Since lockdown began on 23 March earlier this year, Ongo has provided counselling, life coaching, and talking support groups to 140 people in need of mental health assistance as part of its mental health support service.
Ongo says the clients have been supported with regular check-in calls, the offer of one-to-one counselling, and mindfulness training – with coaching and Mindworks courses held virtually during strict lockdown periods.
Ongo says the service – which is free to people living within the Community Led Local Development area and available to clients who aren’t eligible for a small fee – has been busier than ever throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
Nichola Johnson, Ongo Talk manager, said: “We’ve been busier than ever this year, which is understandable given the circumstances and many people struggling with their mental health and wellbeing during this time.
“We’re managing the demand by working longer hours when required, doing everything we can to make sure our clients feel supported, and that have a place to turn in crisis.
“We’ve taken on additional staff to meet the demand and also have 16 volunteer counsellors – we’re also working with the crisis team based in Scunthorpe and the police.
“At times our calls were the only call’s people received on a weekly basis, so we know how crucial this service is to many people, and we’re pleased we have somewhere people are able to reach out to if they need some extra support.”
The mental health support service team works with individuals to put together a wellness plan in order to decide the most appropriate plan of action to support them with their mental health and wellbeing – and to support them back into employment if they have been struggling to find work.
Ongo says taking this approach has produced many positive outcomes, including clients being able to open up to work through the problems they face and pushing through barriers to achieve goals.
Ongo has also helped them enroll in higher education study, apply for jobs, and build self-belief.
Credit: Richard Walker/ImageNorth
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