer that provides as a first step, the opportunity for people to be listened to.
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- This will be initiated in the first instance with drop-in sessions which generate opportunities for specific groups and activities to emerge.
- We envisage establishing a high quality standard of listening skills through training staff from a variety of agencies as “listeners” with a view to subsequently training up Impact Volunteers.
- A limited evening and a weekend offer would be trialed, as well as regular opportunities during the working week.
- The long term goal would be for this to be a funded service with a dedicated member of staff to drive and develop the offer.