Homeless and troubled families receiving 24/7 support through Save the Family have been given the opportunity to receive dedicated mental health counselling as part of a successful pilot project led by the Chester-based charity and newly formed Platform for Life CIC.
The families supported by Save the Family often face a complex mixture of problems such as family breakdown, domestic violence, addiction, debt, poverty and mental illness.
Save the Family has taken direct action to overcome these challenges and Platform for Life CIC has been borne of this process, to provide counselling to troubled families. The project is proving invaluable in dealing with adversity in childhood and adolescent life.
Save the Family’s approach enables families to grow in a mentoring environment, with emphasis on key life skills, routines, independence and building self-esteem.
It allows the charity not to judge, but to encourage and not to provide too many rules, but to provide realistic challenges and objectives.
Andrew Garman, director of Platform for Life CIC, said: “I am really excited that we are able to provide counselling services to a section of the community supported by Save the Family and, in particular, those who are struggling with very high mental health problems that have all too often been overlooked.
“It is a challenging field to work in but we are learning fast and have a lot of people on board who want this project to now become a long term venture.
“I am very optimistic that we will make a huge difference to the clients we are working with and there is considerable scope for Save the Family and Platform for Life CIC to develop this service.”
In time, the project will also give the wider community the opportunity to begin to address their mental health issues and also to see first-hand that poor psychological health is at the root of the complex social difficulties people are faced with in our communities.
Simon Groom, CEO of Save the Family, added: “I am delighted that we have been able to develop and pilot such a much needed counselling service for the families we support, both at our centre for families with multiple complex needs and in the community.
“The support we are receiving from our partners and from respected community figures is tremendous and we look forward to being able to make a big difference with vulnerable individuals. I hope that we can inspire both current and future generations to take responsibility for Mental Health in the wider community and to create a more positive future for our citizens.”