One in four adults reported feeling lonely during the Covid-19 restrictions, signalling a review of community needs.
An NHS and leading charity partnership is appealing for individuals and organisations to share their views on future befriending and peer support service models.
Funded by the NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (Durham CCG) and delivered by the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), virtual focus groups are set to take place on Monday, November 15, 10-11am, and Tuesday, November 23, 6pm-7pm.
Sandra Roberts, project lead of mental health services at PCP, said: “Befriending services are vital in offering support to individuals and groups in communities who are socially isolated and suffering from loneliness.
“The focus groups hosted by PCP’s Befriending Research Project team are open to anyone who has used a befriending, mentoring or peer support services, those who work within this field or similar, or anyone who ultimately wishes to share their views on this type of service.
“It’s an opportunity to have your say and impact a real change to mental health support available in County Durham.”
Findings so far from the Befriending Research Project are focused heavily on the effects of Covid-19 and how it has challenged traditional face-to-face befriending support.