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Coronavirus: Harrogate mental health charity predicts rise in referrals

Coronavirus: Harrogate mental health charity predicts rise in referrals

Published by Lisa Darvill at 2:28pm 18th May 2020.

A Harrogate charity says it's worried about the impact the lockdown is having on people's mental health. 

  • We've been speaking to Wellspring Therapy and Training at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week 
  • The charity offers counselling to children, adults and young people 
  • It predicts a rise in referrals once the lockdown is eased 
  • It's launched a fundraising drive to make sure it will be able to survive the crisis 

Mental Health charity Wellspring Therapy and Training supports children, young people and adults. 

Since the crisis started its staff and volunteers have been working remotely to offer counselling and therapy. 

Speaking to us at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, the service says lockdown is having a big impact on our mental health and is expecting a rise in referrals when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. 

Director of Wellspring Therapy and Training, Emily Fullerton said: 

"A lot of it is people having their usual routines taken away from them, not being able to get out and socialise with friends and family in the way they normally do. 

"So things people would normally do to keep their mental health well have been taken away."

The charity's advice for keeping well during lockdown includes getting fresh air and exercise, keeping in touch with friends and family and finding distractions to keep yourself occupied. 

With 'kindness' the theme of this year's awareness week, Emily says it's important we're not too hard on ourselves. 

She added: 

"So realising there's only so much you can do at this time, that it is going to be difficult. 

"Perhaps don't hold yourself to higher standards." 

Like many other charities during the crisis, Wellspring Therapy and Training is also concerned about the loss of income from fundraising. It's launched an online fundraising challenge and is urging people to get involved. 

Inspired by a 13-year-old boy called Joe who raised £2,000 for the charity by staying awake for 24 hours, its 'lockdown challenge' is asking people to do something for either 6, 12 or 24 hours. 

Emily explained: 

"Either give something up or do something like Joe, stay awake or do a marathon in your garden. That sort of thing. 

"We had someone do a karaoke marathon and we've had lots of other ideas coming in which is great.

"We wanted to encourage people to look after their mental health as well so one of our suggestions is to stay active as we know that's good for our mental health. 

"Encouraging people to achieve something as well, we know when people aim to do something and then achieve it it can be positive and make them feel better about themselves." 

To get involved with the charity's fundraising challenge visit their website wellspringtherapy.co.uk or search for them on Facebook.

The charity is still open for new referrals, so if you'd like to access support call the charity on 01423 881 881.