Published: 09:55, 21 January 2021
| Updated: 10:49, 21 January 2021
Thousands of pounds are being ploughed into supporting people's mental health in Ebbsfleet Garden City, including youngsters as young as 11.
More than £90,000 will support three projects to help address the unprecedented need for access to mental health services in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
The money is coming from Ebbsfleet Development Corporation to help those living across the Garden City.
More than £50,000 will go to Ebbsfleet Academy to promote mental health, wellbeing and emotional resilience in the school.
It follows pressure on young people following the Covid-19 spread, and the money will be used to help develop the school’s mental health programme which includes therapeutic sessions for staff and students and for training staff as frontline workers with the school’s service provider Place2Be.
Ebbsfleet Academy head teacher Gurjit Shergill said: “The school was in need of support to deliver an appropriate short-term response and do not currently have any money allocated in our budget to respond to the current mental health crisis which is why Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s financial help is timely.”
Another £40,000 is being split between two projects which will benefit Ebbsfleet Garden City residents and the wider area.
Togetherall is a leading digital mental health service for anyone aged over 16 and is the only digital mental health service registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
It has supported more than 250,000 people so far and a recent survey found 90% of people using the service reported a wellbeing gain where they felt less isolated, improved coping skills, less anxious, improved emotional health, more confident, more able to talk to others, less stressed, less depressed and had increased self-esteem.
Many people struggling with mental health issues can’t or won’t access face-to-face services. Because Togetherall is anonymous and can be accessed 365 days a year, 24/7, for many, it is a less daunting way to access support.
Also, thanks to EDC's funding, a Porchlight community worker will be based in the Garden City.
Porchlight helps people to improve their mental health and address other issues that may be affecting them such as housing worries, debt or loneliness.
They will provide ongoing personalised support to anyone who is struggling with the impact of Covid-19. This involves helping people find and access support services that are right for them and working with them to set achievable goals and actions that will allow them to move forward.
Kevin McGeough, head of strategy and placemaking with Ebbsfleet Development Corporation, said: “The pandemic has taken its toll on people’s mental health in more ways that we yet know, so we’re happy to be able to provide this funding to support local residents in these challenging times.”