A TEAM from Open Mental Health were on a mission in Wellington on Tuesday, February 21, helping residents to access freely available mental health services.

The group is made up of an alliance of organisations from the NHS, Somerset Council and the voluntary sector. They work to provide 24/7 mental health support to adults across the county.

The wellness team were out visiting shops, cafes and hairdressers in Wellington - places they said people can tend to confide about concerns and worries.

Gill Harrison, part of the group’s engagement team explained how they were raising awareness of a free mental health hotline available to residents across Somerset. She said:

“This Wellington walkabout, is our fifth so far in the county. We are raising awareness of mental health by visiting places people tend to confide, hairdressers, cafes, shops and so on, so they can help signpost people toward mental health services.  “Pop in to your local shops and cafes to support them of course, we have handed out our Open Mental Health leaflets which give a free phone line to Mind Line who will provide 30 minutes of emotional support from a qualified person – you can have that every day.”

Gill was joined by Rob Odams from Somerset Skills, Claire Hayhoe from MIND and a number of other volunteers as they worked to raise awareness around town. Rob explained how Somerset Skills and Learning were working hand in hand with the mental health groups to assists people overcome obstacles back into employment. He said:

“We are an independent training provider offering community learning courses in Somerset. They are free, helping people who want to get back into employment while encouraging health and wellbeing which is why we are out with our colleagues today.  “We have five centres in Somerset, and run bespoke training programmes. We help people back into work and a lot of what we do is supporting people and helping break down barriers, mental health is very prominent in the news at the moment and we want to help people access those services.”

For more information on mental health services, visit the Open Mental Health website.