Take Off: Kent tackles mental health - The Health Lottery

Take Off, based in Canterbury, Kent, supports people with mental health needs through a 100% service user led model – meaning anyone who works for the charity must have experienced their own mental health difficulties.

The group offers self-help groups that have either a ‘talking’ or ‘doing’ focus – all led by a person who has experienced that condition.

Mark Kilbey, the Director of Take Off comments that “Having smaller groups enables you to make sure that everybody engages and feels valued, because it’s harder to hide and it’s easier to get something out of it.”

“Peer support is basically using another person’s skills and experiences to assist you, to understand your diagnosis better and to kind of try and get your life back onto some kind of track” Mark explains, adding “You could jump one or two years of recovery because someone can tell you something incredibly important.”

Funded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by HealthWhole CIC through The Health Lottery, Take Off currently works with 3,500 users. Originating in Canterbury, the group now has groups in Thanet, along the South East Coast and Ashford.

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