The funding covers online Support Worker salaries and training costs to extend hours for the online support service. This temporary increase in hours and knowledge-base is helping to meet the increased demand and complexities seen by the charity through the pandemic.
MindOut, the LGBTQ mental health service was delighted to be awarded a DCMS grant from Global’s Make Some Noise to continue the support we offer to LGBTQ communities.
The grant means that we can continue to offer advocacy, advice and information and online support, provided by and for LGBTQ people who experience mental health issues. The grant has also helped us to provide training and support for our staff and volunteer teams – they have worked incredibly hard since the COVID pandemic started, supporting users of our services through some of the most difficult and distressing times of their lives.
Malcolm was in crisis, he had suffered with anxiety, alcohol dependence and suicidal distress for all of his adult life. He was homeless, terrified that a pending court summons would result in a custodial sentence and hearing intrusive, destructive voices when he came to MindOut for support. He had no family and no friends.
The advocacy service was able to help him access mental health services, negotiate probation conditions and address his anti-social behaviour. We helped Malcolm get a diagnosis of ADHD and regular psychiatric support. We helped him to access substance misuse services and he has stopped drinking.
We kept in weekly contact during the pandemic and he credits this support to helping them to stay safe and “not kill myself”. The support has helped to prevent imprisonment and to engage and work appropriately with the probation service. They are now considering volunteering opportunities.
“You are a legend, I would be dead if it wasn’t for you and I would be in prison. You are the only support I have that helps me.”
One Thursday evening a volunteer on the online support service responded to a contact who was feeling suicidal. They asked them how they were feeling, what was happening for them right now, what they were planning to do, if they had any other support. This was someone who was living in a shared house with other tenants who were bullying them, some of the bullying was transphobic.
The volunteer helped them to make a plan to keep themselves safe that evening and the following day, helped them to think through who else they knew who could offer support and sent them some links on hope to cope with harassment. They also talked about the longer term, what other support might be available.
At the end of the conversation, the caller felt calmer. They had made a plan to get support from some close friends, and agreed to check in again the following day. They thanked the volunteer for listening and understanding.