PorthEden is a crisis prevention, response and support service. We focus upon complex life issues, specifically where these relate to mental health matters. Our emphasis is increasing capacity of all involved and sharing what works.

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

We are constituted to open a residential crisis house and are working towards making this happen. Over the past two years we have run a 3 night a week crisis café and are now working with GPs and businesses to address mental health crisis prevention, response and support in Cornwall. We provide casework through a lottery funded scheme underpinned by professional standards and are delivering group work too. All related to suicide with an additional emphasis upon the combined uses of drugs and the influences of this on mental health. We are also raising awareness with one of the bigger mental health awareness events in the UK next year.

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What are your current priorities?

To be more robust in our service model and sustainable so we can offer a stronger service that is free for those who need it and affordable for businesses. We continue to aim to reduce suicides in Cornwall by 10% and testimonials suggest we have succeeded in achieving this over the past 12 months too. We are also working to extend our practice into other areas of Cornwall and so being more accessible.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Funding and competition frustrate our delivery. We also find operational philosophies to be in some conflict in our area though we can work with this where it is open and where it has subscribed to our constitution. Cornwall is recognised as a poorer region of the UK too by the EU and has received a lot of EU funding because of this. We are also challenged by our voices not being heard as much as we would like and by numerous support systems having eligibility criteria that are felt to be divisive and disempowering.

Our challenge is to overcome all the issues just mentioned and provide hope, time, compassion, dreams, recovery and a sense of meaningful partnership that improves the lives of us all.

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