Thanet trials new initiative to raise awareness of mental health and well-being

Thanet District Council today launched the trial of a new initiative - taking place during Adult Safeguarding week (9 – 13 October) - to help identify and assist people who are affected by mental health and wellbeing issues.

The new approach sees the Community Safety team focus on the full range of issues that can contribute to mental health crisis, including drug or alcohol dependency and homelessness. Taking to the streets in a dedicated van, the team will advise people of the help available, including immediate assessment on the ground and setting up action plans.

This new approach aims to provide a dedicated one stop shop, in particular for the long-term rough sleepers who may be in crisis, offering them the full range of support they need. By bringing the services direct to those in need, the team aims to remove the barriers often experienced when trying to access help.

In addition, Thanet Community Safety Partnership (TCSP) will be running a wellness roadshow to coincide with the county-wide awareness week. The roadshow will focus on raising awareness of adult mental wellbeing issues, providing guidance, advice and distributing home safety packs to people who are, or know others who are, affected by these issues.

The TCSP events are as follows:

 1. Wellness event

  • Tuesday 10 October 2017 - roadshow for vulnerable adults with a neglect/mental wellbeing focus:
    • 10:00am - 12:30pm: Westgate On Sea, Junction Station Road/St Mildred’s Road
    • 2:30pm - 4:30pm: Tesco Metro, Northdown Road

2. Targeted street triage

  • Thursday 12 October Street Triage Homeless at the top of Margate High Street
    • District-wide focus based out of new dedicated TCSP van which will concentrate on entrenched homeless individuals. 

 Cllr Lin Fairbrass, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “We are always looking for innovative ways to help those most vulnerable in our community so taking help directly to those who need it the most and limiting the barriers they face when seeking assistance is a very positive step.

‘The other objective of this week is to launch the Respect not Neglect campaign to raise awareness of adult abuse, which can come in many different forms. Last year, this awareness week prompted more than 6,000 people to speak up and report concerns and we hope that next week will remind people that safeguarding is everybody's business.”

Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott said: “I was delighted last year, on behalf of the Kent and Medway Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat Strategic Group, to secure £9,000 from the Department of Health for this project.

‘The van will enable local agencies to engage with more hard-to-reach communities in Thanet and, by signposting vulnerable people to other services in the community, it will also help cut the numbers of people with a mental health issue who have to be taken to a police cell for their safety. People suffering mental ill health need the right care from the right person, and police officers are not mental health professionals, yet around 50% of police time in Thanet is spent dealing with mental health issues which is clearly not sustainable.”

The term self-neglect covers behaviours that in different ways manifest unwillingness or inability to care for oneself and/or one’s environment.

Other participating agencies involved, include: Ageless Thanet, Age UK Dementia Friends, Department for Work and Pensions, Margate Task Force, Kent Police, KMPT Crisis Team, KFRS, Thanet Community Mental Health Team, KCC Wardens, TDC Community Safety Team, TDC Housing Options Team.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Adult Safeguarding Week (9-13) aims to tackle a range of issues and to encourage residents to ‘See it, Report it, Stop it’ when it comes to adult abuse.

Both of the TCSP events hope to play a part in helping to reduce the number of people who require mental health support by signposting them to other services.

Press Office

E-Mail: press.office@thanet.gov.uk