Platform for Life’s inception and growth to our current level of provision is due to the belief a number of Charitable Trusts and Foundations have shown in our approach and their confidence in our ability to deliver. The grants they’ve awarded mean we’ve been able to establish a free to client, community based counselling service targeting low income families struggling with poor mental health.
The prevalence of mental ill health maps closely to areas of deprivation and The National Child Development Study suggests children from the lowest income families are 4x more likely to experience psychological problems than children from the richest families. It becomes a vicious cycle as poverty increases the risk of mental health problems and poor mental health leads to employment difficulties and a lower quality of life. It’s estimated that 50% of problems are established by the age of 14, rising to 75% by the age of 21 (Mental Health Taskforce 2016).
Our aim is to stop the cycle of poor mental health being passed down from one generation to the next and through early intervention, to stop poor mental health becoming a life-long disability. The generosity of the Charitable Trusts and Foundations who’ve funded our work has enabled us to help nearly 150 clients through to completion of counselling and continue our work with a further 50 active clients. Helping someone recover to good mental health not only has an enormous impact on them but also their family and the community they’re a part of.
Due to the lack of suitable and sufficiently available mental health services in the Cheshire area, there’s a significant backlog of families requiring the support of a service like Platform for Life. As a result, demand for our service is high and we need to significantly grow our provision if we’re to make real inroads into this backlog and continue to offer a relatively quick access time from point of referral. It’s also important for us to increase our evidence base and use this to lobby Government and Statutory bodies to provide funding for our work and use it as a model of best practice that can be replicated elsewhere in the UK.
We can only move forward with our work and expand our service with the continued support of Charitable Trusts and Foundations. We’d like to thank everyone who’s helped us reach this point and welcome the opportunity to talk to other Charitable Trusts and Foundations about supporting our early intervention work and stopping poor mental health becoming a life-long disability for many families.
Cheshire Community Foundation
CRH Charitable Trust
The Chester Bluecoat Charity
The National Lottery Community Fund