• Annual Client Survey

    As you know, MHM recognises the importance of seeking our clients’ views to not only ensure we are delivering the services we should be, but to also enable us to continually improve.   Therefore, every year we ask all of the clients in our services to complete an annual survey, and this year’s is now available here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H8YPL5D The survey should only take around 2 minutes to complete. The link will take you directly to the survey, no log in or password details are needed. Once you have completed  the survey the last screen will show the done button, this just needs to be clicked and the survey is then complete and will automatically be saved on Survey Monkey. We would espeically like to hear from any clients who have used our services for at least 3 months. The easiest method for completing the survey is using the link above – however, you can also download a paper copy by clicking here. Please post completed paper surveys to our central office at MHM, Avalon House, St Catherine’s Court, Sunderland SR5 3XJ before the 9th of July. If you are a client of ours but are struggling to complete the survey, The survey will close at 5pm on Monday 9th July 2018

    June 14, 2018Read More
  • A day in the life of a Telephone Support Worker

    One of our Telephone Support Workers tells us what a day (or night!) working on our emotional support helpline is like… Ready to start a shift as a Telephone Support Worker (TSW), I arrive at the office where I am greeted by the staff ready to go home. We discuss any concerns or points of interest in our verbal handover, this is in addition to the written handover which they would have completed, while I wipe down my work station and get prepared to sign on and start the day. I sign on my computer and telephone and ensure I have all the correct databases open on my computer. If I’m not taking a call I will read through the handover, my emails and make sure I am up to date with current events and news. This is important as it may potentially impact those that I am supporting. Taking calls is the predominant aspect of the job role and the calls which we take vary significantly. I may answer a call which is a person seeking advice or guidance on an aspect of their lives, to then answer a call which is a crisis in which the emergency services need to be engaged. This unpredictability of the role makes the job an interesting, fulfilling and challenging one. When answering a call your attention must be undivided and it is important to utilise active listening skills to truly understand what the caller is saying and to assess which is the appropriate support to provide. In some cases a person’s wellbeing or potentially their lives can depend on the support we provide. After we have taken a call we must ensure all the computer databases are up to date and correct. There is an answering service where callers can leave a message in the event of all the phone lines being occupied. Answer messages receive equal priority and are checked regularly between calls. Another form of support the Helpline provides is online chats; these are really beneficial for those that struggle to communicate through the telephone. While on a chat the TSW must sign off the phone to provide the client their undivided attention and support. These chats can be as equally challenging and varied as telephone calls except they utilise a different range of communication skills due to inability to hear a person’s tone of voice and instant response. This brings healthy variety to the job. Another form of support a TSW provides is by text and telephone support to assist people that use a specialised app to manage their day to day lives. This is a more personalised approach and can be very empowering for the service user. Referral forms and assessments for associated services are also completed by TSWs. The Helpline is a fantastic service which covers many areas of the country, so promotion of the service is necessary to ensure people in those areas are aware of its support. Promotion can include attending events to meet the public and local authorities to spread awareness of mental health and the helpline service. This is always rewarding as a wide variety of people attend the events and it allows the opportunity to create connections with other beneficial services. We need to prepare for the events to make the Helpline area of the event interesting and informative; this includes making ‘goodie bags’ and using our creativity to produce decorations and activities. The promotions team works hard to create the best experience for the public. Twitter is another form of promotion which is done during a shift that allows the service to connect with a wider audience. We like to share news, information and quotes. If you are curious to see our hard work, why not follow us – our username is @MHM_Helpline ! As a team and service we promote self-care and caring for our mental health to our callers, and we also like to ‘practice what we preach’ as our own wellbeing enables us to provide the best service to the public. If we have a particularly delicate or difficult call it can be hard to transition from one call to the next without a short break period. In this time we are able to talk to other members of the team for support or have debriefing sessions with team leaders. In the office to support employee wellbeing there is a “wellbeing area” which includes mindful colouring pages, sweet treats, self-care information, magazines and other forms of healthy distractions for after difficult calls. This area is maintained by the staff for the staff, and it brings a sense of community to the team and allows us to look after our own wellbeing whilst supporting others. Being a Telephone Support Worker is very varied and no two days are the same due to all the different tasks that need to be completed depending on what the service users need, upcoming events and other responsibilities which may be delegated to us on the day. Each shift ends with a handover being sent through the internal email system to make the next shift staff aware of any changes or important information. Some days can be very challenging but there is satisfaction at the end of each shift knowing you were able to support someone who needed it.

    June 6, 2018Read More
  • MHM Supports End Hunger UK North East campaign

    Last week, staff from our User Voice services in the North-East attended a briefing about the End Hunger UK North East campaign, hosted by Gateshead Council. The information provided at the event by local MP Emma Lewell Buck on the Bill she is attempting to get MPs to sign, and the general public’s role in this, was excellent and very relevant to the people we support across MHM. See below to find out more information and get involved! Food Insecurity Bill Emma Lewell Buck MP’s Food Insecurity Bill has so far been signed by over 150 MPs, which is fantastic news – but still less than a quarter of the number of MPs in the House of Commons.  The names of the MPs who have signed up can be found here: https://www.feedingbritain.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=3ffe28fd-bf86-492e-b09f-b8975d480bd4 .  If your MP isn’t on the list, please do contact them to encourage them to support the Bill.  You can find out more about the Bill and the reasons why it is so important to measure household food insecurity on a regular basis here: http://endhungeruk.org/measure/   Food Power Food Power is a national programme, coordinated by Sustain and Church Action on Poverty, which aims to strengthen local communities’ ability to reduce food poverty through solutions developed by them with the support of their peers from other communities across the UK.  We are currently working with more than 40 local Food Poverty Alliances across the UK – including groups in Newcastle, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.  If you would like to find out more, including the support that is on offer from Food Power to help develop new food poverty alliances visit https://www.sustainweb.org/foodpower/   Your Local Pantry Local Pantries are local member-run food clubs, which enable their members to access good quality food (and other household goods), up to the value of £15 a week, for a membership fee of typically £2.50-£3 per week.  In addition to increasing access to good food, they enable members to better manage their finances, improve health and well being and reduce social isolation.  Church Action on Poverty is now working with Stockport Homes (who developed the first Local Pantry four years ago), to support groups to set up Local Pantries across the country, on a social franchise basis.  If you would like to find out more visit http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/pantry   Children’s Future Food Inquiry This new Parliamentary Inquiry into Children’s Future Food has the support of a cross party group of 14 parliamentarians and two All Party Parliamentary Groups.  It also has the support of the Children’s Commissioners in all four UK nations.  This support reflects the growing concern across the UK of the impacts of poverty on the diets, health, development and wellbeing of children.  Until now children’s own experiences and perspectives have been largely absent from policy thinking and political discourse about food and poverty.  The Inquiry will address this critical gap.  Find out more and sign up for updates at https://foodfoundation.org.uk/childrens-future-food-inquiry/   End Hunger week: 14-18 October 2018 The first ever End Hunger week will run from 14-21 October 2018. This will include: A national conference in Westminster on World Food Day, Tuesday 16 October, A Parliamentary event to mark the culmination of the End Hunger Poetry Challenge, Handing in the Universal Credit petition to Number 10 An opportunity to organise local events to raise the profile of the need to End Hunger with MPs, and in the media. Sign up to receive End Hunger UK emails to find out more at http://endhungeruk.org/#news

    May 29, 2018Read More
  • MHM is Re-Branding!

