Services are stretched to capacity and are often unavailable to access in a reasonable timeframe unless privately funded. We are working with the local community, social prescribers, and GP surgeries where, through collaboration we are forming a unique service to people who have become isolated and or lack mental health support. Overcoming a trilogy of barriers, financial, service accessibility and rural isolation preventing those in most need from accessing the support they need. Our project aims to work to help and support those struggling with the mental health and financial crises that is emerging from the ending of the pandemic.

Need to Talk is an innovative new pilot project supporting social housing tenants in six isolated rural villages in the Forest of Dean, Yorkley, Pillowell, Oldcroft, Viney Hill, Parkend and Whitecroft. Providing access to free confidential therapeutic counselling. This will be available via phone, video or in person, as when considering the very poor public transport links in these more rural areas, it is expected that the use of telepresence will considerably reduce the reliance on these links.

An experienced community connector will provide the additional wellbeing support and community inclusion necessary to address the social component that commonly occurs with early presentation of mental health challenges. The community connector will help with individual and community engagement to strengthen and empower existing communities, to enable and establish new inclusive activities in these communities. Reducing social isolation and improving people’s feelings of wellbeing and belonging.