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Southend Mind's new centre on schedule
5:10pm Monday 18th March 2013 in Local News
WORK to the UK’s first mental health information and resource centre is progressing well in Southend.
Mental health charity Southend Mind is busy renovating the old Essex Beds showroom in Southchurch Road to provide a brand new facility offering counselling and information.
The £600,000 Jubilee Centre Appeal was launched last November and work started in January on phase one.
South Essex Partnership Trust (SEPT) have given £112,000 towards the £200,000 cost of the first phase.
A large amount has already been pledged and fundraising continues to find the remaining £30,000 of phase one.
It is on schedule to open at the end of the month with the main reception, waiting room and a walk in counselling room ready for use by the public who seek help for stress, anxiety and depression.
SEPT will have a large area with its Maintaining Adherence Programme (MAP) team based there. The programme is an 18 month project which aims to encourage people to keep to their treatment through education and reminders and prevent relapses in patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar disorders and depression.
Head of Fundraising at Southend Mind Barbara Warner said: “This is a much needed and long awaited centre. The accessibility and prominence of, what will be, a ‘one stop shop’ will help to raise awareness, reduce stigma and increase mental well-being for people across South East Essex.
“The counselling rooms will be used by individuals and group work.
“The other phases will provide the other five rooms, plus two large activity rooms which will be open to groups like carers, disability groups. We’ve already had a lot of interest.
“I can’t believe how incredible it is already looking. We want people to feel comfortable and relaxed coming here. It’s not how you expect a mental health facility to look.”
Phase one will include kitchen, toilets, heating and electrics. The Mind team will continue to work above the new centre, where they have been based for about 15 years.
Phase two will incorporate the six consultation rooms and phase three the larger activity areas all accessed through secure doors to the back part of the large building.
Barbara added: “We look forward to working in collaboration with a range of other health organisations and thank all our supporters for backing the new appeal but we do need more help.
”We know these are difficult economic times but the work we do is about prevention as well as cure. People have been so generous already.”
Funding is still needed with £400,000 to raise. For more information or to donate call 01702 601123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org