    After lots of hard work, MHM are pleased and excited to announce that we are refreshing our branding, and our ‘new look’ will come into effect on the 1st of June 2018! You will notice some changes, but we hope that this rebrand will make clear the three key strands of the support we provide – services in the community, talking therapies and wrap-around helpline support – while visually linking them all back to MHM. The key aim of this re-brand is to ensure that people are able to recognise our services at a glance wherever they are, and make it clear what we do and what our core values are. We can’t wait to share it with you! If you have any questions, or work with us and have not received a full copy of our new branding guidelines and logo set, please do not hesitate to contact Nicola Todhunter, Central Business Coordinator, on 0191 516 3531 or at ntodhunter@mhm.org.uk

    May 1, 2018Read More
  • Exciting Job Opportunity for Volunteer Co-ordinators in Northumberland

    MHM are involved in an exciting new sports project in Northumberland, and are looking for two Volunteer Co-ordinators to help us run it! Being Active Matters is an innovative and inspiring three-year project being led by Mental Health Matters and Active Northumberland, and key to its success will be developing a volunteer workforce to link the healthcare and sporting communities in rural Northumberland. The aim of the project is to improve the mental wellbeing of people by enabling them to become more physically active. To help manage the project Mental Health Matters is looking to recruit two enthusiastic and highly motivated Volunteer Co-ordinators to join the recovery arm of our talking therapy service based in Hexham and Alnwick. The Volunteer Co-ordinators will recruit, develop and supervise a team of volunteers. The volunteers will provide one-to-one and group support to encourage people to engage and participate in a physical activity with local sports clubs and activity providers. The role will encourage and support people experiencing difficulties with their mental health to improve their wellbeing and social integration. The role is non-clinical and community based. Building effective working relationships with Active Northumberland, sports clubs, activity providers and other key community partners is a key element of the role. For an informal discussion, please contact Stephen Patterson on 01670 336650. In return, MHM offers excellent training and development opportunities, flexible working (where appropriate), child care voucher scheme, 25 days annual leave per annum/pro rata, plus statutory holidays and a 5% contributory pension scheme. The full job advert & application details can be found by clicking here.

    January 2, 2018Read More
  • TMN Achieves Bronze Better Health at Work Award

    Last year, Talking Matters Northumberland signed up to take part in the Better Health at Work Awards and they’re delighted to say that they’ve just achieved the Bronze level award! The BHWA is a free scheme open to all employers in the North East and Cumbria, and recognises the efforts employers make in promoting health and wellbeing to their teams.  Research has shown so far that organisations who take part in the award report improved morale, reduced time off and improved productivity! TMN were really keen to make this as fun as possible and made this the key word for all of the campaigns we ran. Three campaigns were ran over the last 6 months of 2017 and these were based on what staff had asked for in a survey. In September we learned that “Hydration Matters” and we were challenged to increase our daily fluid intake with some snazzy TMN water bottles. We also took part in the Macmillan Coffee Morning and we encouraged colleagues to bring in some healthy sweet treats, as well as the usual cakey goodness. October saw a focus on mental health and wellbeing, with information, feedback from training and signposting to e-learning. Some of the team also took part in a “pledge tree”, where they shared a habit they either wanted to stop or start in order to improve their own wellbeing. In October, the message was “Posture Matters” and the team took part in “stretch o’clock” (although the daily reminders popping up in outlook got too much for some!). Some of the staff also took part in the plank challenge and improved their core strength by building on their plank or squat times every day. Again, staff were signposted to e-learning modules and at the end of the December service meeting some staff stayed back to take part in a yoga session. Check out the fab pictures below! The team are already hard at work planning for the silver award. The first step will be another survey to find out what the team want to focus on over the year and campaigns will then be built around this. So, if you happen to visit us and we’re squatting, planking, star-jumping, yoga-ing, hydrating, stretching, dancing… (the list really could go on and on!) please feel free to join in!

    December 28, 2017Read More
  • MHM Receives Fantastic ‘Investors In People’ Report

    In October, we were assessed by Investors in People, and are thrilled to have achieved the “developed” level of the Investors in People standard following several days of thorough assessment. MHM were originally recognised as an Investor in People in 2000, and we have since used the feedback from these assessments to drive continuous improvement in our organisation.  This was our first assessment against generation six of the Investors in People standard, and we are very proud to have received a glowing report from our assessor. Organisations that meet the world-recognised Investors in People Standard reflect the very best in people management excellence, and to achieve accreditation organisations are rigorously assessed against several themes and indicators. The assessment was carried out through interviews with a range of people within MHM (48 people in total), meetings and observations, and reviewing our organisation’s strategies and other documents. A formal observation day at the Employment Support team based in Easington also provided our assessor with a valuable insight into the day to day “living” of the values of MHM. While these assessments are a valuable way of identifying ways that we can improve in the future, they are also a fantastic opportunity to reflect on what we are doing well for our staff and service users. Below are some highlights from our report: “Leadership is exceptional.” “Putting service users and clients’ needs first is paramount to why they come to work.” “There was a sense of urgency and passion to progress recovery for clients and considerable collaboration across the team as how to share experience and achieve results.” “The culture of taking care of each other is evident as you interact with every level of MHM. People are caring and supportive and look after each other.” “During conversations with interviewees, everyone confirms there is an ethos of providing people the opportunity to fulfil their potential to whatever level that may be.” “People want the best for clients and service users and are constantly improving their offering and in particular learning new skills to ensure people receive the best support when they work with MHM.” We are incredibly pleased to receive this recognition, and to know that MHM is a place where staff are motivated, empowered, and happy at work with us.  

    October 27, 2017Read More
  • MHM Highly Commended at PPiMH Awards!

    Last week, staff from MHM headed down to Blackpool to represent our services at the annual Positive Practice in Mental Health (PPiMH) Awards on the 12th of October. Excitement was in the air, as we were nominated in two award categories! PPiMH is a user-led multi agency collaborative of seventy-five organisations, including NHS Trusts, CCGs, charities and service user groups – and MHM is proud to be one of these members. The group helps to promote and improve mental health services by identifying and disseminating evidence of positive practices, working together across organisations and sectors to facilitate shared learning, and raising the profile of mental health with politicians and policy makers. The annual awards are a great opportunity to recognise, celebrate – and learn from – organisations who are leading best practice. Our Employment Support service in Easington was nominated in the ‘Improving Access & Outcomes in Employment’ category, while our emotional support helpline was nominated for ‘Innovation in Digital Technology.’ The entire organisation was thrilled to receive recognition for these brilliant services. On the night, MHM was represented by both our senior management team and representatives from our fantastic nominated services. The event brought together the very best of mental health providers and services on a night where all involved were able to recognise their contribution, success and share their stories with other like-minded organisations. It was also an ideal opportunity to network with other providers and explore further joint working opportunities for the future. As the night rolled on and the awards were being presented, the anticipation continued to grow for MHM’s helpline and Easington Employment Service, wondering when our categories would be announced. Before we got to that point though, our very own CEO Helen Mackay was up on stage to present one of the award actegories alongside Joe Rafferty of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust. After the winner was announced, Helen thought she was free to leave the stage – but was asked to stay, as Joe presented Helen with a special award which recognised her 30 years working in mental health services with MHM! It is a phenomenal achievement, which definitely deserved to be recognised in this special way among Helen’s friends and peers. Then came the time we had been waiting for, our categories! In both, MHM were “highly commended” runners up, accolades of which we are immensely proud. All the nominees were incredible organisations, and we are extremely proud to be recognised at this level and be among such great company! Clockwise from top: Sonia McGough (Director of Governance); Sarah Wileman (Head of Talking Matters); Helen Mackay (CEO); Helen onstage presenting an award; Aaron Wright (Helpline Team Leader); Stephanie Collins (Employment Specialist Recovery Worker); Michael Tait (Transformation and Engagement Officer); Sarah Wileman; Julie Haley (Head of Social Care).  Also in attendance were Gillian Dobson (Director of Finance), and Bruce Howarth, Chair of MHM’s Board of Trustees. 

