MEP Richard Howitt praises West Essex mental health services

MEP Richard Howitt dropped by the community hub in Great Dunmow for World Mental Health Day

MEP Richard Howitt dropped by the community hub in Great Dunmow for World Mental Health Day - Credit: Archant

Essex MEP Richard Howitt dropped in at Uttlesford’s Community Hub to see the “essential” mental health services provided at the centre.

West Essex Mind, based at the old police station, in Stortford Road, Great Dunmow, held an open day on Friday to encourage people to make use of the facility and to promote talking ­therapies, which gives emotional and mental support via one-to-one sessions, in groups or online.

As waiting time for mental health services hit national headlines last week, Mr Howitt, who is president of the all party disability group in the European Parliament, was pleased to discover the talking therapy service is available, on average, in 22 days, with West Essex Mind.

He said: “I’ve seen how West Essex Mind provides essential NHS therapeutic backup and help to those people and their carers who are dealing with mental health problems.

“The talk of cutting waiting times for talking therapy is thankfully not an issue here. Indeed, the issue is one instead of making sure that local people know they can access help ­relatively quickly, and that recovery outcomes are good.”

West Essex residents were able to visit to hub between 10am and 9pm on Friday, where they were treated to hot drinks and home-made cakes. Taster sessions were put on throughout the day and there was plenty of ­information to hand about the services provided.

Alison Wilson, chief executive officer at West Essex Mind, said: “As it was World Mental Health Day on Friday, we wanted to do something to promote talking therapies.

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“You do not have to have a mental illness to use the service, it could be that you are anxious or even stressed.

“We provide a really good service, with a waiting time below the national ­average, we just do not get enough people through the door.”

For more information call West Essex Mind on 01371 876641 or visit