This week is mental health awareness week. Mental health is something incredibly important to us at HARP and something that we take very seriously.
Nearly 57% of the people that used our services between April 2016 and March 2017 were experiencing challenges with their mental health. Some people were fighting depression, others had eating disorders. Some visitors to our day centre were experiencing anxiety and some people had developed other mental health issues like schizophrenia and bi-polar. At HARP, we work hard to support people through all of the challenges that they are facing, so that they have the best possible chance to start a new life away from the streets.
We run a number of meaningful activities. These include football, community work, yoga, art projects and dog walking. These activities help to get people active and improve their self-esteem and confidence.
Our compassionate team of staff and volunteers are on hand to provide support and advice to our service users, on a daily basis, as they regain their strength and work through the problems they are facing. We also have regular visits from counsellors, who do both group and individual sessions, and visits from nurses. We encourage our service users to visit a GP and engage with other local services like Trust Link’s Recovery College and the Southend Community Mental Health Team.
When Keith came to HARP, he was encouraged by our staff to visit a GP. Keith was diagnosed with bi-polar. He has now moved on from HARP’s services and is looking for a place of his own.
Keith told us: “I’m looking at moving into my own place. I’m doing two gardening courses and I’m starting to get some work too. It’s taken time, but if you consider where I was and where I am, it’s marvellous.”