    October 20, 2017Read More
  • World Mental Health Day Successes

    During the week of World Mental Health Day (10th October), many of MHM’s services ran and took part in some fantastic events to raise people’s awareness of how they could look after their mental health and what services were available in their local area to support them. Read more about how they got on below… “On World Mental Health Day, the Newcastle Journey 2 Employment service discussed mental health problems at work – at least one in six workers is experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression.  We combined the two Job Clubs that usually run on that day and had a more relaxed and informal session, enjoying some tea and cake.  We discussed small, simple steps you can take to look after yourself and make your workplace mentally healthier. The group shared some excellent ideas for looking after your mental health at work and achieving a good work-life balance, played games and quizzes and used to time to talk to each other and share their experiences.” – Andrea, Community Employment Specialist “The Easington Employment and Floating Support services took a slightly different approach and focused on staff’s mental health and wellbeing.  They baked cakes and left them in the kitchen at Healthworks, our office base, encouraging staff to take some time for themselves by having a coffee and a piece of cake.  We also gave ourselves a treat, as went out for lunch as a team and then had a piece of cake in the afternoon!” – Emma, Practice Lead “Approximately 21 Volunteers from the Health Wellbeing Engagement Partnership, including staff from MHM in Sunderland, completed the Active Sunderland Big Walk on Sunday the 7th of October, choosing from 3, 7 or 11 mile courses. Staff used the opportunity to talk to walkers about mental health and give out information on the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ as a strategy to maintain positive mental health. Staff also set up information stalls at various locations around Sunderland over the week – there was a lot of interest from many members of the public, including people who had used services, people whose family members or friends had experienced mental health problems and other people supporting the anti-stigma and anti-discrimination message thorough Time to Change campaigns.” – Tony, Development Worker “I would like thank all of the people and organisations that contributed to a very successful World Mental Health Day Event for Gateshead at the Shipley Art Gallery. The mental health community were well represented in that we had forty organisations (both statutory and voluntary) that were able to promote their services to the public and also learn for themselves through networking what other relevant services are available for services users in our area. If just one or more of those attending were able to match their need with an appropriate service then we have done our job and the event was worthwhile! A total of 279 people attended the event to enjoy the atmosphere of the iconic Shipley Art Gallery, the music on-hand, free buffet, refreshments and well-presented and helpful mental health information stalls and interactive activities. ” – Craig Lynch, Development Worker “The Gateshead World Mental Health day event was really well attended – every single piece of marketing material we took with us was handed out! People who visited the MHM Helpline stall at the event at the beautiful Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, were asked “What is your top tip for caring for your mental health?” People were asked to write their tips (or were helped to do so if they found this difficult) on leaf shaped post-it notes. These were then stuck onto our cardboard and crepe paper tree, made and painted with loving care by members of the Helpline’s Promotions Group. Eighty responses were put onto the tree during the course of the event, including one from the Lady Mayoress, who appeared particularly impressed with our artistic efforts. Exercise was the most widely reported tip, with walking being the most favoured form of exercise. People especially enjoyed walking in the countryside or at the seaside and many mentioned walking their dogs. A close second tip and one of clear interest to the Helpline staff, was talking to someone we feel understands and can support us. Perhaps our favourite tip from the day was to “Take a deep breath and ask does it matter?” These events provide a pleasant opportunity to catch up with colleagues old and new. Craig Lynch one of the event’s main organisers is himself a veteran of the Mental Health Matters Helpline. It was also good to see colleagues from housing and advocacy services again. Meeting with people from other organisations is always interesting. It also provides opportunities to gather information about services it might be appropriate for us to signpost Helpline callers to. This year we found a variety of volunteering opportunities, outdoor pursuits for the over 50’s, support for carers and young carers, and art therapy. A variety of live music entertained those attending throughout the day and a very pleasant buffet lunch was provided. Overall – a very enjoyable and productive day, which undeniably raised awareness of the variety and quality of mental health services available in the Gateshead area!” – Stewart, Telephone Support Worker “We took part in North Tyneside’s World Mental Health Day event on 6th November called Survive, Thrive and Be Alive. We were involved in the planning of the event.Alan Campbell, MP opened the event and various organisations such as Rape Crisis, Community Treatment Team andSamaritansgavepresentations on their services.The day was brightenedup by music from the ‘jukebox’, which was selected by those who participated in the event. The raffle and tombola had great prizes too!” -Zuzana, Practice Lead (Clockwise from top left: Newcastle Employment staff enjoy a lunchtime treat; proud volunteers at the Gateshead WMHD event; Craig Lynch entertains with some music at the Gateshead WMHD event; Newcastle service users enjoy a more relaxed Job Club exploring mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.)

    October 19, 2017Read More
  • World Mental Health Day 2017: What’s On

    This year’s World Mental Health Day (10th of October) is not far away, and our services are gearing up for events to mark the day and raise awareness of the support we can offer people. Read on for details of some of the exciting events we’re taking part in! On Friday the 6thof October, staff from our services in North Tyneside will be at the ‘Survive, Thrive, Be Alive’ event from 11am – 5pm at Cullercoats Crescent Club, NE30 4PN. This is a free event, with refreshments provided, and promises to be a really fun event with a tombola, raffles, live music and various creative activities. Through the week from the 10th -14thof October, our Sunderland staff will be out and about again to help the public find out more about mental health. They will be at various local supermarkets/shopping centres each day, so look out for their stand with leaflets and information from all our local services, as well as information on our local partners. They will be promoting the public health message ‘five ways to wellbeing’ and having conversations about looking after our mental health just as we do our physical health. Here’s where you’ll find them each day: Tuesday 10th, 10-2pm: Sainsburys, Silksworth Ln, Sunderland SR3 1PD Wednesday 11th, 10-2pm: Tesco extra Newcastle Rd, Sunderland SR6 0DA Thursday 12th, 10-2pm: Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Burdon Road Sunderland AND Houghton Primary Care centre, Brinkburn Crescent, Houghton, DH4 5HB Friday 13th, 12pm-2pm: Sainsburys Teal Farm, Washington AND Washington Galleries site 8 Square Saturday 14th, 8.30-5.30pm: Sunderland Bridges shopping centre, AND Sunderland City Centre On the 10th, World Mental Health Day itself, there is a wide range of events happening: Our ‘Breathing Space’ support service, run in partnership with Orbit Housing, will be running a special mindfulness workshop at the Sydni Centre in Leamington Spa, from 1-3pmon the 10th. They will also be holding a Tea & Talk afternoon at The Oasis Centre, Railway Terrace, Rugby CV21 3HR between 1pm and 4pm. Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners from our North Staffordshire IAPT service will be attending a celebration event at Keele University, talking to local students and the public about Talking Therapies. All of our services in Gateshead (advocacy, advice and information, out of hours, employment, helpline, and service user voice) will be represented at the Gateshead World Mental Health Day celebration at The Shipley art gallery, along with many other local organisations, putting on a range of exciting activities. This free event is from 11am-3pm and a free buffet lunch is provided. There will be live music, arts and crafts, wellbeing activities, and much more! OurTalking Matters Northumberland IAPT service is opening their Morpeth premises for an ‘open day,’to allow people to visit the service and see it as less mysterious or anxiety-inducing. There will be tea and coffees provided, as well as general information on mental health.Click here to view the Facebook event. In South Tyneside, staff are attending a Mental Health and Wellbeing Question Time Panel which will take place from 10am – 12:00 at the Cookson Room, The Word, Market Place, South Shields NE33 1JF. This free event is a fantastic opportunity to ask your burning questions to a panel of health and social care professionals. Later in the day, we will also be taking part in the World Mental Health Day Drop-In at Big Local Jarrow from 1pm-4pm. Sessions will include mindfulness. We can’t wait for all these opportunities to showcase our services to new people, encourage them to look after their mental health and equip them with the knowledge to seek whatever support they need. For more information on any of these events, please emailinfo@mhm.org.uk Gateshead event poster: click to enlarge South Tyneside event poster: click to enlarge North Tyneside event poster: click to enlarge

    October 5, 2017Read More
  • MHM Service User Wins Award!

