Brighter Futures’ unique self-harm support service Echo has been awarded £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund, meaning the ‘life-saving’ group can continue to provide a reduced level of support to local people for a further 6 months.
The Mental Health Foundation reports that the UK has one of the highest rates of self-harm in Europe, with 400 in every 100,000 people harming themselves. It is also stated that 1 in 15 adults in England have reported that they had self-harmed at some point in their lives.
Self-harm takes on many forms, and is a way of coping with or expressing intense emotional distress that can be triggered by such things as relationship difficulties, abuse, problems at work and mental ill-health. Brighter Futures highlights that self-harm can be experienced by people from all walks of life, with a broad age range.
80 people who used Echo during 2016/17, mainly aged 18-50, reduced their self-harm, got support with their mental health, and for some, found a way to cope with suicidal thoughts. Echo helps people to learn new ways to cope with their distress, support each other, and find a reason to go on with their lives.
One Echo customer says, “At Echo you are never judged, and always understood. Everyone is at different stages, but we’re all going through similar things and it’s good to know you are not alone. Without Echo I simply wouldn’t be here.”
The funding has given Brighter Futures some breathing space to secure more longer term sustainable funding. During this time, the not-for-profit organisation will be sourcing additional funding to take the service beyond October 2018, enabling more people within Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire to fulfil their potential and build resilience to self-harm.
Echo offers people aged 18 or over living in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire the opportunity to attend workshops, complimentary therapy and art sessions within the community.
Echo’s ambition is to raise £60,000 to re-instate the full Echo service, and is using the next 6 months to find funding.
To find out more about Echo and how you can support call 01782 406000, and visit www.brighter-futures.org.uk for further information about Brighter Futures services.
ENDS | Issued 19.4.18