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/ Overview / News / May 2017 / Thousands of People are Turning to New Mental Health Support

Thousands of People are Turning to New Mental Health Support

08 May 2017
Live Well Kent service helps people to manage their mental health and physical or emotional wellbeing before things reach crisis point.

Thousands of people struggling to cope with life received help from Live Well Kent in the past year.
It’s been a year since the service launched. In that time, it has worked with 4,652 isolated and vulnerable individuals.

Live Well Kent is a network of mental health and wellbeing organisations across the county. When somebody gets in touch, a Live Well Kent adviser helps them figure out what kind of support best suits their needs. 

This can be anything from sport therapy, arts and horticultural activities, ways to help people into employment support, and services for people feeling isolated. Currently, 39 different organisations are part of the scheme.

Scroll down to read how Live Well Kent helped Gary to get back on track 

Mental health, finance and budgeting help, and housing support are the main reasons people contacted Live Well Kent over the past year.

Live Well Kent’s Liz Bailey said: “Live Well Kent offers a range of health, employment and wellbeing support, joined up into one service. If you are experiencing mental ill health it can be stressful working with multiple organisations to find the right support to address your needs.

By bringing support together under Live Well Kent, it’s easier for our service users to see what their options are. Over the coming year and beyond, we’re looking to bring even more services into the Live Well Kent network based on the community’s needs.”

Are you in need of support? Contact Live Well Kent: Shaw Trust is also looking for volunteers to work with Live Well Kent’s service users. You can find out how to volunteer with Shaw Trust.

The Live Well Kent service is co-run by Shaw Trust and Porchlight (on behalf of Kent County Council and the NHS in Kent).

The Live Well Kent service was commissioned jointly by Kent County Council (KCC) and the seven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for Kent (but not Medway).

Gary’s story
“When I first arrived at Live Well Kent I took one step forward and I thought: Do I want to step in or do I run away? But I knew I needed help so I came in.

I found out about the service when I was in a recovery group for my mental health. I was experiencing anxiety, had low self-esteem and psychosis. I used to feel I was being watched all the time. I didn’t like to be around other people and struggled in groups.

At Live Well Kent we talked about what they could do to assist me. One option was starting a gardening team and I thought voluntary work would be good for me. The garden was huge, overgrown and unkempt. I saw the potential of what we had here and for the first time I had a glimmer of hope. I knew it would it give me something to focus on, it would take away the bad thoughts I was having at the time.

Within weeks I was working on the project. Together with others I cleared the land, exposed plants and bushes, looking to see what we could salvage.

And eventually we started to see some progress. It was great for my self-esteem. By coming to the centre each day I feel a sense of achievement. It made me feel that I needed to come more and more and that there was hope.

I now have got the confidence to be around people. I can do more, I can go to public spaces. I don’t experience so much anxiety.

Over the months, I’ve moved from being a mental health client to becoming a volunteer helping others in their recovery. I now mentor a group of clients who work in the garden. It gives me a great sense of achievement. And together we can see that what we’re doing is helping us get better.
I now want to progress and continue my good work here.”

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