    We are proud to report that Mark Teasdale, a client of MHM’s Breathing Space service (run with Orbit Housing Association), was nominated for an award in May 2017 for his hard work and determination in his personal recovery journey, and received his award at a ceremony in August. The award ceremony is held each year and is in memory of the late Brian Griffiths, a former Orbit Board member and Chartered Institute of Housing President, who dedicated his life to helping others. The award gives Orbit an opportunity to support their customers to further develop their aspiration, inspiration and achievements. Trudy O’Brien, Practice Lead for the service, accompanied Mark to the award ceremony in August, and said: “It was an honour and a privilege to be invited by Mark to accompany him to this award ceremony. We were welcomed by Orbit’s Paul Richards , and each award winner’s personal journeys were narrated to the guests.” After being presented with his award, which included a prize of £500 towards buying a laptop to help progress his personal goals, Mark said “being recognised and winning this award has given me the motivation and determination to continue on my road to recovery.” The afternoon was rounded off by a very delicious afternoon tea, and all the winners were highly commended for their achievements by everyone attending. It was fantastic to see the hard work and personal journeys of everyone be recognised in such a way. Mark is pictured below with his award, accompanied by very proud Practice Lead Trudy!

    August 30, 2017Read More
  • MHM Provides New Support Services for Derwentside Residents

    Karbon Homes has partnered with MHM to extend its mental health service to residents living in the Derwentside area. The service, which will be delivered in partnership with Mental Health Matters thanks to funding from Travis Perkins Managed Services, will assist Karbon residents affected by mental health issues to secure employment and manage their tenancy, whilst aiming to challenge the stigmas and negative attitudes that are associated with mental health. A support worker from MHM will deliver the service from Karbon’s office at Greengates House in Derwentside, to encourage those with mental health issues to engage with their local community, make changes to their lifestyle and work towards setting personal goals such as getting into work, managing their home, budgeting and managing their finances. Karbon is aiming to help those with diagnosed mental health conditions and residents with confidence issues, or problems such as anxiety or hoarding. Jessica Wray, Community Investment Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “We have noticed an increase in the number of residents needing support and are glad to be able to extend this service into the Derwentside area. “Karbon Homes aims to work with people to build the foundations of a successful life. We know that that any one of us can be affected by problems with our mental health, in the same way as with our physical health, so it’s important that we invest in supporting those experiencing difficulties. “Through this partnership with MHM, we aim to help our residents in the Derwentside area achieve good mental health and physical wellbeing.” The extended service is part of Karbon Homes’ Unlocking Social Value Project. The initiative encourages Karbon’s contractors to contribute time, money and expertise to the local area where they working. Maggie Devine, Social Value Manager at Travis Perkins Managed Services, said: “We are extremely proud to enable Karbon Homes and MHM to extend the mental health service in Derwentside. We understand the value the project will have upon the community and we strive to support social progress and equality within the communities where we work. “We are looking forward to seeing the progress that’s made to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and seeing individuals thrive in their community, whilst developing the strength of our partnership with Karbon Homes.” Julie Haley, Head of Social Care at MHM said: “We are really excited to be working with Karbon Homes. The opportunity to deliver amazing support services to Karbon residents is one that MHM are thrilled to offer.” A 24-hour helpline is available so residents have support whenever and wherever they need it, and a support worker is available to provide support and advice. Residents of Karbon Homes in the Derwentside area who would like to access the service can make an appointment by contacting Jennifer Nicholson, Recovery Worker on 07484 061 657 or email jnicholson@mhm.org.uk

    July 26, 2017Read More
  • Continued Success for ‘Release the Pressure’ Campaign in Kent

    Now in its second year, the “Release the Pressure” campaign in Kent is continuing to see fantastic feedback and is having a tangible impact on the wellbeing of residents. “Release the Pressure” is a campaign in Kent which aims to reduce the number of suicides in the county by encouraging men feeling under pressure to seek help by calling 0800 107 0160, where confidential support is available from trained and experienced staff on this freephone number 24 hours a day 365 days a year. The support helpline is provided by our MHM Telephone Support Workers, and is funded by Kent County Council. The highly visual campaign was developed and launched by Kent County Council in 2016, in a bid to address figures which revealed that Kent has a higher rate of suicide than the national average, and which showed suicide is the leading killer of men under 45 in the area.*  Men are less likely to seek help from friends, family or mental health services than women, and the campaign was developed based on research with focus groups which explored the pressures that men are under and in-depth interviews with individual men who shared their experiences and feelings that led them to contemplate suicide. In April this year “Release the Pressure” campaign marked its first anniversary, and £150,000 of new funding was announced to bolster initiatives to reduce the number of suicides in the county and to diminish the stigma of mental health. As the campaign continues, there has been a steady increase in the number of people accessing the helpline, and in 2016 there was a noticeable decrease in the numbers of people in Kent taking their own lives, illustrating the positive impact the campaign and helpline have immediately had.** Kent County Council Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “We welcome this reduction in the number of male suicides, and we hope that our Release the Pressure campaign is helping to contribute to a culture where it is easier for men to speak about their problems in their lives. However every death from suicide is a tragedy, and we will continue to ensure that we do as much as we can to support everyone, male and female, when they are going through tough times. We invite organisations across Kent to contact us about newly funded suicide prevention training – just one conversation between colleagues, friends or team mates could help to save a life.” If you would like to register your interest in attending the free training which will be delivered later in the year, please email phworkforcedevelopment@kent.gov.uk Alan Heyes from MHM said: “Our 24/7 helpline is staffed by experienced counsellors who are there to provide you with a confidential, non-judgemental listening support service. You don’t have to go through this alone.” One caller told us how much our Telephone Support Workers had helped, saying: “I am in my 60’s and never felt so low in all my life. I cannot talk to my family, I feel weak and pathetic. They look up to me, I sort their problems out; I am the man of the house. It is so much easier to talk to you, I can’t see you and you can’t see me. You have no idea how much it helps just to talk and not be told to cheer up. Thank you.” MHM Telephone Support Worker Victoria reports: “I have taken many calls from men who have seen the campaign; it has targeted an age group of men who normally find it difficult to seek help, support and to talk to anyone. The difference it has made to many is immense – feeling more confident and opening up to me each time they call. I believe that this campaign is going from strength to strength and we are getting more calls daily from men seeking support. It is rewarding to support people who would normally keep these issues to themselves.” Many callers have given the helpline glowing feedback which demonstrates how valuable the service is. Joe shared his story of how the campaign helped him:*** “The biggest challenge was admitting to myself that I needed help. Being a man, I didn’t know I was allowed to have these emotions and I didn’t know how to deal with them. I was nervous – I didn’t want to be judged. “PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from my time in the army, an abusive relationship, health problems, debt . . . all these things built up. Feeling worthless and a failure, I was ready to end it all. It was only when I was about to take my own life that a police officer said something simple – ‘it can get better’. It broke my trance and it was only then that I first believed it could get better.” Following this encounter, Joe saw the “Release the Pressure” campaign and reached out to the helpline. “I started to talk to someone and get help. Talking was the stone that laid the foundation of my recovery and although I still have memories I know how to deal with them. “Don’t be scared to reach out; you aren’t going to be judged and hopefully, like me, you’ll feel a million times better. “I always say to people now, ‘We can’t change yesterday but we can all change what happens tomorrow – it’s your call.’ Talking is that first step of doing something about it.” The helpline team has received some fantastic feedback since this campaign began, which illustrates the vital impact it has on people’s wellbeing: ‘Getting your number was the best thing that has happened to me.’ ‘Your organisation is my lifeline; if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be here. I appreciate you all talking to me.’ ‘I’m so glad I called – I had no idea it would leave me feeling so positive just by talking to you.’ Alan Heyes from Mental Health Matters adds: “Not everyone has friends or family that they can open up to, but we know that talking about issues can be a great way to start to feel better. Speaking to someone in our team who isn’t going to judge you, can help you start getting your life back on track.” The “Release the Pressure” campaign will continue to be displayed at key sites across the county and will be promoted on social media, urging people to seek help by calling 0800 107 0160 where support is available from trained and experienced staff on this freephone number 24 hours a day 365 days a year. There is also a website for more details and case studies of how the campaign has helped men from Kent who have turned their lives around after attempting suicide: www.releasethepressure.uk   Notes: *Source – Kent Public Health Observatory and Public Health England http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile-group/mental-health/profile/suicide The rate of suicide (both sexes) in Kent is higher than the national average (10.2 per 100,000 compared to 8.9 per 100,000 2012-2014 pooled data). The suicide rate for males in Kent (2012-2014) is 16.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Nationally, the rate is 14.1 per 100,000 for men. For females in Kent (2012-2014), it is 4.1 deaths per 100,000 compared to 4.0 nationally. ** Kent registered 140 suicides overall in 2016. Of these, 104 (74%) were men which shows a slight fall from 116 male suicides the previous year. *** Quotes are genuine, but names have been changed to protect confidentiality.

