Dorset Mind

Dorset Mind is a self-funded local charity that helps people in Dorset experiencing mental health problems access the vital support they need. It is at the very heart of our communities shaping futures, changing and, in some cases, saving lives.

Our Vision
We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem in Dorset gets support and respect.

Our Mission
Dorset Mind will raise awareness within general and specific communities about mental ill health. We will educate people about symptoms – what they are, what to expect and how to spot them. We will educate people about what they can do when they experience symptoms either themselves or someone they know.

The charity will always challenge the stigma and equality of mental ill health so that neither stigma nor inequality prevents people from receiving the information and support they need.
Dorset Mind will promote the ethos of recovery of mental ill health by educating people about recovery and by directly providing support services to specific communities to assist them in their own recovery.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Preventing suicide informs everything we do and every service we provide. Our Chief Executive, Linda O’Sullivan, ensures that talking about suicide is front and centre at our Courageous Conversation Conferences and in all the work we do.

Staff, volunteers, trustees, and patrons all understand that talking about suicide both professionally and in our personal lives is an important and healthy thing to do. We dispel the myth that talking about suicide increases the risk people will take their own lives.

We also contribute to Dorset Council’s Suicide Prevention Communications Group, to ensure that not only our work is highlighted but also the work of other agencies dedicated to fighting suicide in the county. More information can be found on the Public Health Dorset website.

What are your current priorities?

The charity aims to support all communities, including those facing inequalities such as LGBTIQ+ communities, people from ethnic minority communities, people with eating disorders, deprived people, neurodiverse people and young people.

We plan to expand our active monitoring, counselling, mentoring and support groups for adults across Dorset when funds allow. And we strive to take our message to as many corners of Dorset as possible.

There is a big emphasis on children and young people because we recognise the acute need.

What challenges are you currently facing?

It’s been a difficult few years for everyone. The cost-of-living crisis has hit people hard, as they seek to recover from the pandemic.

We are seeing an increase in the demand for our services, while our funding streams are under tremendous pressure.

Dorset Mind promotes a healthy culture where everyone is encouraged to be authentic and honest. We face tough challenges together and support one another.

We remain hopeful and confident, we know our services make a life-changing difference and last year we helped 15,000 people. We hope to help even more in the coming year.