Words by Smiley Team
A lot has been achieved to support and understand the mental health issues of the nation in the past 10 years. There’s still a way to go, though.
Talking about your mental health is an important step, but we desperately need practical support for those in need.
Joanne Kitching, 45, from Wirral, is trying to achieve this, with her crowdfunding campaign to open a network of mental health crisis centres across the UK, that will be operational 24/7.
She is part of The C.C Project U.K CIC, alongside her fiancé, Ross, 39, and a friend of theirs, Sarah Clare, 45, located in Hoylake, Wirral. “Currently we have a small office in Hoylake which we are currently using as our base,” she says. “It will also be used for talking therapies and small group work sessions to help support people with their mental health before they hit crisis point and post crisis point to help in their recovery.
“Our ultimate goal however is to open a network of mental health crisis centres across the UK that will be operational 24/7 where they can access help and support there & then with the first one to be piloted in the Wirral. We need help, support and funding to make this happen.”
The organization has an initial goal of raising £3,600 for the running costs of their therapy office to help people receive treatment who aren’t in the position to fund themselves. Once achieved, they hope to raise more to get their crisis centres off the ground.
Both Joanne and her partner have experienced mental health problems and have firsthand experience of just how hard it is to access help and support. “We all realise why people end up being that desperate that they think the only way out is to take their own life or at least attempt to,” she tells Smiley News.
“We want to be able to plug that gap in the system and be able to offer a safe place with access to professional help there and then when someone is in crisis regardless of the time of day.”
It’s a vital and much-needed service that’s so underfunded, adds Joanne. “Mental health is something that can affect any one of us of any age, at any time in our life and it not only affects the individual but their family and friends who support them,” she says. “It’s such a knock-on domino effect.”
Ultimately, Joanne hopes the crowdfunder will save lives, promote positive mental health and create a future where attempted suicides are in the minority, as they will be helped before they hit crisis point.
“We want to be the place with the welcoming faces that have the facility and professional resources that can help there and then 24/7, we have the vision but to achieve this goal we need help, support and funding,” she says.
To support the organisation, visit Crowdfunder and pledge your donation.