Mind says calls to its helpline up a quarter in past year
By Ian Birch
The national mental health charity, Mind, has used Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the increasing need for its help lines and Local Minds across the country.
It says calls to Mind’s Infoline were up 28% in April 2011-12 compared to the previous year, and calls to its legal helpline up 18%.
In all, no fewer than 40,000 emails and calls were made between Mind’s help lines and clients over the previous year.
Mind also says that, since the start of the recession, there’s been a 100% increase in calls about money-related issues.
Paul Farmer, chief exec of Mind, said:
“Mental wellbeing can depend on a wide variety of factors, from employment status and working conditions, to financial security. All of these can be affected during tough economic times and, as we head back into recession, we are seeing an ever growing need for what Mind has to offer.
“The era of austerity shows little sign of abating and more and more people need our help.
“For many people Mind’s Infoline is their first port of call for advice when they just don’t know where to turn. We want to be able to answer every cry for help but sadly last year 40 per cent of calls to our Infoline went unanswered.
Local Minds are also increasingly busy --assisting around a quarter of a million people in 2010-11 with mental health difficulties.
Sandra was supported by Tyneside Mind after suffering from cancer and depression. She added:
“I believe the help and support I received from Tyneside Mind played a major part in my recovery. The life lessons I have learnt will stay with me and help me if I ever suffer depression again.
“Since I first went to Mind my mental health has transformed: I have been involved in several courses such as a stress-management programme and a back to work class. I have also taken huge pleasure from the gardening group, and my physical fitness also improved from the health walks that they organise once a month.
“I am now well on the road to recovery and feel the best I have ever felt. Last year I even started a new full time job, as an administrator.”