We are delighted to announce that Saltgate has committed £20,000 to the work and services of Mind Jersey during 2020. This significant and welcome donation is most timely, coming at a period of considerably increased uncertainty and heightened anxiety. It will enable our charity to expand its work in bringing additional support to islanders both during the crisis and in the aftermath.
James Le Feuvre, Mind Executive Director said: ‘Over the years we have established an excellent relationship with Saltgate and we are delighted to receive their support again, particularity at this difficult time when the income stream from our Nearly New shop has completely ceased and a range of other fundraising activities through the summer are in serious jeopardy’.
Hannah Culshaw, Group Chief Corporate Officer of Saltgate said, "We understand that the charities in our communities are going to struggle more than usual to find funding at this critical time. We want to enable these charities and their networks to be able to focus on delivering their often vital and key services, and to help relieve them of the worry of how they will be funded. The volunteers and charity workers are working so hard, and we want them to know that they are acknowledged and very much appreciated.”
Mind is not alone in recognising how existing and emerging technologies are transforming how we communicate with the broader community – especially in times of a ‘lockdown’. Whilst we are doing our very best in this new environment, and are investing considerable time and effort in promoting and managing our social media outlets, we have recognised that we need to invest in some equipment to facilitate more on-line individual and multi-lateral discussions, support groups and meetings.
We know that many young people actively prefer to communicate in this way and are confident that, given time, other demographic groups that are lonely, housebound or isolated might embrace this approach as well. Some may come to prefer the safety and confidentiality that they might feel in being able to talk to someone from the privacy and security of their own home. This, in no way, negates the benefits that accrue from face to face meetings which we know will resume once this is all over – but it offers up new possibilities and opportunities that we are keen to embrace.
Whilst we are still uncertain about how many islanders may be affected by the virus it is already evident that anxiety and distress is increasing. Some of this is based upon a feeling of helplessness and isolation from loved ones, friends and colleagues. This is compounded for those with elderly relatives whom they cannot visit and, especially, those with family elsewhere in the UK or further afield. Whilst we do not know the extent of this it is very likely that there will be a significant upsurge in islanders seeking support as the virus recedes.
We are already thinking about how we might meet this demand – particularly in delivering the low intensity and early interventions that we have always promoted. This means responding quickly to requests for support. Listening to people, guiding and signposting them on, if appropriate, to other services and generally helping ‘nip things in the bud’. This approach could help a significant number of islanders better manage their own mental health and also take pressure off more specialist services which would otherwise be inundated.