Improving Mental Health - Richard's Story
Our 2021 research report, ‘Poverty and Prosperity in Kensington + Chelsea’, identified that the borough scores in the lowest 20% of local authorities for mental health, and that isolation and loneliness is a significant issue for many residents. Levels of anxiety are well above national and London levels, peaking just after the Grenfell Tower fire and exacerbated further by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The K+C Foundation’s new Improving Mental Health Programme funds 8 impactful projects reaching over 2,000 people with tailored and targeted support over the next 3 years. One project is a daily 3-course table-service lunch reaching 1,200 vulnerable residents a year, with wraparound support services tackling issues such as addiction, mental health, and housing.
Richard is 60 years old, has severe learning difficulties and a reading age of around 5. He began attending the lunch service after becoming homeless due to a marriage breakdown. Over time he has regularly connected with the Support Worker at the lunch project, who has helped Richard to read and understand bills and to support his mental health needs, referring him for help with suicidal ideations. Having previously struggled to engage in meaningful activity, he now takes part in reading classes, art classes, outings and has recently joined Walking Football. Richard sees the Support Worker as somewhere between friends and family, in the absence of either in his life, and both his physical and mental health have improved. Richard has commented that the lunch service is a lifeline for him and without it he would feel ‘alone and depressed’.
By supporting our mental health programme, you’re helping residents like Richard, who attends the lunch project outlined above, which has slowly enabled him to open up and access other support services - please contact the team to find out more - [email protected].