    June 26, 2017Read More
  • Five Ways to Wellbeing, from the Talk Together Bromley Team

    If you’re finding yourself feeling stressed or low this summer, evidence suggests that focusing on these five steps can give you the power to improve how you feel. If you give them a try, you may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from life: 1) Connect – work on the links between yourself and your friends, family, colleagues and your community.  Support from others can help us to cope, but sometimes we need to take the first step to build and strengthen those connections. Try to do something different today and make a connection: Talk to someone instead of sending an email or text Strike up a conversation and speak to someone new, even if it’s just in the lift, at the bus stop or in the supermarket Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is – really listen Call that friend/family member that you never seem to get around to 2) Be active – from a workout that raises endorphins, to a stroll that gets you out of the house – being active can be good for your mood on so many levels, so try to find a physical activity or sport which you love and make it part of your life.  Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. People who gradually increase the amount that they are doing, or work on balancing the tasks are necessary with the ones they enjoy, can build their sense of control and see their future in a more positive light. So, today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas: Take the stairs not the lift Go for a walk at lunchtime – even if it’s for 5 minutes,  get away from your desk/work space Walk or cycle rather than driving short distances Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey Have a kick-about in a local park with family /friends Take the dog for that evening stroll – if you don’t have a pet that likes a lead, take yourself for a short stroll! 3) Keep learning – many of us are looking for something to improve our confidence, or add value to our lives.  Learning something new and dedicating time to an interest can help you do just that. Why not learn something new today? Here are a few ideas top get you started: Find out something about your colleagues, friends or family Do the paper’s crossword each day Read the news or a new book Look up one fact a day: For example: ‘Dreamt’ is the only the English word ending in MT….bet you didn’t know that before reading this – you’re trying to think of another now! Research something you’ve always wondered about Learn a new word 4) Give to others – this could mean taking the time to make a small gesture to someone, to volunteering for a charity – however you choose to give to others, the rewards can be great, boosting your self-esteem and building your social networks who can support you. Research has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing. Some ideas: Open the door for someone Give someone a compliment Help someone with their shopping to the car/hold the lift/help a mum with their buggy Ask someone if you can help with a task they’re doing Look up local charities which interest you and see if you can volunteer for them 5) Be mindful – take some time to stop and think about what is happening in the here and now.  You can build this awareness by using all of your senses to focus on what is going on around you, and by picking up on what your thoughts and feelings are at the time. Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas: Notice the little things; the colour of the sky, the rain drops on the window, the smell of that morning coffee or the freshly cut grass Notice sounds; tune into the sounds around you, just for a moment – what can you hear? Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day – be it your desk/room/garage/that draw you store all that stuff in – clearing out can help us de-clutter our minds Take a different route on a journey you take regularly – look at different things Visit a new place for lunch or try a new food when you go shopping For free support from a trained practitioner to help you put these steps into practise, or for help if self-help techniques are not working to improve your wellbeing, you can find out more and make a self-referral to us by visiting www.talktogetherbromley.co.uk or calling us on 0300 003 3000. (Please note that Talk Together Bromley is for those with a Bromley GP, but if you are from a different area your GP can help you contact your local equivalent.) Additional resources: To find out more information about these steps, please visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression or http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/improve-mental-wellbeing.aspx Click here to read more about the evidence behind the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

    June 26, 2017Read More
  • MHM Services Celebrate National Vegetarian Week

    Earlier in the year, we were successful in securing grant funding to run several cooking sessions to celebrate National Vegetarian Week. Mental ill-health and poor diets often go hand in hand, so when we became aware of the NVW funding we immediately saw an opportunity to run some practical, educational sessions with the people accessing our services, where we could show that vegetarian food can be just as (or even more) delicious, healthy and filling as meat dishes! Six of MHM’s services in the North-East ran sessions throughout the week. Several of these services, such as Middlesbrough Floating Support and Fairfield House, already run regular cooking skills sessions, but this grant provided a great opportunity for them to branch out and explore new ways of building healthy, cost-effective meals. For other groups it was a lively introduction to a new type of activity, and several are thinking of making cooking a regular addition to their own service. Prior to each session, those interested in attending held a session to discuss which foods they would like to learn how to make at home, including which of their favourite meals they’d like to learn how to make vegetarian versions of. The groups each decided on 3 dishes which used some of their favourite ingredients and which were not too complicated to prepare. Among the menus chosen were stuffed peppers, vegetable pasta bake, baked cinnamon apples, and mushroom stroganoff. On the day of the event, we shopped for the ingredients and read through the recipes together, then shared out the preparation of the meals.  Once the dishes were finished, we all sat down together to eat and enjoy our hard work! All the dishes that were cooked at the sessions came from the ‘Food for Mood’ cookbook which staff had prepared, and every attendee at the sessions received the booklet (as well as having access to a PDF version which they could use on a phone or tablet). This cookbook is packed full of recipes for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, cooking tips and nutrition advice, as well as a one-week meal plan and shopping list to show how easy, tasty and cheap a vegetarian diet can be. Download it for yourself by clicking HERE! Every session was thoroughly enjoyed, and many people commented on how surprised they were to be able to make such flavoursome and filling food without using meat products, and how easy it is to ‘sneak’ extra vegetables and healthy ingredients into our everyday meals. (Not wanting to be left out, the team at Central Office in Sunderland also organised a pot-luck lunch for Friday afternoon which fed the whole office with an array of delicious home-cooked vegetarian dishes!) We can’t wait to run more sessions like these next year! MHM are grateful to The Vegetarian Society for the grant funding provided which has made the production of these materials, and the running of cooking classes in our services, possible.Thanks also to Paul Ogle for letting us use his photographs.

    May 23, 2017Read More
  • Get Your Copy Of MHM’S ‘Food for Mood’ National Vegetarian Week Cookbook!

