Sunderland Mind provides advice, information, support and counselling
for those coping with or recovering from mental ill health. We have
been established in the area for over 35 years, during which time we
have provided a constant service to the people of Sunderland. We are
currently open 5 days a week.
We are funded by the Local Authority
(Comunity Mental Health Partnership) for financial assistance. In
addition to this like most other registered charities we continue to
seek funding from Charitable Trusts and other relevant funders to
sustain our organisation.
We currently offer a drop-in and provide
cooked meals for approximately 60 people per week, but, like most
registered charities, we are always seeking additional funding to
enable us to expand our services to meet the needs of the ever- growing
numbers of people who seek our help.
We are the only voluntary group in the city
to provide a weekend service. This includes; a counselling service for
people who cannot attend during the week, a drop-in centre and cooked
meals. We have an average of 26 service users and clients per day
attending and using our services. A high proportion of these people are
homeless, living in basic accommodation or simply alone.
Sunderland Mind was originally formed over 35 years ago as the
Sunderland Mental Health Group; as a self-help group to support
individuals confronting mental health problems. The original steering
group included people of diverse backgrounds including Stuart Kohn.
Stuart was driving force behind the organisation, he retired in
December 2005 after being Chairman for in excess of 30 years.
In the early days the group benefitted from
the government sponsored 'Urban Aid' programme, which gave them
£19,999.00 to buy the premises, soon after a further £20,000.00 was
awarded which allowed the transformation of the derelict building. It
was during this period that the group decided to affiliate with
National Mind and it was renamed Sunderland Mind.
Mental health care has radically changed
since those early days. Government legislation through the National
Framework for mental health, and Local Authority demands that its core
grants should be strictly monitored and deliver best value has created
new pressures for the voluntary sector. Sunderland Mind has faced up to
these changes, and is continuing to adjust to new demands. The most
important strand running through the whole history is that it has
worked within the system but has retained its independence and
individuality so that it continues to deliver a unique mental health
care service, which is not available from the statutory sector.