29 APR 2016

Helen Grant MP welcomes Secretary of State to Maidstone



Home Secretary, Theresa May MP and PCC Candidate Matthew Scott joined Helen Grant MP at Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind (MMKM) to hear how their Wellbeing Centre supports local people experiencing mental health problems.

The Minister listened to how MMKM is currently supporting Kent Police by their provision of Wellbeing Workers being placed within the Police Control Room. The pilot project, currently funded by Kent Police and National Mind, provides telephone support to people who are experiencing mental health distress. The support has prevented two thirds of the calls they have taken from having to dispatch a police patrol hence reducing the police time and resources as well as providing a more appropriate support mechanism.

In addition to this, Mrs May was interested to hear about the wide scope of services MMKM were providing across Kent and the importance of talking about mental health - including within the Police Service and other front line services.

Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and The Weald was extremely proud of her local team and was also on hand to talk about local issues and the importance of partnership working leading to better outcomes for people experiencing mental health problems.

Julie Blackmore, Interim CEO of Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind, said:

"Our Chairman, Mr Tim Arnold, and other members of staff were delighted to welcome the Home Secretary, Theresa May, and Matthew Scott, to our Wellbeing Centre. We were extremely grateful to be given the opportunity to talk about our work supporting people experiencing mental health problems, including police and other front line services. It's vital we support staff and volunteers in particularly challenging roles who are often in situations where they are required to support people in crisis. In the last two years, we have diversified our range of support. This visit allowed us to explain how we are meeting increasing needs by the development of new programmes that now include a young person's support programme, low cost counselling, partnership working with DWP/ JCP, Kent Adult Education, RBLI, Age UK and many others."

Helen Grant MP said:

"We are so very lucky to have Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind. They do fantastic work in Kent and I was delighted that the Home Secretary was able to visit them. I know the Government is committed to improving mental health care and Maidstone and Mid Kent Mind are demonstrating how that can be done at the grassroots level."

MMKM are always looking for volunteers or donations, if you think you can be of help then please visit their website: www.maidstonemind.org

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