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PCC's funding will save lives and increase wellbeing in our communities

PCC's funding will save lives and increase wellbeing in our communities
The future of a volunteer-run service supporting people with poor mental health has been secured for a further three years thanks to funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott.
Talk It Out, in Deal, has received £10,000 to continue providing its mental health support group at the Landmark Centre.
Group chair Tracy Carr said:

‘Our group has been going for seven years now, and we really appreciate the funding given by the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner which in this case undoubtedly saves lives and increases wellbeing in our community. We know our work, especially in time of crisis, relieves pressure on the police for mental health interventions so the preventative element of our work is really important.’

Speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week, Mr Scott said:

‘Around a third of all Kent Police’s time is spent dealing with cases involving mental health. To put it another way, 33 police officers out of 100 can expect to spend their whole shift dealing with mental health incidents rather than tackling crime or anti-social behaviour in our communities. That is not sustainable and I created the Mental Health and Policing Fund to do something about it.
‘Talk It Out sees at least 60 different people every week and has become a vital source of mental health support. Prior to their opening, there were up to five crisis calls every week in the area to the police. There are now as few as three each month and I am delighted to be able to fund it again this year.’

In all, almost £100,000 has been awarded to eight community groups across the county. The full list of recipients - providing support services in Swanley, Gravesend, Medway, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Deal, Dover and Folkestone – is available on the OPCC website.
The biggest grant went to Dads Unlimited, based in Ashford, which received £19,920 to continue running its mental health support group and also to fund a schools liaison officer to work with children caught up in domestic disputes.
Chair of Trustees Suzie Britton said:

‘Dads Unlimited is delighted to be receiving funds from the PCC’s Mental Health and Policing Fund, especially during Mental Health Awareness Week.
‘Once again this funding will enable us to continue to provide our much-valued emotional support group meetings, as well as personal wellbeing advice, access to vital talking therapies, and a safe and supportive community for Dads across Kent. 
‘In the last 12 months our team has gone from strength to strength helping over 110 families across Kent, and providing this support in conjunction within a range of advice and community services. 
‘We’re humbled that this care network within Dads Unlimited has resulted in positive outcomes for all users of our services.’

In addition, the PCC’s Mental Health and Policing Fund is continuing to support out-of-hours crisis cafes in Maidstone and Tonbridge, the Safe Haven Bus in Medway, and the longstanding project whereby mental health counsellors from the mental health charity Mind provide support within Kent Police’s Force Control Room.

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