Open Minds is the result of a partnership between Luton
Community Housing, the University of Bedfordshire, Mary
Seacole Housing Association and Signposts Luton. Now in its
second year of a three-year programme funded by The Big
Lottery, with a grant of £278,000 over the whole programme, it's
helping people to move on by opening up.
The kind of issues Open Minds can help with include anxiety,
depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship
problems, low confidence and issues from childhood. People
who can be helped by the therapies may be experiencing:
- Intrusive thoughts, memories or flashbacks.
- Avoidance of social situations.
- Anger and intense emotions.
- Fear and panic.
- Alcohol or drug misuse.
They're the type of problems that can have a profound effect
on how people live their lives and how successful they can
be in living independently. By talking and being listened to,
and exploring their challenges with a trained counsellor, they
can begin to feel less stuck and more able to overcome their
As 50% of mental health problems are established by the age
of 14, Open Minds also works with the children's service. It
provides therapies for many unaccompanied asylum-seeking
children in Luton who have fled war-torn countries and been
separated from their families and previous way of life.
To date, we've received 113 referrals, 19 people have completed
therapy and 18 are in therapy.
After using the Open Minds service in the first year of
- 11 clients reduced their interpersonal problems.
- 9 clients reduced their levels of victimisation or antisocial
- 3 clients with no employment pre-therapy secured
- 2 clients who weren't in education or training before
therapy went into fulltime education/training.
- 3 clients who were in education/training before therapy
progressed well with their studies.