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£2.4 million extra investment in mental health services

Solent Mind has increased its annual budget by 35 per cent to invest in its services to support local people with their mental health after growing demands for support.

Solent Mind has set an overall budget of £9.6 million for the next financial year – this is mainly driven by increased investment in its commissioned services such as the italk talking therapies service, peer support and crisis services.

This exciting phase of growth will mean Solent Mind can recruit more staff and expand its services to meet the growing mental health support needs in Hampshire, especially to people whose mental health has been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The number of people who used Solent Mind’s mental health services last year increased 16 per cent, from 34,730 service users (from April 2019 to March 2019) to 40,584 service users in April 2019 to March 2020.

New roles to be advertised include a programme lead for children and young people; a digital services lead; research and evaluation officer and a suicide prevention officer.

Investment will also be made in supporting particular groups in the community whose mental health continues to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The national COVID-19 Social Study report from University College London reveals people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds reported higher levels of depression and anxiety throughout the pandemic.

Solent Mind will be recruiting for two new BAME Communities roles to increase engagement and extend Solent Mind’s support to under-served communities.

Sue Forber, Director of Services at Solent Mind, said: “In a very challenging period for charities and for the mental health sector generally, this extra investment represents an exciting stage in the development of Solent Mind.

“The money, which has mainly been driven by increased investment in our commissioned services in line with the NHS Long Term Plan, as well as investment from our own charity reserves, will enable us to reach even more people in the Hampshire region with the support they need to maintain good mental health.”

Solent Mind offers a range of vital services that aim to improve mental wellbeing, as well as campaigning to raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues.