This year, people just like you helped to launch a brand new online webchat service offering vital mental health support for vulnerable young women and for Deaf/hard of hearing women. Now we urgently need your support again.
Our webchat is a response to the growing need from young women and from Deaf/hard of hearing women for support for their mental health. But we can only run this vital and urgent service with your help.
Right now, we can only provide three web chat sessions a week, and we only have funding to help vulnerable women in this way until summer of next year.
Your donation today will help us extend our webchat service from three sessions a week to ten — as well as ensure that women in distress can talk to us online in the months and years to come.
Like our long standing telephone helpline, Womankind's new webchat offers confidential support to women in distress due to their poor mental health, experiences of trauma, abuse and sexual violence.
Until our service started in June, there were no instant messaging services of this kind available in the region. We are already seeing the difference our webchat service can make to supporting women’s wellbeing and mental health — but unless we raise urgent funds right now, we won’t be able to keep this much-needed service running past summer 2020.
Will you help keep our webchat open by pledging a donation today?
Women can currently access our webchat across three sessions a week. However, demand is growing and growing, as women increasingly seek to contact us online when they are in crisis. Your gift today will help us run more sessions, so more women get the help they urgently need.
We know our new service works for women. One deaf woman using the chat told us: “there are not sufficient words to express what it feels to know that there is an accessible service I can reach and use easily.” A 19-year-old woman struggling with her mental health facing multiple disadvantages told us, “I have no idea where I’d be without y’all … You all make me so excited to have a future … Amazing human beings. Literal proof that not all superheroes wear capes.”
That’s the difference your gift today can make to a vulnerable woman’s life when she is struggling with her mental health, trauma or the impact of sexual and physical abuse.
The way our webchat works is simple. Trained volunteers provide listening support and help women to explore various strategies for improving their well-being. Their expert care and advice offers support to women at a time of crisis, as well as those seeking support to prevent their problems from escalating into more serious mental ill health, in an accessible way.
Our new service was inspired by one of the women using our Deaf women's counselling service and developed with input from young women as well as the Deaf community. You can watch our British Sign Language (BSL) video here which tells you a bit more about how it works:
Young women are more likely than their male peers to experience common mental disorders, sexual violence and intimate partner abuse, PTSD, eating disorders and self-harm. And the need for our services is growing. The recent press stories of sexual abuse, the #metoo campaign and the national inquiry into childhood sexual abuse have prompted more young women to ask for our help. In fact, the number of callers increased by 21% in the last year.
We know, and research shows, that young women are more likely to seek support online. With your help today, we can make sure our webchat meets young women’s growing need.
Deaf women are also a particularly high-risk group: they are more likely than hearing women to experience isolation, mental ill-health and all forms of violence and abuse – meanwhile it is much harder for them to get support as they can’t always pick up the phone to talk.
Volunteers raised money towards our webchat by running the Bristol 10k in May.
Will you show your support to women struggling with their mental health, and donate to extend and develop this vital service to at least 10 sessions a week? Will you make your pledge today, and help make sure our webchat service can run for as long as vulnerable women need our help?