    To mark this year’s National Vegetarian Week (15th – 21st May 2017), many of MHM’s support services are running sessions introducing our clients to modern, healthy vegetarian cooking. To support these sessions and help people carry on trying new meals, we have produced a recipe booklet full of tips, nutrition advice and a week’s meal plan to show you just how easy healthy vegetarian eating can be – and we’d like to share it with you too! Research has shown that people who east fresh fruit and vegetables every day are much less likely to report daily mental health problems, compared with people who eat a large amount of unhealthy foods (e.g. crisps, ready meals and takeaways). A balanced mood and feelings of wellbeing can be protected by ensuring that our diet is healthy and provides the nutrition our body needs. For example, sugary foods such as sweets are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. This may cause an initial surge of energy, but this soon wears off as the body increases its insulin production, leaving you feeling tired and low. Wholegrain cereals, pulses, fruit and vegetables are more filling and, because the sugar in these foods is absorbed more slowly, they don’t cause mood swings.*A balanced vegetarian diet is likely to exceed the recommended intake of 5 fruits and vegetables a day – so vegetarian recipes are a fantastic way to increase the amount of healthy vegetables in your diet, improving your health and your mood! *Information sourced from The Vegetarian Society and the Mental Health Foundation. In this booklet you’ll find a meal plan and shopping list covering one week of delicious, easy-to-prepare vegetarian food, as well as lots of helpful tips, to help you explore the benefits this diet can have on your mood. If you find that following a vegetarian diet improves your wellbeing over week, why not continue to create your own meal plans? Make a shopping list and plan your food budget every week to make it easier. If you feel you cannot do this on your own, you could ask for help from a friend or your key worker/Recovery Coach. (Please note that while a healthy diet can help recovery, it should sit alongside other treatments recommended by your doctor.) Download the PDF cook-book HERE “As cooks, we’ve always appreciated our veg and they’re a hugely important part of our cooking. And lately, without really thinking about it, we’ve been eating less meat. The more we learn about cooking great food, the more we enjoy making use of all the amazing produce that’s on offer and creating dishes where vegetables, pulses and other plant foods are the stars of the show. That’s why we’re getting stuck into National Vegetarian Week this year… and we think you should too!” – Si King and Dave Myers, aka The Hairy Bikers MHM are grateful to The Vegetarian Society for the grant funding provided which has made the production of these materials, and the running of cooking classes in our services, possible.

    May 17, 2017Read More
  • Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 – Event Round-Up!

    Last week, many of MHM’s services were busy running events and promoting their work as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 (8th-14th May). To mark the start of the week, CEO Helen Mackay shared a message exploring the theme for 2017, ‘Surviving or Thriving?’, reminding us that all MHM’s services base the support we offer around what our clients want out of life, encouraging them to use their talents, interests and experiences. Our clients are at the heart of everything we do, and we believe that enabling individuals to live meaningful and valued lives within their communities is key to thriving, not just surviving, with a mental illness. (You can read the whole introductory message from Helen here.) Many services had a rolling programme of events throughout the week. The South Tyneside Advocacy service ran three workshops across the local area, organised by Donna Apicella, teaching the public about Self-Advocacy. The sessions focused on gaining the skills and confidence to be your own spokesperson when faced with life’s challenges. Staff from The Recovery Hub in Staffordshire, in partnership with Making Space, were also out and about every day of the week spreading information to the public and ensuring their service is visible across the region – visiting Stafford, Cannock, and Codsall to name a few, plenty of the team got involved (and enjoyed sunny days as a reward!) By setting out their stall in the town centres and near commonly used buildings, they were able to involve many members of the public in discussions about the Recovery Hub and other services could help them to thrive by maintaining good mental health and support networks. Thanks in particular to Belinda, Sam, Kymm, Nick, Michelle and especially to Gurpreet Bains for organising the days. The Helpline team provide an invaluable service that enables many people to survive and thrive with their mental health, so it was fantastic that some of the team were able to get out of the office and promote the service to the public in Warwickshire and Gateshead. On Wednesday, they set up their stall in the entrance to Gateshead College, promoting the local Helpline to students. This is a particularly important time to remind students of the mental health support available in the area, with the exam season just starting and deadlines looming, leading to stress and unhealthy habits. Mike and Heather, who work on the Helpline, spent some time at Gateshead College, talking to students, tutors and anyone who passed by their promotion table set up in the foyer of the College. Lots of people took an interest in the service we provide on the Helpline. Over the day they gave out various pens, highlighters pens, mints, sweets, cakes and leaflets with the MHM logo, and the volunteers handed out every card they had with our helpline number on it! They spent all day talking with the students about MHM, the Talking Matters 365 helpline itself, and the support MHM can offer. Student services also took some of the small carry cards, and posters to display in certain areas of the college to raise further awareness of the service in the Gateshead area. MHM teams in Easington and Warrington also had informative pop-up stalls – in Easington at the Healthworks centre where they are based, and in Warrington at various venues including the Warrington Carers Centre. On Thursday the Gateshead Out of Hours service trialled a new type of event, an ‘open evening’ to encourage people to try out the service and see if it might help them – with a free buffet, live music, and demonstrations of some of the crafts and activities which the GOOH group get up to, it’s no surprise that this event was really well attended! Several of the new attendees were encouraged to refer to the service themselves, and we look forward to welcoming them and supporting them on their journey to recovery. The Head Office team at also got involved with the week’s events. If you happened to visit the office, you may have noticed our ‘wellbeing tips’ board in the lobby, where staff from the Central and Helpline teams were encouraged to share advice which helps them through difficult times. The team also made the most of the sunshine on Thursday afternoon by going on a lunchtime walk, hoping to promote wellbeing among the staff and encourage people to use their lunch break in a healthy and productive way. We hope that during this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week you got a chance to reflect on how we can all ensure that we are looking after our own mental wellbeing, and that you were encouraged to seek the help you need to thrive. If you think any of MHM’s services could help you, please take a look around the ‘Our services’ section of our site, and get in touch if you have any questions about how we can support you or a loved one.

    May 17, 2017Read More
  • Helen Mackay’s Message for Mental Health Awareness Week

    The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘Surviving or Thriving?’ which, rather than ask why so many people are living with mental health problems, seeks to explore how we can help each other to thrive with good mental health. To thrive means to grow and develop, to ‘flourish’, and at MHM we have a proud history of striving to help our clients overcome the barriers associated with mental illness and live life to the fullest. MHM was established 32 years ago by families and carers in the North East who recognised that there was a need for specialist support and care so that the people they loved with mental health problems could live an independent and fulfilling life. Today, our dedicated, experienced and caring staff support clients, covering many aspects of their lives, from psychological therapeutic recovery interventions through to employment and housing support. MHM also seeks to strengthen the voice, rights and independence of our users, their carers and their friends and families and to challenge the stigmas and negative attitudes that are still associated with mental illness. In all of our services we base the support we offer around what our clients want out of life, and encourage them to use their talents, interests and life experiences to help them lived a meaningful and valued life. Our clients are at the heart of everything we do, and we believe that enabling individuals to live meaningful and valued lives within their communities is key to thriving, not just surviving, with a mental illness. This week, MHM teams across the country will be marking Mental Health Awareness Week by organising a wide range of events for our clients and tenants, as well as holding open days and attending events to spread the word of how our services help people to thrive!   Helen Mackay, CEO of MHM

    May 8, 2017Read More
  • MHM Support Mental Health Themes in Local Stage Production

