How West Sussex Mind is there to help those with mental health issues
Toni Holloway, is Pathfinder Midhurst Services Manager, she manages the mental health support services that West Sussex provides in Midhurst and the North Chichester district as part of the Pathfinder network.
She said: “During the pandemic and since the first lockdowns, we have seen an increase in the number of people who are going through a bad patch and are looking for short-term support to learn how to manage declines in their mental health.
“We know that members of the community experienced increased anxiety and depression during this period, due to changes in routines, inability to do their usual activities to improve their well-being and a increased isolation.
“We have a few short courses, which can help people manage their mental health, such as the Mental Health Toolkit and Wellbeing Action Planning, and these can be delivered face-to-face. or online and in a group or one-on-one.
Volunteers needed to ensure the charity can continue its vital service
The way he supports people through one-on-one talks, workshops and classes on different aspects of understanding and managing mental health; peer support from others who also have mental health issues; social groups; and opportunities to try activities that have a positive effect on mental well-being.
The center also supports people in the early stages of memory loss and dementia.
Toni said: “We have also noticed that the pandemic has negatively affected people in our community with early stage memory loss and dementia.
“This is because social contact and stimulation can help slow the progression of memory loss and dementia – and this element has been significantly reduced during successive lockdowns.”
West Sussex Mind is part of the Pathfinder Network, an alliance of NHS and third sector organizations in West Sussex, who work together to enable people with mental health support needs and their carers to improve their mental health and their well-being.
For anyone struggling, Toni said: ‘If you have mental health issues, remember you are not alone. There is support out there for you, so please get in touch with West Sussex Mind, although asking for help may seem like a daunting prospect.
“Talking to someone about how you are feeling is the first step to helping you better manage your mental health and develop coping strategies.
“Many mental health and wellbeing resources are now available online as we increasingly recognize as a society that we need to do more to take care of our mental health.
West Sussex Mind is a local, independent mental health charity – affiliated with but separate from National Mind.
Its head office is in Durrington, Worthing, and it supports people in Shoreham, Lancing, Worthing, Steyning, Midhurst, Chanctonbury, Littlehampton, Chichester, Bognor and surrounding areas.
The Midhurst Support Center operates from the hall of the Divine Motherhood and St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and the nearby Grange Leisure Centre.