Woking Mind is an independent mental health charity associated to the national charity Mind. It is one of the smallest Mind affiliates and the only local Mind in Surrey, and are responsible for funding their own services. They provide a variety of advice, support and training in the form of drop-ins, support groups and referrals for people struggling with mental health challenges.
The demand for mental health support has been unprecedented since the coronavirus outbreak. A high and rising proportion of people have experienced a mental or physical health problem as a result of the pandemic, with isolation and loneliness, job loss, financial problems and the pressures of family and home schooling pushing many people to breaking point.
Woking Mind reported their staff at full capacity managing the significant increase of people accessing their services, as well as as influx of referrals from partners, namely to support the mental health needs of those most vulnerable and isolated in the community. They have been trying to raise funds to expand the organisation to meet this growing need, and have struggled with the current climate obstructing all community fundraising and partnerships.
In response to the Covid pandemic they adapted and launched their Community Wellbeing Service that steps up their capacity to support up to an additional 600 calls per month. Fully trained volunteers provide first line support for low level mental health concerns including befriending, wellbeing advice and simple signposting. Second line support is delivered by experienced members of staff to help individuals with more complex or challenging needs. They are also working with GP surgeries in North West Surrey for in-house referrals as GP appointment times of 10-15 minutes are not long enough to provide adequate mental health support.
In support of Woking Mind’s efforts Greenoak Community focus sponsored £3,000 to help the Charity in getting the Community Wellbeing Service off the ground and further increase their capacity to support many more people in the local community.
Mandy Dhingra, Marketing & Fundraising Director thanked GCF and said ‘we cannot stress enough how much your support means to us. We can only be there to help those in need with the support of organisations like yourselves.‘
Woking Mind are hoping to broaden their services with a text and web chat facility to reach out to those who are still hesitating to reach out for help, either with debilitating shyness and social anxiety that stifles their voice for telephone or virtual calls, or those who struggle with privacy or live in stigmatised environments.