    Neil Gregory, a staff member at MHM, has spent the last few months supporting local student Chloe McLean to ensure that her BA (Hons) Final Major Project Performance represents mental illnesses on stage in a sensitive and accurate way. Back in December we received a message from Chloe McLean, a student at the University of Teesside studying Performing Arts. As part of her studies she was planning to write, direct and produce her own stage performance. She decided to theme the production around mental health, in particular the conditions of anxiety, postnatal depression, bipolar disorder and eating disorders. To gather real-life opinions and experiences, she had distributed an online survey among fellow students and local residents, to be completed anonymously by people who had experiences of one of the four conditions the performance was to focus on. Her lecturer suggested that she also contacted a mental health charity to gain a professional insight into the conditions and the experiences of those who deal with them on a daily basis. In this way, Chloe hoped that her performance would avoid reliance on stigmas or stereotypes. Photographs courtesy of Chloe McLean I met Chloe just before Christmas and answered her questions; we had a fascinating conversation covering both regarding mental health in general and the four conditions Chloe wished to look at in more depth. I was inspired by her commitment to give an accurate and realistic portrayal of the conditions, and her dedication for the subject. As a result I offered Chloe as much support as she wanted up to the day of the play, and Chloe gratefully accepted the offer. Chloe sent through the scripts which made up the performance, which consisted of a variety of brief monologues, comedy pieces, dances and one act plays, each carefully scripted to create a cohesive production. We looked over these and offered advice to help refine the scripts before auditions began. I was involved in the audition of about 10 people, who all said they has chosen to audition because of the subject material – for most is was close to their heart due to their own experiences or those of a loved one who had struggled with the conditions, hardly surprising given the statistic that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem each year. The passion that each person’s audition showed for the themes of mental health reinforced for me that that all those involved in the show deserved as much support as I could offer on behalf of MHM. Rehearsals began in earnest in early February and have continued twice-weekly since. I have attended most of the rehearsals, and my input has involved discussing with the performers practical ways to create faithful depictions of the four conditions, based on my own experience of working with individuals with a range of mental health conditions. For example, I have been able to offer an insight into what body language someone with anxiety might display.  All those involved have shown a genuine desire to learn and develop the characters to give an accurate portrayal as well as entertain the audience. The final product is STIGMA, a show which raises awareness of the misconceptions of mental illness in society, portrayed through drama, featuring aspects of dance, music and physical theatre. It allows the audience to experience what others do on a daily basis; for one night only, mental illness will bare all, and it won’t be the performers that feel exposed! Come along on Thursday 4th May at 7pm to the Margaret Armstrong Theatre, Stockton Riverside College to see this one-night-only performance! Click HERE to book you tickets now, and follow the preparations on the STIGMA twitter account.  The performance is not-for-profit; tickets are being sold for a small fee (£5 each/£4 concessions) cover those costs of staging the production. All audiences must be at least 18 years old, and have proof of identification if questioned.

    April 24, 2017Read More
  • #OKtoSay Films – a Useful Resource for Mental Health Staff

    The last few weeks have seen the release of several films created by the Heads Together campaign highlighting that it is #Oktosay. The short films feature people from all walks of life talking, often with the person that they first opened up to, about the life changing conversation that helped them cope with mental health difficulties. Trudy O’Brien, Housing Practice Lead for MHM in Warwickshire, shares how these films have helped her to coach one young woman through her struggle with mental illness. “The young lady I support has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. During one of our support sessions we watched the film ‘Katharine & Caroline’. It is about Katharine Welby-Roberts, a former police officer and the daughter of The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby . In the clip, Katharine talks about her feelings when she was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and her surprise at the diagnoses: how she was so wrapped up in her job and lost in her own head that she did not realise she was becoming unwell. Katharine now writes a blog to raise awareness of mental health and to share her own thoughts and feelings. Although only 3 minutes long, the film had such an impact on the young lady I am supporting that it has given her the confidence to start to express her own thoughts, feelings and emotions, which she has started to do by writing song lyrics and raps. She has said that doing this has had a positive impact on her mood and she is now starting to look more positively to the future and starting to set realistic goals. There are many short films available, talking about different mental health issues. These films could be used by mental health professionals in 1-1 support sessions or shown in groups to help start a discussion, and will definitely have positive impact for many. Well worth watching!” You can watch the film series on HeadsTogether’s YouTube channel and website, and join in the digital conversation on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #oktosay.

    April 24, 2017Read More
  • Farewell & Happy Retirement to Len Wilson

    At the recent MHM Board of Trustees Meeting, the team said a fond farewell to Len Wilson as he announced his retirement. Below is his goodbye message, and a message from his successor Bruce Howorth. “After nearly 18 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of MHM, the last seven as its Chair, I retired from the Board at its meeting yesterday, April 19th. MHM has been so much a part of my life over that time that leaving with some sadness can hardly be a surprise. But I know that the future for the organisation is bright, and the Trustees and senior management team can build further on what has been achieved. It has been a privilege to have been a part of MHM’s success. My thanks to everyone in the organisation, but obviously particularly to those who made managing the challenge of chairing as easy as it could be for me and my Trustee colleagues, of course, and the senior team, especially Helen and Zoe, without whose support the Board and its Chair simply couldn’t do the job. I wish everyone well for the future, and there will always be an eye I keep open to watch from a distance what MHM is doing. Bruce Howorth was elected to the Chair of the Board of Trustees following my resignation, and I wish him and my former colleagues every success. ‘Bye, all!” – Len Wilson “My first duty as Chair is to express our thanks to Len who has been a Trustee for 18 years and Chair for the last seven. He has helped to navigate MHM through some turbulent times and through his strong partnership with Helen he has helped bring the organisation to the very positive position it is in today. His approach has always been fair although he has been firm when it has been needed, but his touchstone has always been the best interests of MHM. I know he has always had, and I believe always will have those best interests at heart. His will indeed be very big shoes to fill. On behalf of the staff and Trustees of MHM please accept our thanks and very best wishes, Len.” – Bruce Howorth, Chair of the Board of Trustees Len came to the voluntary sector after a professional career in the NHS. He trained and practised as a clinical psychologist, with substantial experience of working with people with enduring mental health problems. After over twenty years in clinical practice, Len moved into service management posts in mental health services, ultimately in Chief Executive roles in mental health, learning disabilities and community services NHS Trusts. He was a Mental Health Act Commissioner from the late 1980s into the mid-1990s. Having taken early retirement from the NHS, Len worked in healthcare management consultancy, specialising in mental health, taking up assignments ranging from localised service commissioning and delivery issues to national work alongside Department of Health colleagues. Len has worked also in interim Director roles in both charitable organisations and independent sector companies in the social care sector, delivering social care and support to people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and addictions. MHM has benefitted enormously over the years from Len’s experience gained in his professional life, as he and the rest of the Trustees have built a broad platform to support the charity and the work of its management team.The whole MHM team would like to thank Len for his tireless efforts on behalf of the organisation, and wish him best of luck for the future! Bruce worked as a solicitor for 26 years with a large North-East firm before leaving in 2014 after 21 years as a Partner. He specialised in health and safety and personal injury law throughout his career, as well as having wide ranging management responsibilities within his firm. Bruce’s relationship with MHM goes back to 2006 and he has been closely involved in advising the organisation ever since, and we are thrilled to have him as our new Chair of the Board.   You can read more about the whole Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team by visiting our ‘Meet the People’ page.

