For the last four weeks, this newspaper has carried a series of stories, interviews and comments about the challenges of helping people with mental ill-health.
Indeed we made the issue the subject of our first Christmas appeal in an effort to raise the profile of a problem that is often referred to as ‘the forgotten illness’.
Over the last month we have highlighted the vital work of three local charities – Fegans, Crossways, and Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource – whose ongoing efforts often go unrecognised. And we have focused in particular on their work with young people; one in ten children has a mental health problem.
Our thanks to all our readers who have, in one way or another, supported the appeal and we’ll leave the final words to the three charities themselves.
“Fegans have felt very privileged to have partnered with the Times of Tunbridge Wells. Most of the work we do is as low profile as it is critical… but even as I write these words we have two major safeguarding issues come in from a Tunbridge Wells school. Our hope is that by highlighting what we do, we also highlight the challenges children and families face today… and that we can face them as a community… together.”
Chief executive Ian Soars of Fegans
“Everyone at Crossways has been thrilled that mental health is the focus of this year’s Christmas appeal. Mental health is a scourge and can be frightening and upsetting. But the messages we’d like folk to remember this Christmas is that there is no shame in having poor mental health, that if someone you know does suffer in that way then please start a conversation with them about it and remember there is lots of good help out there so do not despair.”
Chief executive Chris Munday of Crossways
“Many thanks to all who’ve supported the Christmas appeal 2015. Holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for many people struggling with mental illness the festive period heightens feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and isolation. With your help we’re able to support local people through this period, starting the New Year from a happier, healthier place. TWMHR really is a life line to 500 people each year.”
Community and engagement officer Romy Rook of Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource
All donations to the Christmas appeal will automatically be split between the Times’ three chosen charities.
You can also make a donation by writing a cheque made out to the Times of Tunbridge Wells and sending it to:
Times of Tunbridge Wells
16 Lonsdale Gardens
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1NU
Please mark the envelope: Charity Appeal.