As a charity, we have provided specialist psychological support since 1983. MCH Psychological Services, (formerly The Lisa Lowe Centre and Manx Cancer Help), of which Isle Listen is a trading name, has developed many qualities. These include resilience, professionalism, tenacity, thrift, incomparable team spirit and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to change in line with the identified needs of our community.
We realised that the service we had developed to support families affected by cancer and other life-changing conditions was something very special and today, this vital work continues through our sister charitable initiative, Minds Matter. The important skills we had in this field including governance and oversight, which in psychology are essential, informed our decision to look to fill another much-needed service need – early intervention mental health and wellbeing – and Isle Listen was born in 2019.
We had long been aware of the difficulties faced by people trying to access mental health support, either for themselves or for their children. We were keen to utilise our expertise and experience to address this and began researching how best to tackle an ever-increasing issue which affected people of all ages and causing overwhelming demand on the statutory services.
It quickly became clear that providing education, prevention strategies and transformative early intervention, were key to alleviating pressure on statutory services. The result being, the avoidance of the unnecessary escalation of mental health problems as long waiting times can make recovery more difficult the longer the conditions are left undiagnosed.
Our Pilot Year
The Isle Listen pilot year was launched in September 2019 within two of the Island’s secondary schools to gather the evidence over 12 months of the need for our service. It involved the provision of a low-level listening service for young people, and a series of workshops and assemblies covering a range of topics related to emotional wellbeing. Over the academic year both quantitative and qualitative data was collected that confirmed a pressing need for the services we could provide. In addition to our listening service, we provide a range of therapies for children and young people who need a higher level of support than can be offered by our school’s team, with referrals made to our Clinical Lead for assessment by our listeners or the school itself.
Our commitment to excellence
MCH Psychological Services is an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Isle Listen adheres strictly to its ethical framework. As an organisation, we follow and frequently surpass National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines around supervision for our therapists, counsellors and listeners.
Our clinical team comprises accredited psychotherapists and counsellors who supervise our listeners and who receive supervision themselves from a Consultant Clinical Psychologist.
Our workplace training team has a wealth of corporate, HR and consultancy qualifications and experience coupled with rigorous CPD in mental health and wellbeing as we know there is a growing need for our programmes as the corporate sector and schools increasingly accept the need for greater understanding around mental health and wellbeing.
Although we are working hard to bring about change, by preparing our children and young people to cope with life’s challenges, we can gradually unpick the stigma and lack of education around mental health. This stigma has existed for many generations and resulted in so many people struggling unnecessarily.
We know that our achievements are sustainable as we will always be led by the evidence presented to us – responding to identified wellbeing needs in our community by delivering education and support that is appropriate, effective and timely. In other words, we will continue to listen.
Our Board of Directors
The charity is led by Chief Executive, Andrea Chambers and Clinical Lead, Professor Robin Davidson, and all professional standards are overseen by our Board of Directors, led by Chairman, Stuart McCudden.
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