Three local support groups have partnered to launch a new programme aiming to redefine mental health care in the region.

BCHA charity housing association, The Lantern Trust homeless charity and Help & Care support service have announced their collaborative leadership in the 'Access Wellbeing Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Transformation Programme.'

The programme has been in development for many years and the groups will be working in contract with Dorset HealthCare. It aims to be a collective representative of the community’s mental health needs for a more connected and responsive mental health service across Dorset.

Dorset Echo: L to R: Helen Green, Stuart Mead, Mark Smith, Mike Graham, Kelly Fernley

Morad Margoum, Deputy Service Director for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Children and Families at Dorset HealthCare said: “This partnership signifies a collective effort to make a lasting impact on the lives of those we support. We look forward to fostering a nurturing environment where mental health and wellbeing thrive.

“The collaboration marks a significant milestone in our mission to enhance mental health and wellbeing community support. And as we embark on this journey, we anticipate innovative solutions and shared successes that will enrich the fabric of our communities.”

The programme promises 'immediate, local support' for anyone aged 18 and over, emphasising a 'no wrong door' policy. This approach eliminates the need for referrals, allowing direct access to a range of mental health and wellbeing services.

Mike Graham CEO of The Lantern Trust added: "Access Wellbeing is an opportunity to carry on the work of mental health integrated community care (MHICC) as we work with communities and the agencies based within them to improve support to wellbeing and mental health services throughout Dorset. 

“We are excited to see the offer grow across all areas of Dorset and be part of the culture change that our partnership, Dorset HealthCare and all stakeholders are so passionate in delivering"

Caroline Moylan, Chief Operating Officer at BCHA, said:  "This initiative marks a significant step towards our vision of a community where everyone has access to the mental health support they need, seamlessly and without delay. We are thrilled to collaborate with Help & Care and The Lantern Trust in leading this initiative through a genuine partnership approach.

There will be hubs operating across in Weymouth and Poole and staffed by trained Wellbeing Coordinators.

More information can be found on the Our Dorset website: