More and more people are turning to Jersey’s dedicated safe space for help with depression, anxiety and stress.
The Listening Lounge, run by the island’s leading care provider LV Care Group now offers 70 counselling appointments each week and has doubled in size since it was set up three years ago.
The facility, based at Charles House on Charles Street opened its doors in November 2019 to offer islanders aged 18 years and over an accessible, safe and confidential space to receive support with their mental health and wellbeing.
Since then, more than 4,000 have accessed its services which include counselling, peer support and a ‘phone helpline, all of which are free to access.
It first opened with six counsellors and 12 peer support workers and now has a team of 32 including clinicians and peer support staff who bring insight through their lived experience of mental health difficulties.
Commenting on the growth of the service, Lucy Nicolaou (pictured), Head of LINC Services, LV Care said: “Our counselling appointments have increased from 15 each week to 70, with much of this additional capacity available during the evenings when we see greatest demand. Our opening hours remain unchanged; 10 am – 10 pm, 7 days a week, and during this time we have both a ‘phone helpline, which we have retained after its introduction during lockdown, and in-person support available on an informal and as needed basis.
“During an average week, in addition to our 70 counselling appointments, we see an additional 50-60 people access this type of support. We are now spread over two floors with additional private rooms to ensure we have adequate space.”
Islanders can refer themselves to the Listening Lounge and 90% of those who have accessed the service rate the quality of support they have received as good or very good with 95% reporting that it has had a positive impact on their wellbeing.
Ms Nicolaou continued: “Our client feedback and outcome measures are excellent with 98% of islanders saying they would recommend the Listening Lounge to others. Those recommendations could lead to us being able to help and support others who may be suffering in silence.”
In the next 12 months LV Group are keen to develop additional community spaces and continue to improve access to timely support.