By Harry Mottram: A word of caution about Bath Mind. The Westgate Street offices of the charity are above the charity shop Mind Bath – a national charity – which is a separate organisation from Bath Mind a local charity – although the two are connected but not as directly as their joint location suggests.
Kate Morton of Bath Mind explained: “Mind is a national organisation that oversees the campaigns on mental health – offering information and advice on mental health problems and lobbies government and local authorities.
“Bath Mind provides services locally and we are an independent charity with a board of trustees with about 150 members and much of our money comes from grants from the local authority and the NHS.
“We also need to fundraise to top up through things like sponsored runners in the Bath Half Marathon in October and local events like the boules competitions and concerts.
“Fixed grants don’t increase and so every year we make our case to various commissioners for a cost of living increase.”
Kate is an Essex girl gone west having lived and worked in London as a manager in a housing association.
She moved to Bath where she has a family of two sons and also has a sister here – but has also had to recover from a brain tumor which gave her an desire to continue in the voluntary sector – first as a trustee and volunteer and now as the CEO of Bath Mind.
“We help people in the area aged 16 plus with two big groups in particular,” she explained, “Older people who have been in many cases affected by Covid and are excluded with a lack of social contact which has affected their mental health.
“We support them within their community often through wellbeing groups.
“And we help younger people who sometimes feel lost and lonely, as they are not connected and become depressed with social media often a negative influence.
“Then there are those diagnosed with a mental health illness.”
Kate said their free phone number works as a front door to Bath Mind – with a practitioner on the line who can speak to someone who is worried about their mental health.
“Mental health is not a stand alone condition,” she said, “it’s often related to wider problems in someone’s life such as debt, housing or homelessness, health and family issues.”
Bath Mind works with a number of other charities and agencies including the Citizens Advice Bureau, Curo, the Community Wellbeing hub, the schools in the city, Bath University and Bath Spa University and Bath College.
The charity has a Free Phone number: 0808 1751369.
To find out more, to seek help or to help fund raise or to volunteer with Bath Mind visit https://www.bathmind.org.uk/
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