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Balancing Demand and Resources at Thriving Survivors

As the need for mental health support grows, organisations like Thriving Survivors find themselves navigating the challenging waters of high demand and limited funding. Ashley Scotland, CEO of Thriving Survivors, shares insights into how they are managing this escalating need while facing the realities of constrained resources.

The Challenge of Growing Demand 

Currently, Thriving Survivors faces a challenge, with over 400 individuals on their waiting list and an anticipated wait time of up to twelve months.

"The trajectory of the waitlist from three months to six, and now to twelve months, has forced us to rethink how we provide support from the moment someone reaches out to us in crisis," explains Ashley.

Innovative Solutions in Crisis Support 

In response to the growing wait times, Thriving Survivors has initiated the 'Bridge to Recovery' hangout—a chat space operating 24/7, providing immediate peer support.

"This service is vital; it saves lives by offering instant peer support and allowing us to gauge the urgency of a person’s crisis," says Ashley.

Remarkably, this platform has proven cost-effective and efficient.

"The actual room costs nothing to run. It’s moderated by Tony but is primarily peer-driven, now hosting over 200 members who actively support one another."

Funding Challenges and Strategies 

Despite the innovative approach to support, the financial landscape remains a significant hurdle.

"With ever-increasing costs and shrinking budgets, maintaining and expanding our services is continually challenging," Ashley admits.

However, Thriving Survivors has been somewhat shielded by multi-year funders and unrestricted funds from sources like the Robertson Trust, and The National Lottery which have enabled them to respond more flexibly to needs as they arise.

The Impact of International Interest 

The scope of Thriving Survivors has expanded beyond initial expectations, receiving international referrals from countries such as Germany, Canada, the USA, and Northern Ireland.

"What started with just a couple of people has transformed into something far bigger than any of us could have anticipated," reflects Ashley.

Thriving Survivors is at a critical juncture, where the demand for their services is at an all-time high, highlighting the pressing need for sustained and increased funding. The organisation continues to innovate within its means, providing life-saving support while advocating for more resources to reduce wait times and expand their reach. As they navigate these challenges, the resilience and creativity of their team remain their greatest assets.

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