Aster Group sees surge in demand for mental wellness support during pandemic

Over 1,000 people have received mental wellness and resilience support from local housing association, Aster Group during the past year. With the ongoing pandemic impacting Aster customers and colleagues, the demand for its mental wellness and resilience training has meant the company has seen over 50 per cent increase in sign-ups.

Daran Bailey, wellness and resilience programme lead at Aster, said: “COVID-19 has posed so many challenges during the past year and has taken a real tole on peoples mental health. We’ve been running digital sessions for colleagues and through the Aster Foundation we have been able to support our communities and help those affected by the pandemic by equipping them with strategies such as mindfulness, emotional wellbeing and resilience to help them cope. Offering our courses digitally has been a great success and enabled us to reach so many more people.”

Restrictions posed by the pandemic has resulted in most of the sessions having to be delivered digitally, which has also meant that local community organisations including Carer Support Wiltshire, Green Square Housing Association, Unity, Wiltshire CAB, Befree Young Carers, Carers Support Dorset , Rowfroft Hospice, Enham Trust and 3-Sided Cube have been able to use the service too. 

Feedback from those who have attended Daran’s training sessions has been extremely positive, with one participant commenting: “Daran is such an inspirational coach as he makes everyone feel included and calls upon his own experiences to make us all feel that we're not alone.”

Another attendee said: “That's truly the best course I have ever participated in and I realise now, for the first time in 62 years of life, that I am not the only person to have these types of feelings! I thought it was just me and I wish I could have known about this 40 years ago when I was in my early 20's. The positive thing is that now I have the tools for my tool bag. I'm going to write down three positive things about today this evening! Thank you.”

Mental wellness training is delivered by the Aster Foundation, a part of the housing association that invests in projects that improve lives and remove barriers to opportunity for those living in Aster’s community of more than 30,000 homes across southern England.

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