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£80,000 of mental health support for VCSE sector workers

Laura Barnes is a cis white female with brown hair. She is smiling at the camera
Laura Barnes
28 September 2022
HEARTLANDS, POOL, June 28th 2022 : Attendees during the VSCE/ICS Cornwall conference and workshops, photographed for the VSF by Hugh Hastings.

HEARTLANDS, POOL, June 28th 2022 : Attendees during the VSCE/ICS Cornwall conference and workshops, photographed for the VSF by Hugh Hastings.

A Cornish charity has secured £80,000 of mental health support for those working in the sector.

Cornwall Partners in Care has partnered with Care Coins. Funded by Cornwall Council, this provides free access to a range of health and wellbeing benefits. The funding includes accredited Mental Health First Aid training as well as counselling and wellbeing sessions. Everything is led by qualified professionals. We are supporting Care Coins in Cornwall.

This service is for all voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations. The paid workforce, and volunteers working in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, can all use Care Coins. It provides a totally flexible way for people to access expert advice, invaluable information, and specialist counselling and support. Everything is tailored to the needs of the individual or service.

Cornwall has a high suicide rate, compared with the UK average.

  • Men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women; people aged 30 to 59 are most at risk
  • People suffering with mental illness and previous self-harming behaviour are also at risk.

Other factors include

  • physical disabling or painful illness
  • alcohol and drug misuse
  • living alone
  • social exclusion or isolation
  • bereavement
  • family breakdown and conflict
  • trauma, abuse and sexual violence
  • identifying as LGBTQ+
  • leaving care
  • deprivation, financial insecurity, unemployment and debt

There are many charities working to support people experiencing mental health issues, to help prevent suicide.

With the escalating cost of living and the emotional pressure on people working in the VCSE sector, this support is timely. Ania Nicholls, Commissioning Officer from Cornwall Council’s adult social care said, “Providing Care Coins is one way to demonstrate that we value the workforce of the voluntary sector. The amazing contribution they make to our communities. We believe the Care Coins approach will have an important impact. This comes at a time when mental health is a crucial issue across the sector.”

Deputy CEO of Cornwall VSF, Kate Perkin said, “Many people working in the VCSE sector deal with ‘front line’ crisis management. We’ve been staving off burnout for some time. Our message is to please make use of the support available; this is free to users and completely confidential.

“Sometimes people don’t come forwards and ask HR or their line manager for help. Because they don’t want to have to explain to them what is going in their life, for various reasons. Care coins are anonymous and could be a lifeline for anyone struggling within the sector.”

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