Waits longer due to recession

Iain Caldwell at Hartlepool Mind's Tees Street base
Iain Caldwell at Hartlepool Mind's Tees Street base

BOSSES at Hartlepool Mind say the recession and people being more willing to get help has led to a rise in service users.

The Tees Street-based facility offers two main services, Improving Access to Psychotherapy (IAPT), for people suffering from depression and anxiety, and a primary care mental health service, which helps people with stress, anger, relationship and other issues.

The IAPT course has a waiting list of six to eight weeks, while people waiting to access the primary care course face a wait of up to 16 weeks.

But Hartlepool Mind’s chief executive, Iain Caldwell, said: “We are trying to redesign our service so we can bring both down, including restructuring the services and bringing them together so we have a joint waiting list.”

The service has had just over 40 per cent of its funding cut in the past 12 months.

This came from various sources including contracts and grants, as well as the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, which Mr Caldwell says “was a big blow to us”.

“We had a full service but it is now reducing in size, yet we have more people coming through that service,” he added.

He said Mind is looking at increasing fundraising opportunities, as well as applying for various grants.

There are also plans to extend the service into east Durham.

He welcomed Coun Marshall’s support and added: “I’m aware that people who run organisations are under stress, as well as people being laid off.

“People even keeping their jobs are feeling a level of stress.

“It can affect anyone, as Coun Marshall has shown.”

Mr Caldwell added that the service assesses people before offering different types of psychological help.

He said as soon as they come into contact with users, they put a risk management in place and monitor the person.

If urgently needed, they can be fast-tracked for treatment.

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