Isle Listen is thrilled to announce an unprecedented 3-year funding collaboration with the Z Zurich Foundation and Zurich International in a joint drive to provide mental wellbeing education, prevention and transformative early intervention on the Isle of Man.
The Z Zurich Foundation (the Foundation) is a charitable foundation funded by various members of the Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich). They aim to create transformative change in the lives of more than 1 million vulnerable people and positively impact the lives of 10 million others by the year 2024.
The grant is in recognition of the Foundation and Isle Listen’s shared vision to promote positive mental health for the whole Island, help remove the stigma surrounding mental health and improve access to psychological support services.
The funding will enable the Isle Listen team to reach out to the entire school and college population of the Isle of Man over the next three years – approximately 15,000 students and over 1,000 people working within the education sector – as well as supporting employers and delivering community-wide campaigns and resources.
It will also facilitate the expansion of its one-to-one listening service within schools, provision of a mobile art therapy vehicle to provide outreach therapeutic services to those who might not be able to access them and expand the service further to support potential waiting lists in statutory services.
Zurich has a long association with promoting good mental health, most recently launching an online Wellbeing Toolkit to provide support to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Locally, Zurich International was already working with Isle Listen to offer mental health awareness sessions.
Andrea Chambers, Isle Listen Chief Executive said, “We can’t thank the Z Zurich Foundation enough for their support and confidence in us to help put the key building blocks in place for our future plans and operation.”
“While there is a growing awareness of the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing on the Island, there are still many issues in identifying those who require support and, even when this is recognised, there can be long waiting lists for therapy and treatment."
“By providing education, prevention and early intervention we aim to alleviate pressure on the statutory health services and to avoid the unnecessary escalation of mental health problems which can make recovery more difficult the longer they are undiagnosed. The Foundation’s support means that we can accelerate our programmes and make a difference much more quickly.”
Gary Shaughnessy, Chair of the Z Zurich Foundation said, “With Isle Listen, we aim to change behaviours and attitudes around mental wellbeing. Together, we want this program to drive positive mental health across schools, workplaces and community groups, and give young people the tools and motivation to take care of themselves.”
Nigel Simpson, Head of International Markets at Zurich International in the Isle of Man said, “As an organisation and employer, we understand that wellbeing and mental health is just as important as physical health. We look forward to helping Isle Listen accomplish their ambitious aims of equipping young people with the self-management skills to navigate the psychological challenges of 21st century life. We firmly believe that Isle Listen has the potential to create a unique and innovative blueprint for mental health therapeutic services that will benefit other small islands or communities.”
Since the start of this school year in September, Isle Listen has already delivered 26 student educational sessions in schools with another 26 booked and workplace training to more than 400 teachers and employees via webinars or classroom- based learning.