Supporting the Dorking Mental Health Project

The Dorking Mental Health Project has now  been established for a year now and their mission is to promote mental wellbeing in Dorking and surrounding areas.

First let us introduce team members – including Healthcare On Demand practitioner, Susan McGrath.

Please use this link to see a brief biography of the committee members, all Dorking residents.

Mental Health First Aid Training

Our first courses were run in October at the Malthouse Youth Centre, Dorking.  We are grateful to Jane Nathan from Healthcare on Demand in Guildford for generously offering her time free to get us up and running with our Mental Health First Aid courses.   A photograph from the 2 day Youth Mental Health First Aid course is below.

There was also a half day Youth Mental Health First Aid Lite course.  Both were well attended and some of the feedback comments are below:
The course has made me reevaluate how I’ve been dealing with my child’s mental health needs.”

“Definitely feel this needs spreading as widely as possible. I already have friends asking about it.”

“Wonderful, calm, empathetic instructor who gave time for individual stories but also  content. Changed my views about mental health and conditions”.

“Excellent course and instructor.

Johnny Benjamin Event

The Dorking Mental Health Project were delighted to welcome Johnny to Dorking on the 11th of October. He gave us a touching and informative talk about his struggles with Suicide and Mental Health.  Again the session was very well attended and highlighted the need for more information and opportunities to talk about Mental Health and Youth Mental Health in particular.

One of the issues that was raised at the meeting is the lack of information, support and statutory services to help our young people when their mental health deteriorates.  The statistics from the Young Minds website are sobering with:

  • One in Four (26%) young people in the UK experience suicidal thoughts
  • Child line (UK) has revealed that it held 34,517 counselling sessions in 2013/14 with children who talked about suicide – a 116 per cent increase since 2010/11.
  • Among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years, particularly since the mid 1980’s.
  • The number of children and young people who have presented to A&E with a psychiatric condition have more than doubled since 2009. (8,358 in 10/11; 17,278 in 13/14)
  • 55% of children who have been bullied later developed depression as adults
  • 45% of children and young people under the age of 18 detained under section 136 were taken to police custody in 2012/13

The Project Team hope to help alleviate this situation with our plans for next year.


Volunteer Opportunities

The project has ambitions goals but could make a huge difference to mental health in our community. To this end we have booked the upstairs room at Burgundy and Black coffee shop in Dorking on Saturday the 28th of January from 10am – 12 noon to have a volunteers meeting. Please do come along and lend your support as we need local help in championing all of these projects. Getting involved is good for your mental health!

If you would like to take part or attend the meeting please email

Holiday Support Services

As we come closer to the festive season we are all aware of the stress that can bring. Being around our families or being separated from them at this time can bring up many issues.  We have compiled a list of support services that operate during the holiday season so please click here to find out about local services and here for national services.