Nearly 1,700 UK-based Zurich employees voted to choose one of three shortlisted charities. Voting was close, but the Mind Infolineproject secured the greatest level of support. It means that in September 2013, Mind will join children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent and the Alzheimer's Society, as the third national charity partner supported by Zurich Community Trust's "Zurich Cares" employee involvement programme.
Zurich Community Trust’s annual £50,000 grant will fund the employment and training of an Infoline Advisor for three years, to give practical 'next steps' advice and empower 24,000 people to take control of their situation.
As a result of the economic situation and closure of local services, calls to the Mind Infoline are rising, with a staggering 30% increase last year.
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind said:
"For many people, the Mind Infoline is their first port of call for advice when they just don't know where to turn. We want to be able to answer every cry for help but sadly last year 50 per cent of calls to our Infoline went unanswered. We are delighted to hear we will have this financial support from Zurich Community Trust to fund one of our Infoline advisors, and look forward to building a meaningful partnership, starting work with Zurich employee volunteers later this year.
Mental wellbeing can depend on a wide variety of factors, from employment status and working conditions, to financial security. All of these can be affected during tough economic times and we are seeing an ever growing need for what Mind has to offer. The era of austerity shows little sign of abating and more and more people need our help. At the same time the local Mind network is facing the challenging situation of increased demand for services and potential cuts to funding.
The Mind Infoline is not just for those with a mental health problem themselves - family members and friends are also frequent callers. Their Infoline can provide a lifeline, listening and supporting people to make informed choices about their treatment and helping them find the support they need."