Measures are increasing to control the spread of corona virus. This is increasing people's risk of mental health problems related to isolation. Isolation and loneliness are highly correlated with mental health problems, particularly depression. Some community mental health services have reduced and stopped home visits for those requiring additional support for their mental health. I imagine this will increase in coming weeks. This is highly worrying and we need to consider the very real risk of mental health consequences from reduced support and take action to prevent consequences of this as much as possible. Telephone support is not an adequate substitute for face to face support as people don't get cues of empathy and understanding from clinicians which result in neurological affects of safety and connectedness. In addition, clinicans aren't able to assess distress through non-verbal cues and many people with mental health problems also have anxiety with phone use which is partly alleviated through video calling. I am providing a free proactive response to this so that people get the support they need via video call but need financial support to do this and access adequate supervision myself.
What does CHIME to Thrive do?
I established CHIME to Thrive, which is a highly evidence-based service, to provide mental health support via video call. Sessions are one hour long and people require varying numbers of sessions depending on need. The sessions aim to support people's feelings of connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment. They are collaberative, person-centred and use a solution-focussed problem-solving approach to help people move forward. It doesn't draw a hard line between prevention and recovery. It is about supporting people's wellbeing when they are struggling. It draws on approaches from the CHIME model of recovery, evidence around peer-support, compassion-focussed, trauma-focussed and biopsychosocial approaches to mental health. Above all it aims to help people feel safe, connected and listened to. The service is insured internationally.
Who am I
I have experience of training and working as a healthcare professional as well as lived-experience of mental health problems and recovery. I receive supervision for CHIME to Thrive from a professor of clinical psychology with a wealth of experience in mental health, substance misuse and adverse childhood experiences. I am currently doing my second masters which is in Psychology and I volunteer running a peer-led recovery course that I have developed at a crisis house. My interests are mental health, recovery, prevention, trauma, peer-support, the social model of disability and social prescribing.
What I need
I need people to recognise and prioritise emotional health risks as much as physical health risks so that we don't have an emotional health crisis secondary to covid19.
I need people to recognise that prevention is important and that if we wait for a reactive approach to mental health problems with covid19, we are going to lose lives that don't need to be lost. We will also spend far more money trying to support people we, as a society, have allowed to reach a point of crisis through lack of early intervention.
I need emergency funding for the next few months so I can make this service free at the point of use for as many people as possible who need it and who are at risk of their mental health deterioriating as a direct consequence of corona virus and responses to this, including but not limited to self-isolation and reduced contact with professionals.
I need to increase the number of sessions I deliver in response covid19.
I will add to this over time with evidence links - the page keeps crashing.
Please give generously so this can be sustainable with appropriate supervision, and so that as many people as possible can access free support. If you can't afford to give then please share so that people, services, authorities etc. do see it.
Thank you for your support.