Another £136,000 granted to projects cutting mental health demand
Services which support people with mental health needs have received a further £136,000 from Kent’s elected Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott.
Speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week, the PCC announced that a number of projects which have demonstrated their benefits in previous years are again receiving funding in 2019/20 from his Mental Health and Policing Fund.
For example, by positively supporting parents and children during family breakdowns, Ashford-based charity Dads Unlimited reports having diverted almost 300 cases away from requiring police intervention.
One father said of the project: ‘From being in a very dark place to where things are now never seemed like a reality. Without the help and support of Dads Unlimited I dread to think how things could have turned out. Now, I feel I have my life back again. I am forever grateful to the team for breathing life back into me.’
Around a third of Kent Police’s time is spent dealing with mental health cases, including where no crime has been committed but perhaps where a vulnerable person has gone missing or is in crisis and is a danger to themselves or others. Mr Scott’s Mental Health and Policing Fund was established in 2017 to support projects which help to reduce this demand on policing.
This year, Dads Unlimited is receiving almost £20,000 to continue its good work.
Mr Scott said: ‘Over the past two years I’ve been supporting grassroots community organisations which help people find the right care from the right person at the right time. I’m delighted to be able to continue supporting these projects which provide practical help to support people with their mental health. It is vital that we all work together to make sure vulnerable people have places they can go where they can feel comfortable in getting the care that they need without the police having to become involved.’
Another of the projects to receive funding this year is the community organisation Talk it Out. It is receiving £10,000 to continue providing a safe space in Deal for local people to meet and get support. The project moved to larger premises in Hope Road earlier this year, and Mr Scott was there to unveil its sign at the re-opening (pictured above).
Talk it Out’s founder Tracy Carr said: ‘Our new premises has more than 20 visitors per day. With the help of Matthew Scott's grant we now have four counsellors and over 870 members.
‘We have also expanded with an allotment which has become our outdoor well-being centre. None of this would have been possible without the PCC’s funding. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.’