Owner and co-founder of the phenomenally busy Lincoln-based Naomi Watkins Counselling Hub today pledged that her team would continue supporting hundreds of clients during the Coronavirus epidemic.
Owner Naomi Watkins-Ligudzinska said the Community Interest Company, whose team members are using their individual expertise to help around 100 people a week – who are suffering from anxiety, trauma, depression and complex mental health needs – are determined that people will not be left ‘high and dry.’
But she explained that the team is facing challenges because (unless the Chancellor intervenes) the CIC could find itself short of funds to carry on its work depending on how long the current crisis lasts.
“We are open and ready to support clients and businesses right now but we are transitioning to the use of telephone and Online options to maintain the level of service we provide. We feel this is vitally important.
“Every client – from children with their parents to elderly individuals – is assessed when they are referred to us and given a bespoke programme of support. That gives them some idea of how many sessions they might need to help them start getting their lives back on track.
“Obviously, in the current climate, we are concerned about everyone’s mental health, but we don’t want all the good work we have been doing with our current clients to be undone, when many of them are doing so well. This is why we are relying on telephone and online contact.
“Funding-wise we have had some wonderful grants over the past three years for specific aspects of our work. That support has helped us to counsel many more people in need from all walks of life.
“However, in a general sense, and thinking about the weeks ahead, we hope to see some Government intervention to help us in these unprecedented circumstances because the local Clinical Care Commissioning Group currently has no statutory obligation to finance us.
“Without this sort of support, we may have to reduce our help for clients due to potential financial pressures and that is the last thing we want.”
Naomi’s advice for everyone trying to manage their mental health under the Coronavirus, is prioritise your self-care, avoid excessive consumption of the media, focus on things you can control like staying home and handwashing, keep in touch with family and friends via telephone and online services. Eat well, stay hydrated, have a walk once a day, keep busy with things you enjoy doing.
For further information, please contact Naomi Watkins-Ligudzinska on 07772 532185
Successful Lincoln counsellor Naomi Watkins is over the moon after scooping a highly prestigious research award!
Naomi, who is Chief Executive of the phenomenally busy NWCH (Naomi Watkins Counselling Hub) is thrilled to be among 150 privileged people across the UK honoured to receive a Churchill Fellowship.
And she is going to use her grant, from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, to visit Australia and New Zealand to carry out a six-weeks research project into suicide prevention.
Churchill Fellowships offer UK citizens a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel the world and research cutting-edge global solutions to important topical issues and explore innovative ideas and best practice in a practical subject of their choice. The average grant is £6,000.
The Fellowships address contemporary issues, develop knowledge leaders and offer transformative opportunities to outstanding individuals.
“I am excited to be one of just 150 people to receive one of this year’s Fellowships. They attract a lot of competition. I was one of 1,800 applicants, out of which just 250 people were interviewed before the final 150 were chosen,” said Naomi.
“I am planning to travel in May and my grant will cover my flights, accommodation and other essentials.
“I am keen to use my trip to carry out important research into suicide prevention, specifically for children and younger adults in the four-to-30 years old age group. At NWCH we counsel people of all ages, but would like to run special projects designed to help troubled children in this category. I shall be researching ways of spotting signs of a person’s ideation or intention of ending their life by suicide.
“Many people think suicide mainly affects older adults, but there has been a rise in the number of younger people driven to end their own lives by suicide for various reasons. Suicide is the leading cause of death for 5-19yrs old (England ONS, 2018).
“This is a tragedy and, as counsellors, we are determined to do all we can to prevent this from happening,” said Naomi.
“I am looking forward to sharing my research findings with my colleagues at NWCH, where we have a team of 19 counsellors, six support staff and two therapy dogs.”
Naomi added that NWCH, which recorded 803 referrals for help since it started out in 2017 – and currently 500 appointments on its books every week – believes her research findings will also help to inform the Community Interest Company’s Suicide Prevention Conference, which is taking place at The Showroom in Lincoln on September 10 – World Suicide Day.
Lincolnshire live and the Lincolnshire chamber of commerce have written about our first-year celebration.