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Brighter Futures’ unique Self-Harm and Recovery service have received additional funding to ensure the ‘life-saving’ team can support people for a further 12-months.

The service, launched in October 2019, works with people over the age of 18 to better manage their self-harm concerns and come up with alternative solutions to managing dips in their mental health.

The pandemic, which has seen a new way of working right across the country, has seen them support 231 people against their commissioner’s target of 180 – and come up with innovative ways of working.

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.

According to figures reported, Stoke-on-Trent has a high number of hospital admissions for self-harm, with figures 88% higher than the national average.

The Brighter Futures team has helped to reduce this behaviour in their customers by 93%, while a further four in 10 experienced a reduction in suicidal thoughts.

Sharon Godwin, Service Manager, says:

“Sadly, all too often, people find themselves at A&E or their GP when they have a mental health need. We are pleased to have significantly reduced this figure in our customers and encourage ways of better managing their mental health.

“Our aim now, over the next twelve months, is to provide a more face-to-face service now government guidelines are relaxing. We’ve already exceeded our targets – and we aim to reduce demand for emergency services and other health service providers further.”

A Brighter Futures customer says: “I haven’t harmed myself since I started going to them. It is flipped a massive re-set button in me. It allowed me to get rid of the baggage building up that was starting to get me down.

“It gave me helpful ways to deal with it and to deal with the new stuff that happened. If the service didn’t exist believe I would have attempted suicide – I wouldn’t have been here without Brighter Futures.”

elf-Harm Support and Recovery provides a range of support options to suit each person’s needs and to help them manage their wellbeing and reduce the need for emergency services.

For more information on Self-Harm Support and Recovery, and other Brighter futures services, visit:

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