MCH Psychological Services, formerly Manx Cancer Help, was established in the Isle of Man in 1983 to provide emotional support for people with cancer. The charity assists people who face mental health challenges due to a cancer diagnosis to access specialist psychological therapies to help them cope with their cancer journey. In recent years, many people living with other life changing conditions have also sought their support, leading to a rebrand and change of constitution to reflect their widened remit. This work is carried out under the name Minds Matter and sits alongside the charity’s other project, Isle Listen.
Throughout the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic Minds Matter reacted quickly, offering continuity of support through telephone and video calls for existing clients, many of whom were shielding due to age or vulnerability and found prolonged social isolation difficult. New referrals were offered telephone or video appointments within a few days of first contact and vulnerable former clients were contacted and offered support with the mental challenges of social isolation and shielding.
Minds Matter has seen a marked increase in referrals from cancer patients over the past 6 months. Many felt significant uncertainty around surgery and treatment plans, especially those due to travel to hospitals in the UK and those aged over 70 and at high risk. At an already challenging time they had further, seemingly insurmountable hurdles put in their way, leading to heightened stress, anxiety and depression. A similar situation affected our older clients living with other life changing conditions.
The impact of the generous donation received from the Scheinberg Relief Fund is significant. It is helping to fund one of our therapists, who moved from part-time to full-time due to increased demand and is covering the cost of sessional therapists who supported our vulnerable, older clients during lockdown and beyond. It is also helping make up the shortfall in essential income that would have been generated by fundraising events, that had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
“We are very grateful for this generous donation from the Scheinberg Relief Fund, which has enabled our team to provide much needed therapeutic support to our most vulnerable clients at a uniquely challenging time – making a huge difference to their emotional wellbeing.” – Andrea Chambers, CEO of MCH Psychological Services.