Jersey’s Listening Lounge, the free mental health and wellbeing service, is celebrating two years of helping Islanders on November 4th.
The LL opened just before the pandemic began, and has supported over 2,750 islanders with almost ten thousand appointments. The facility, based in Charles Street, St Helier, aims to give people access to early help and support before they reach mental health crisis.
Throughout the two years, depression, stress, and anxiety have consistently been the leading three mental health issues that islanders present with. Loneliness and isolation, followed by the impact of Covid, were also cited most often as additional concerns. However, in recent weeks, there has been a significant increase in people reporting unemployment, or concerns around employment, as factors affecting their wellbeing.
The LL is free and open to any Islander experiencing mental health difficulties. It is a partnership between Health and Community Services and L.I.N.C, a specialist mental health and wellbeing provider, part of the LV Care Group.
Lucy Nicolaou, head of LINC services for LV Care Group, commented: “I’m delighted that we’re able to mark two years of the Listening Lounge being available to islanders, which has been a much-needed resource during the Covid pandemic. Our focus continues to be on improving access to support and providing choice.”
“One of the things that makes us different from other therapeutic services on the island is that we have peer workers employed within the team, who use their lived experience of poor mental health and recovery to support clients. It is a popular offer. Of the 110-130 new clients we see each month, nearly half of them choose to access with peer support rather than therapy with a practitioner. Having both talking therapy and peer support so readily available has proven to be hugely successful.”
The LL supports islanders 18 and over, and has a high satisfaction rating, with 95% of past clients saying they would recommend the service to others.
Five new members have recently been recruited to the team, and further appointments on weekends and evenings have been made available. Visitors are referred to other support initiatives, as required.