A lot has changed since I launched DeType 10 years ago – a decade is a long time and, as often happens on a big birthday, people can become reflective, the team at DeType are no different.

We have been looking back at the last 10 years and how we and Northampton have grown, one of the things that is close to all our hearts is supporting people with their mental health. I lost my brother to suicide in 2014 after a long period of depression, and at the time, it still wasn’t really talked about, particularly in the music industry, and as a touring musician he had many additional pressures.

People rarely talked about mental health, and the majority of people would have been embarrassed to say they were ‘not OK’.

In 2022 the nation’s mental health and well-being seems to be at the forefront of our headlines, social media, the NHS and our workplaces. According to The Nuffield Trust, Mental health is an issue that affects many people: latest estimates state that 1 in 6 adults experienced a ‘common mental disorder’ such as depression or anxiety in the past week and 1 in 6 children aged between 6 and 16 experienced a ‘common mental disorder’ in 2021. Referrals for psychological therapies in 2012 were at 533,550 and rose to 1,025,210 in 2020/21 during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This isn’t all doom and gloom, the fact that there are so many more referrals is partly because people feel more accepted and comfortable opening up about their feelings. According to the NHS there has been a continuing and key change in society’s views around mental health.

“People are becoming more accepting of mental health problems and more supportive of people with issues. They are more aware of common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, and are more willing to talk to health professionals and seek treatment”.

Mental health collaborations have grown in Northampton over the last decade, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and MIND joined forces to provide a 7 day a week 24hr telephone service to those who need it, NHNS stated the service was “vital” and has made a “real difference to the lives of many”.

REACH Collaboration provide professional and confidential youth counselling for young people aged from 11-19 across the County of Northamptonshire. Reach is five existing, highly regarded agencies:

  • CHAT Youth Counselling
  • Service Six
  • The Lowdown
  • Time 2 Talk
  • Youth Works

All of which have provided a variety of online, telephone and face to face support for young people.

Another charity that is close to our hearts is KidsAid, launched in 2007 when a group of professionals working with families came to realise how little provision was available for children and young people who had suffered from trauma. They provide early intervention in the form of creative therapies.

We could mention so many inspirational organisations working to support the mental health and well being of people in Northampton, but we wanted to talk about this one – set up in 2016 The Lewis Foundation source, package and hand-deliver free gifts and support packs to adult cancer patients in hospital every week – items they might find difficult to buy themselves or simply cannot afford. These volunteers provide support to combat loneliness and isolation for patients undergoing treatment.

Conversations about mental health are happening every day in Northampton workplaces too, companies are thinking more innovatively about how their employees work and creating hybrid working patterns to support employees well being and mental health.

Volunteering and local business support plays a vital role in scaffolding our community outreach services and here at DeType we have decided to give back to the community of Northampton by offering 10 days of volunteering during 2022 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.

We already have close links to Northants Community Aid, with Sam as a member of the board, so as part of our 10 year celebration we are fundraising for them to give back to the community of Northampton.

If you would like to be a part of positive change in Northampton’s mental health services you can find out more here https://northantscommunityaid.org.uk/ or get in touch – we’d love to chat.