So many of the traumatised women and young people we see here at New Futures tell us despairing stories of sexual abuse and exploitation, domestic violence, neglect and crushing poverty.
Some, including those referred to us by their GPs or by mental health services, tell us they are self-harming, or have done so in the past. Others say they have considered or attempted suicide.
Over the years we’ve been supporting – and forming strong bonds with – some of the most troubled and abused women and young people in our community we have mourned a number who took their own lives.
We would like to make our own contribution to suicide prevention work going on across the city and county.
We want to deliver specialist trauma training for our qualified and more experienced counsellors to enable them to work more confidently with complex cases.
We would also like to train staff and volunteers on our outreach and drop-in teams so they can identify signs of suicidal tendencies among the women and young people they work with.
We’d also like to provide a befriending service to offer people who are struggling ready access to social activities and community projects.
Should our bid succeed, we’d also like to employ a mental health practitioner to work with our most complex clients, supporting them through home visits, encouraging them to take medication and providing more structure when needed.
In addition to counselling or psychotherapy, 20 to 30 of our most at risk clients would receive a personalised action plan which would be reviewed regularly and would incorporate:
- Targeted sessions focusing on practical support such as benefits, housing, drug/alcohol support
- Alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, reflexology, to calm and quiet the central nervous system helping clients to relax and engage in psychotherapy and practical support
- Sessions guided by mental health practitioner focused on supporting medication, providing structure and supporting access to community and social activities.
Our target groups would include young people aged 18-25, women who have self-harmed, women in contact with mental health services, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and childhood trauma.
We have applied for funding for this work and hope to hear back before the end of the year.
Carl Martin, our direct services manager, said: “We have learned from our counselling services and from the people referred to us that people are increasingly in mental health crisis.
“Therefore we have submitted this bid in order to better support our clients.
“We are trying to respond to what we are seeing every day and need additional resources to cope.”
New Futures was set up more than 20 years ago to support women involved in sex work.
However, we have evolved into a welfare and counselling service for women and young people dealing with sexual abuse or exploitation – frequently involving domestic violence, trafficking, poverty and debt, substance use or mental ill-health.
Call us on 0116 251 0803 or send us a message at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find us at 71 London Road, Leicester, LE2 0PE.