New online Peer Support resource

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Mind has found that huge numbers of people in the South East are struggling to get the emotional support they need in day to day life, and today launch a new online resource called ‘Making sense of peer support’

Press Release - June 30th 2016

People in the South East are struggling to get emotional support

Mental health charity Mind has found that huge numbers of people in the South East are struggling to get the emotional support they need in day to day life. On the day that it launches a new online resource called ‘Making sense of peer support’, which includes advice on where to find local peer support groups, regional data¹ found the following:

  • One in twenty people in the South East (5%) say they have no one currently in their life they could rely on when they needed emotional support.
  • A third of people in the South East say they regularly feel alone (32%). Along with London, this is the loneliest part of England.
  • Half of people in the South East (49%) say they feel uncomfortable opening up about emotions to people close to them.
  • Aside from those they live with, people in the South East were an average of 28 minutes away from the person they most relied on for emotional support.
  • Just over two in five people in the South East (45%) feel worse when they don’t have anyone around them they can rely on.
  • Almost half of people in the South East (47%) say they struggle without the support of people around them.

Feeling like you don’t have people you can depend on and who understand you when you need emotional support can be particularly difficult if you have a mental health problem. In response to this, Mind has teamed up with Bipolar UK and Depression Alliance to run a two-year nationwide pilot scheme called Side by Side.

Funded by Big Lottery, the programme is exploring the benefits of peer support, which is support given and received on an equal basis by people who share something in common, for people with mental health problems. Mind have also launched a new online resource called ‘Making sense of peer support’ which includes advice on where to find local peer support groups www.mind.org.uk/peersupportinfo.

One such example of local peer support in action is the weekly peer-led Monday morning breakfast groups running in Southampton, where anyone who is feeling isolated, anxious or struggling with a mental health issue can come together and chat, not just about mental health but about anything that interests them. This gives people a chance to start their week off on a positive note, spending time with people who understand and will not judge. Other groups and social opportunities run throughout the week including walking, singing, art and craft and quizzes. One to one support is also available to help people access the groups if they are not quite ready.

Clare Grant, Solent Mind Peer Support Development Officersaid: “Life can be tough when it feels like you’ve got no one there for you who understands. This is particularly true when you have a mental health problem. Sharing your experiences with people who have been there too can be really helpful, which is why our local network of Side by Side peer support groups are bringing together people with experience of mental health problems to support each other on their own terms.”

Anyone who would like to find out more about local peer support opportunities can contact Solent Mind’s Side by Side team by emailing sidebyside@Solentmind.org.uk or calling 02382 027831.
ENDS

Notes to editor:
¹ Polling was conducted by Populus who interviewed a nationally representative sample of 2,052 UK adults online between 29 and 31 January 2016. 293 interviews were conducted in the South East

To see how this compares to Mind’s findings across the country please see the national press release here: http://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/men-twice-as-likely-as-women-to-have-no-one-to-rely-on-for-emotional-support/

Side by Side – Peer support project

Side by Side is a two-year nationwide pilot scheme set-up by Mind, in partnership with Bipolar UK and Depression Alliance, to explore the benefits of peer support for people with mental health problems. Peer support is the name used to describe support given and received on an equal basis, by people who share something in common. For mental health problems this can include befriending, mentoring and support groups or forums. The £3.2 million awarded to the programme by the Big Lottery Programme will fund 37 grant projects in nine areas of England, aiming to increase access to peer support across England, find evidence of its effectiveness and encourage local services to offer peer support. http://www.solentmind.org.uk/content/peer-support

About Solent Mind: We’re Solent Mind, the leading mental health charity across Hampshire. We’re here to make sure anyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support. We offer a range of high quality services that aim to improve mental wellbeing and we campaign to raise awareness and improve understanding of mental health. We’re here so that no one in our diverse community has to face a mental health problem alone. www.solentmind@org.uk