People struggling with their mental health will now have somewhere to turn for support following the closure of Mind in West Cumbria.

Together We CIC, a not for profit organisation, which provides mental and physical health support for people of all ages, has received £100,000 from United Utilities, Sellafield Ltd and Cumbria Community Foundation towards the Together We Talk project, which will provide one-to-one and group counselling as well as family support services.

It coincides with today’s national Time to Talk day, which encourages people to talk about mental health.

Mind in West Cumbria closed last year after an inspection revealed serious failings and the charity was stripped of its national title.

The announced funding, handed out by the community foundation, will now help fill this gap and has come at a critical time when demand for support continues to grow as statutory mental health services are affected by cuts and stretched to capacity.

The number of people diagnosed with a mental health condition continues to rise. One in four people will be affected by a mental health problem in their lifetime, with one in six adults being diagnosed with a mental health problem each year.

In West Cumbria a higher number of people are admitted to hospital following intentional self-harm than the national average. Copeland has the highest suicide rate and the second highest number of A&E admissions for mental health conditions in the county.

Janine Ward, director of Together We CIC, said: “Our aim is to empower people to take control over their mental and physical health and wellbeing. We pride ourselves on delivering evidence-based interventions with qualified, insured and supervised staff. We have good connections across the region and will have a base in both Workington and Whitehaven.”

The team will be made up of counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, mental health practitioners and support workers, to enable a full service with a range of interventions available.

Louise Beardmore, customer services and people director at United Utilities, said: “Mental Health provision is such an important area that we’ve been working hard over recent years to break down barriers and to make it easier for our own employees to access the help and support they might need one day. We are committed to supporting the wider communities where we work and that’s why I’m so pleased to help fund this new scheme. With our call centre at Whitehaven and our new water supplies project, we are very much a part of the fabric of life in West Cumbria.”

Gary McKeating, head of community and development at Sellafield Ltd, said: “The importance of the Together We Talk project cannot be understated. I am delighted that the project has been formed from the ashes of its predecessor and that Sellafield Ltd, along with United Utilities and Cumbria Community Foundation are able to support it. The scheme will provide much-needed mental health support and guidance to those in our area who need it most. Whilst mental health is a topic people are now more willing to talk about, it is important that they can do so with trained workers, who can help people in times of difficulty. Our funding makes this a reality.”

Annalee Holliday, grants and donor services officer for Cumbria Community Foundation, added: “Mental health issues can affect people from all walks of life. The foundation supports local projects that provide a lifeline for people with nowhere else to turn, whether they are recovering from trauma, addiction or mental breakdown, or coping daily with stress, depression, anxiety or loneliness.

“Each year, we receive hundreds of grant applications from charities and groups across Cumbria, but it has become noticeable that the number of mental health projects requiring support has been increasing. Following the closure of Mind in West Cumbria, we have had long discussions with other providers in the county and made the decision to set up the mental health fundraising appeal, which will provide grants to projects across West Cumbria.”

Access to the Together We Talk service will be via self or professional referral by emailing or by phone 01900 66375. A referral form with more information is available at

To donate to the foundation’s fundraising appeal, go to: