Jon Bartlett moved to North Dorset recently and was surprised how easy it was to access the mental health support that he needed.
Whilst I was looking forward to moving back to my home county, I was also nervous. What would the care for my mental health be like? It had taken a long time to get a good treatment regime in my old county – one which, like Dorset, was heavily skewed by a large urban area at one end and rural districts elsewhere.
I registered at my new GP and found that the doctors had seen my records and booked time to speak with me and welcome me to their surgery, whilst checking what specialist support I might need for my mental health. I was anxious as I spoke to a new GP but they set me at my ease quickly (often tricky by phone) and outlined what they would do next and where I should look to find some community supports. By the end of the same day I had a call from the community mental health team and a couple of days later the social prescribing team had called to connect me up with peer support groups and various activities in the district.
As someone with a long-established diagnosis, skilled in managing it and on a stable medication, I didn’t need all the help that was offered but I was genuinely surprised how many groups/events were going on. There seemed to be something for everyone and certainly plenty of people ready and willing to help. We hear all the time about waiting lists and delays in mental health services and those things are undoubtedly still an issue but the service is full of staff who care and furthermore, there are plenty of people in the community to help you on a day to day basis.
So please, remember that support is within your reach in Dorset.
Find out more about the Light On Within Reach campaign and support available in rural Dorset