When the pandemic began, life, as we knew it got, turned upside down. For many, this affected their mental health, leading to a surge in demand for support. NHS services became overwhelmed and for some, private counselling simply wasn’t an option.
In a bid to fill this support gap, psychotherapist Ruth Chaloner created The Help Hub, a platform where people could reach out to therapists for a 20-minute support session, online or over the phone. This has given those struggling a space to feel heard and in many cases enough support to avoid a mental health crisis. So far The Help Hub has helped more than 2,000 adults.
In our podcast Ruth chats to us about the creation of The Help Hub:
Over a year on from the start of the pandemic, however, people are still struggling.
“The country is in the grip of a mental health crisis because of the pandemic,” Ruth explains. “But many people are unable to get support because waiting times for NHS services can be months or even years and private therapy is unaffordable for them.”
More accessible emotional help is needed for both adults and young people. Thanks to funding from West Oxford District Council, the charity is expanding with a new service for 11 – 18 year-olds. In order to continue providing much-needed support to adults, children and young people, volunteer therapists are needed.
Programme Manager Rebecca Davenport says they aim to sign up 20 to 30 volunteer therapists and reach between 2,000 and 3,000 children and young people in West Oxfordshire in this one-year pilot programme.
If you are a qualified therapist and can volunteer 20 minutes or more a week to help those in need, you can learn more and apply through The Help Hub website.
“The Help Hub fills a crucial gap in mental health support services” highlights Dominic Hare, CEO of Blenheim Palace and a Trustee of The Help Hub. “But to do this we need therapists to volunteer with us. If they can offer a few short sessions each week, together we’ll make a real difference.”
If you work with children and young people, The Help Hub is also looking to expand its Board of Trustees to appoint a Trustee with a background in adolescent and children’s mental health and safeguarding. You can email [email protected] to learn more about this vacancy.
If you need support from The Help Hub, you can head to their website to book an appointment and speak with a therapist.
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