New pilot scheme sees mental health advisors stationed at council's offices

The pilot scheme will run until March.
The pilot scheme will run until March.

Kettering people struggling with their mental health can now receive specialist help at the town’s council offices after a pilot scheme was launched.

Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, which has responsibility for helping people with their mental wellbeing, has launched the project with three mental health workers operating out of the council offices in Bowling Green Road.

The KBC hub has been set up in response to findings that some people were hesitant to access mental health services through traditional channels.

The health body says it wants the pilot to ‘normalise conversations’ about mental health.

An NHFT spokesman said: “The pilot has developed from a continued commitment from NHFT to build closer links with the communities which we serve, supporting all levels of mental health concern. Evidence produced from Northamptonshire Police’s recent Time to Listen project alongside NHFT’s own service user engagement highlighted a core theme from our communities with regards to previous challenges with accessing mental health support and services.

“The hub pilot aims to provide direct and immediate community access to a mental health worker, breaking down the traditional barriers to obtaining support and seeking to normalise conversations related to mental health. We would wish that users of the KBC hub become as comfortable in discussing issues with their mental health in the same way that they might with their housing, benefits, social or police concerns.

“We want to bring the front line of mental health service closer to the community that people live within and work towards mental health becoming a normal everyday conversation in the county.”

The pilot started last month (Dec) and will run until March. The mental health workers are working Monday to Fridays from 9am to 5pm in the customer service centre.