Bristol charity anticipates government thinking of Mental Health

Scheme Manager, Beverley Symonds

As the government announces plans to transform attitudes to mental health, Home-Start Bristol’s new project aims to improve the emotional health of parents and children.

Last year 83% of Bristol parents who felt isolated told us that they were also experiencing mental health problems.

With over 30 years’ experience of supporting families, the charity understands the impact of depression and anxiety – especially if coupled with isolation. It is often a vicious circle that is hard to break out of alone.

Home-Start Bristol’s approach is simple and effective – families are visited weekly by trained volunteers, who are parents themselves, and understand the challenges of family life. Scheme Manager, Beverley Symonds, says: “We work alongside families, encouraging them and helping them to build confidence.  This type of support benefits both children and parents, increasing their sense of wellbeing and ability to manage”.

Of 182 Bristol families supported recently over 94% felt better able to cope as a result of this support.

‘The help from my volunteer was good because it provided a different perspective – motherly advice and non-judgmental. It helped me to find my own voice.’

The new project will be further enhanced by employing a Family Support Worker and providing additional training to staff and volunteers on mental health.

If you would like to find out more about the charity, make a donation or become a Home-Start Bristol volunteer, visit the website: www.homestartbristol.org.uk or phone 0117 950 1170.

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