CUSTOMERS of housing association Orbit who suffer with mental health issues will be supported thanks to Lottery funding.
The housing group has been awarded £50,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work with tenants experiencing difficulties with their mental health, which has seen demand soar during the pandemic.
Orbit has used the money to enhance its Breathing Space service, which offers free confidential mental health support and guidance to customers by phone, text, or digitally.
The new National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes, has allowed the existing service to deal with a surge in referrals during the pandemic.
Between October and March, the National Lottery Community Fund helped support around 100 customers to improve their mental wellbeing through the programme. Anyone can refer an Orbit customer to this service, with their consent, and customers can also self-refer.
Orbit’s mental health spokeswoman Trudy O’Brien said: “We are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has recognised the work we are doing to support our customers. This £50,000 will allow us to grow the capacity of our service ensuring our customers and communities are supported and can improve their mental wellbeing. This investment will reduce waiting times for customers and help tackle mental health issues in our communities.”
One customer, referred to the service after struggling to cope with the pandemic, said: “When I first talked to the Breathing Space team, I was struggling really badly with anxiety and depression and my panic attacks were so bad – I was in and out of hospital.
“Since accessing the Breathing Space service, I am no longer having to go to hospital for my mental health. I am taking my medication properly and I have techniques to use. It’s not just my mental health – I am more inclined to take a shower or bath and I am eating better. I am even going to the shop and think I will go out more in the summer. Breathing Space are always there to listen and give coping strategies; they know a lot about how to tackle anxiety.”
Visit orbitcustomerhub.org.uk/help-support/events/breathing-space-universal-offer for more details.