Counsellor says more mental health services needed in rural areas

Counsellor Caroline Hammond is setting up a new counselling service from her home in West Dereham. P

Counsellor Caroline Hammond is setting up a new counselling service from her home in West Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A counsellor based near Downham Market says that demand for mental health support for those living in rural areas is so high that she has decided to branch out and offer her services privately.

Caroline Hammond has been working with the mental health charity Mind as a specialist high intensity counsellor but recently launched her practice in West Dereham, near Downham Market.

She said: 'It has been widely reported recently in the press about the need for more mental health services, and there is further need for support in this area.

'I cover King's Lynn, Downham Market as well as Wisbech – a vast rural area where people often feel much more isolated if they're battling with their mental health.'

She added: 'I know for a fact there is a huge demand for wellbeing services, particularly for those going through stress or depression. Now at least I can also offer support if people are in need of someone to talk to if they're experiencing stress, anxiety or depression.'

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A report released earlier this week by a taskforce set up by NHS England said about three-quarters of people with mental health problems receive no help at all.

Ms Hammond said: 'Everyday life – especially these days – is full of constant pressures. Times are hard for a lot of people and that can have a serious effect on their mental health and wellbeing.

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'But there is still so much stigma and lack of understand when it comes to the addressing issue, that far too often people are leaving things right up to crisis point.'

She added: 'It's important people get the help they need before then. And whatever stage it may be, I am available to talk things through if they feel it's a counsellor they need.'

For further information visit or call Ms Hammond directly on 07931 318801.

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