23 November 2021

Adam Dodd, Minstead Trust CEO, details the mental health struggles faced by people with learning disabilities over the last 18 months, and how you can help us tackle this crisis during the Big Give 2021.

The last 18 months have been a blur in the care sector, as we battle to keep people safe in the midst of a global pandemic.

But within that blur are crystal clear memories.

Memories of incidents that illustrate the acute mental health crisis experienced by many people we support as they battle to cope with loneliness and anxiety.

Like the person who was terrified to go back out to a football match after they had Covid-19.

The individual who climbed out onto the ledge of their house because they were so distressed.

Someone whose schizophrenia has taken a complete nosedive and they won’t go out at all.

Someone who has stopped washing and cleaning themselves for several weeks because of their low mood.

All these people are receiving the support and care that they need from our fantastic staff to stay safe.

But so much more is needed to help people with learning disabilities recover from the sledgehammer that the pandemic has taken to their mental wellbeing.

For any of us, dealing with mental health issues is a difficult process. Learning to trust others and know the correct help to seek is not easy or straightforward. For people with learning disabilities this process is often many times more difficult than for you or I.

So as we start to see a way through the pandemic it is imperative that we take people with learning disabilities with us – helping them receive the support and guidance they need to protect their mental health now and in the future.

I think the last 18 months have shown all of us that life is not just about survival. Life is made worth living by the people we meet, the friends we make, the experiences we have and the passions we develop.

It is no different for people with learning disabilities.

They want to have varied and interesting lives, where they can follow their favourite football teams, get fit at the gym, meet up with friends at a community group or go on holiday.

But they are coming out of the worst of the pandemic to find that their communities have changed. The rules have changed and the support they need to live truly full lives in their communities has changed too.

This is why we are looking to raise £40,000 in our Big Give fundraising campaign. You can help us raise crucial funds to:

  1. Re-establish our drop in community groups to offer advice and friendship for people with learning disabilities.
  2. Give more support to people wanting to attend social activities and follow their passions.
  3. Set up a welfare fund to cover the cost of social activities and holidays.
  4. Recruit volunteer and staff buddies to accompany people out and about in their communities.
  5. Offer courses for people to rebuild the skills they need to feel comfortable with others.

As we plot a way through Covid-19 let’s make this a fresh start for people with learning disabilities.

Let’s give them the tools and support they need to deal with their mental health and see a way forward to living more fulfilled lives.

Let’s move past just surviving and put in place the support needed to ensure that for people with learning disabilities this becomes their time to thrive.

Donate to Minstead Trust in the Big Give from 30 November to 7 December and your donation will be instantly doubled at no extra cost.

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