Before the Pandemic, mental health services were under pressure; now, they are being crushed by it.
National levels of depression have almost doubled since the pandemic. Some children can access mental health support within a week, and some could wait on lists longer than two years, determined only by their postcode.
Studies show that 1 in 6 people in the UK currently report suffering from mental health problems. The heads of the NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Psychiatrists have revealed that 1.6 million patients are waiting for specialised treatment and a further 8 million patients who cannot access the waiting lists but would benefit from the support.
In some parts of the UK, specialist mental health services are so overwhelmed that they are "bouncing back" a significant number of cases, including sending away patients at risk of suicide, self-harm and severely disordered eating, prompting warnings from doctors that many patients will likely die as a result.
Wigan has been hit hard, ranking highly among the regions most affected by mental health in the UK. The inability to afford therapy, the stigma of seeking help, the lack of funding and thus resources available - Empathy Northwest CIC wants to break this negative cycle.
For the past ten years, we have been transforming lives through therapy, which we offer at a subsidised price, with therapy sessions starting from a minimum donation of £10 - almost four times less than the average counselling session, ensuring that treatment is accessible to all. We offer a number of both solo, couple and family-focused therapeutic, holistic and wellbeing services at POINT OF NEED online, over the phone & in person - (we aim to assign you to a therapist within a week of receiving your referral) - including but not limited to talk therapy focusing on anxiety, anger management, depression, low self-esteem, bereavement, gender issues and more, hypnotherapy, inner-child healing, root cause therapy, access bars, reiki as well as body massages, facials, and nail treatments. You can be referred to Empathy Northwest CIC by your GP or another organisation, but you can also SELF REFER (or refer on behalf of your child)! Accessing therapy at Empathy Northwest CIC is as easy as calling us up and completing a referral form over the phone, or requesting one from us via email and returning via email/post, waiting to be assigned a therapist that is available at your preferred times, and booking an appointment in together for the following week. We will never turn away a client, regardless of how busy we are, and there is no "planned ending" to therapy with us - you are welcome to attend therapy sessions at Empathy Northwest CIC for as long as you feel they offer value to you.
Empathy Northwest CIC is run solely by kind volunteers that selflessly pour their time and energy into providing a safe and nurturing space in the centre of Wigan accessible to all. We love being able to provide care and support for such little back, but this means we have to raise funds in other ways to open our doors and provide our vital services. Here is a little insight into our outgoings:
- RENT & RUNNING COSTS - We love our home, the Prudential Assurance Building, 16 Library Street, and are elated to have such a big, beautiful space that allows us to operate our busy CIC comfortably. Everybody's energy bills are rising, and sadly we are not immune to this; providing heat, electricity and water to our three-story building is becoming more and more expensive.
- OUTSOURCING SPECIALIST THERAPISTS - Some clients require a specialist therapist to ensure they get the understanding and support required during their sessions, whom we sometimes have to outsource and reimburse.
- FURTHER SUBSIDISING SESSIONS - We price our sessions as low as possible to ensure that our services are as accessible as possible, but sadly, some people don't have a spare £10 a week to spend on therapy sessions, even if they desperately need them. We are more than happy to fund sessions for a person genuinely in need, as well as arrange alternate payment plans if someone hits a rough patch - your income should not determine whether or not you can access mental health support in the UK, and it certainly does not at Empathy Northwest CIC.
So - now you know who we are, what are we doing?
On Saturday the 2nd of July, an associate of Empathy Northwest CIC, Nigel Brookwell is attempting a FOUR MILE UPHILL CRAWL from our home on Library Street to The Hoot in Standish, taking the proverbial pub crawl literal, visiting a number of local establishments on the way including The Brocket, Sherrington's, The Boar's Head and more.
We have all experienced an 'uphill struggle'; sometimes you fall to your knees, but you keep going - and this is what Knackered Knees is all about.
We all fall down sometimes, what is important is that you keep going, and as we know, the journey is a million times harder on your own... so please come along and show Nigel some support! Empathy Northwest CIC will be open for a few hours prior to the crawl (time to be confirmed) and we will close up as the crawl begins to follow Nigel and cheer him on along the 4 mile trek.
If you can donate, please do! As well as through GoFundMe, we will be taking donations on the day, and even if you can't afford to donate we'd love for you to join us and learn what we are about. An adult counselling session at Empathy Northwest CIC starts at a minimum donation of £10 - £10 might be a takeaway to you, but to someone else a £10 therapy session covered by your kindness could be the difference between life and death. Thank you, and hope to see you at Empathy Northwest CIC on the 2nd of July!