I’ve chosen Mindline Somerset as my next Mind TWS project to look at. With the shorter days, darker evenings and Christmas fast approaching, a lot of people struggle at this time of year. A simple share of this post may inadvertently help someone you know.
What is Mindline Somerset?
Mindline Somerset is confidential listening service for people in Somerset. It is an “out of hours” service which means that there is someone at the end of the phone when other day time services are unavailable. In addition to providing emotional support, the can provide information about other services both locally and nationally.
Who might use Mindline Somerset?
Anyone. It’s as simple as that.
Mindline Somerset treats all callers with dignity and respect without judgment, regardless of their background.
A caller may be someone who is feeling isolated and just wants to be able to talk to someone about their day.
A caller may be someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis and has reached the point of suicide.
Or literally anything between.
Mindline Somerset is used by people experiencing mental health difficulties themselves, but also family members, friends and carers of people experiencing difficulties too.
In February 2017, Mindline will be launching a new specialist service – watch this space for more information about the brand new Mindline Trans+ service!
What information do Mindline Somerset receive about callers?
Mindline Somerset is an anonymous, confidential service and these two fundamental principles are strictly upheld.
Some callers may be happy to share some personal information, sometimes sharing a first name can help make a connection between caller and listener. Other callers may give some history to their story and some may be happy to give more personal information, for example a general location can be helpful in order to signpost a caller to other local services that may be useful to them. Ultimately, however, the amount of disclosure is entirely up to the caller.
Who answers the phones?
Mindline Somerset is manned by volunteers. They aren’t counsellors, they aren’t psychiatrists, the volunteers will forgive me for saying so, but they are just ordinary people like you or I. What makes them special however, is that they’re there to listen to people in their time of need.
Prior to “going live” and taking calls, they receive carefully designed training to give them the skills they need to be able to deal with any situation that may arise.
As I already mentioned, the volunteers are ordinary people. They have all had some dealings with mental health in the past, sometimes through their day job or education, but largely through personal experience, be it their own or someone close to them. I will soon be speaking directly to the volunteers and getting their take on things, but that’s a whole other post!
When can I call?
Mindline Somerset operates between the hours of 8pm and 11pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you call outside of these times, or if all lines are busy, you will be directed to the Samaritans who operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (tel. 116 123) or to the Mind Infoline (tel. 0300 123 3393 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm)
Mindline Somerset will be open all over the Christmas and New Year period – just as they are with any other public holiday!
What if I don’t live in Somerset?
Mind TWS also runs the sister service, Mindline South Devon and Torbay
Mindline is a national concept run by local branches of Mind. You can find your local branch here http://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/local-minds/ to see if Mindline is a service that they offer locally to you
I’m interested in becoming a Mindline Somerset volunteer – where can I find out more?
Right here! http://www.mindtws.org.uk/64-2/volunteer-roles/
I’m a professional interested in utilising Mindline Somerset – how can I find out more?
Email Mindline@Mindtws.org.uk or telephone the Mind TWS office on 01823 334906