    April 24, 2017Read More
  • Don’t be a Fool! Top 5 Misconceptions About Mental Health

    This April 1st, make sure you’re not a fool when it comes to mental health – read on to see if you’ve been taken in by the five biggest and most damaging misconceptions about mental health… 1) “You’re either mentally ill or mentally healthy – there’s no in-between.” Just as a physically healthy person may occasionally get the flu or a sprained ankle, most of us experience emotional problems even if we are generally mentally healthy. Mental health is a continuum, not something you either have or don’t have. Figures from campaign group Time to Change show that 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in any given year. 2) “People with mental illnesses are violent – we should be scared of them.” Unfortunately, the media still tends to highlight mental health in relation to violence and crime, creating an incorrect perception that people with a mental health issue are more likely to be dangerous. In fact, people who struggle with their mental health are much more likely to endanger themselves than others. 3) “People with mental health issues can never hold down a job.” Just as with any other health condition, with the right support from their friends and colleagues, people with mental health problems are as productive as any other employees. Employers who hire people with mental health problems consistently report good attendance and punctuality, motivation, and good quality work. There are many examples of highly successful people who achieve their career goals while managing anxiety, depression and countless other conditions. 4) “People with mental health problems could snap out of it if they tried hard enough.” One of the most damaging myths about mental illness is that it isn’t real – that people are just lazy or weak. This certainly isn’t true; lots of factors contribute to mental health problems, including our genes or brain chemistry, physical illness, injury, and our life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse. People with mental health problems can get better and live a fulfilling life, but just like a physical injury, it requires support and treatment beyond simply ‘pulling themselves together.’ Would you tell someone with a broken leg to ‘just snap out of it’? 5) “Therapy and treatment is a waste of time; it doesn’t ever help.” If you are mentally unwell and feeling hopeless, it can be all too easy to listen to people who say that getting treatment won’t work – let alone getting the motivation to get out and keep your appointments at a therapy session or group. Treatment and recovery is different for everyone, and most people need to try a few methods to find out what combination works for them – but with professional help to understand what is causing the issues and learn how to deal with the effects, most people can learn how to manage a condition on a daily basis. If someone has a broken leg you can see that they have an injury, and can see when they have their cast removed. But does this mean they have recovered? Many people require physiotherapy to continue the healing process, just as some people need a bit of professional support to monitor and maintain positive mental health.   MHM provide a range of different mental health support services across the country; click here to find out more.

    March 31, 2017Read More
  • News Round-Up

    Welcome to our round-up of MHM news! Read on to catch up on our new staff, services and more… New Services Since August 2016 MHM have successfully secured six new Social Care services: Newcastle and Gateshead Employment Support, Orbit Housing Association support, a new Gloucester Helpline, a new Staffordshire Wellbeing service and Midlands and East Veterans Support. As well as this we have secured Talk Together Bromley, as a subcontractor to and in partnership with Bromley Healthcare. In addition to this, our Warrington IAPT service have secured additional funding to expanded the service to include long term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms. Welcome! In January we welcomed Sarah Wileman, our Talking Matters Transformation and Partnership Manager, and in March Helena Hammock became our Quality and Policy Officer. Out & About… We welcomed Angie and Tony Russell from Positive Practice in Mental Health (PPiMH) showing them round some of our services. We were also proud to be part of their launch of the PPiMH online directory. Michael Tait, Senior Business Advisor also attended an event at the Houses of Parliament and listened to Colin Dolan discuss Football Therapy.   Contact Details Should you wish to discuss any of our recent news, please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 0191 516 3500, or emailing us at info@mhm.org.uk. We love to hear your opinions and feedback in relation to the services which we deliver.

    March 28, 2017Read More
  • MHM Demonstrates Positive Practice in Mental Health

    This week MHM is thrilled to have been hosting Angie and Tony Russell from Positive Practice in Mental Health (PPiMH), showing them round some of our excellent services and helping to launch a Directory of Positive Practice in Mental Health.

    March 3, 2017Read More
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    MHM’s 4th Annual Boxing Day Lunch

    To fend off the January blues, we want to share a recap of our fourth annual Boxing Day Lunch, which was filled with Christmas cheer! On Boxing Day, the Oasis Cafe in Cruddas Park Shopping Centre generously opened their doors to more than 70 local residents who felt lonely, isolated or vulnerable at Christmas time. As in previous years, the day was a great success. “Everybody seemed to arrive at once,” said cafe organiser Paul Gorringe, and it was the start of a busy but very merry afternoon. Nonetheless, our fantastic team of volunteers ensured everyone was served their meal on time; Lily, Michael and many other attendees praised the “excellent service” and the friendliness of the staff. Early birds who arrived for breakfast were treated to croissants and Danish pastries, later followed by a three-course traditional Christmas dinner and rounded off with mince pies and hot drinks. Everyone left very full and commenting on how fantastic the food was! We were also impressed by the beautifully decorated tables, which made the occasion extra special, as so many attendees remarked on the change it made for them to have a proper sit-down meal. As they left, guests were also given a goody-bag full of treats such as biscuits to take away with them. Norman and Stephen told us that these were “a great surprise!” One gentleman travelled from the East End of Newcastle to attend, and had been looking forward to the event for several months. He has now attended the event for a few years in a row, and is known among the staff for cracking jokes! He told organisers that he appreciates it as he misses being in lively company and rarely gets any visitors at home for Christmas day. Pat, who regularly stops by the Oasis cafe for a drink or snack, commented on how nice it was to see so many new faces there. During the meal, Michael and Norman praised the event. “At Christmas time, a lot of people are lonely – people really need this”. “It makes our Christmas,” was a common refrain. Stephen added, “the company was much appreciated. I’m looking forward to next year!”- and so are we! Many thanks to everyone who gave their time to help out on the day, particularly the cafe volunteers; to Bond Dickinson for their generous sponsorship of the event; and to The Sandwich Tree and Carole and Kevin Brown for their kind donations.

    January 16, 2017Read More
  • News on the Annual Boxing Day Lunch for Homeless, Isolated, Lonely and Vulnerable in Newcastle

    MHM are delighted to once again be hosting the Boxing Day Lunch for the homeless, isolated, lonely and vulnerable at the Oasis Cafe in Cruddas Park, Newcastle on Monday 26th December 2016. This year the event is being supported by our friends at Bond Dickinson and thanks to their kind donation, up to 80 individuals who otherwise would be spending the festive period alone, will receive a free three course Christmas dinner and company. Paul Gorringe and Tony Duffy run the Oasis cafe and each year are delighted when MHM are able to secure the funding required to run the event. Paul said “We are over the moon that we can run the Boxing Day lunch again with MHM. It always sees great attendance and seems to be growing as the years go on” This will be the fourth consecutive year MHM have hosted the event, with previous years seeing 220 individuals benefit from a delicious hot meal and the company of others. For further information or to book your place at the event, please contact Tony or Paul at the Oasis Caf on 0191 273 1659, or Cruddas Park Shopping Centre, Westmorland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 7RW

    December 20, 2016Read More
  • Website redevelopment and introducing “Tell Helen”

    Welcome and thank you for visiting our website today. It is really essential that the information that we provide on this website is important to you; that it is up to date; is written clearly without the use of jargon or buzz words and most important of all has some meaning to you, the reader, giving you the information you seek/ want/ need. That is why we have taken the decision to “take time out” and ask you to tell me what you want you to see on our website. “Tell Helen” will be an ongoing feature of our website from now on. “Tell Helen” gives you the opportunity of sharing your view directly with me, about MHM services and of influencing what we do and the services we provide. As well as this, I will, from time to time, seek your views (as I am now) about our website, our services and our plans for the future. Today I am asking you your opinion of what we should include on our website – what do you want to see more (or less of). As someone who accesses our services – what information on the website is valuable to you As a carer – what information would you like to have available As someone who may wish to work for us (or indeed already does) – what information would help you understand our work, our services As a commissioner or as a partner – what information can we provide that informs you of our work and our aspirations If you have a view and you want to share it with me thenplease complete the short survey below. Your opinions are valuable to us and I very much look forward to hearing from you. Helen Tell Helen about our website: * indicates required field Name: Email: 1. What do you like about MHM’s current website? 2. What would usually be the main purpose of your visit to our website? To find information about the treatment services MHM offers To get immediate support To find out about mental health services/treatments/conditions in general To find out about the running of the organisation e. Other 3. What key features or information do you think MHM’s current website is missing? 4. What type of content would attract you to visit our website, and would encourage you to come back regularly? 5. If you were using a search engine, what words or phrases would you use to find Mental Health Matters / mental health resources? 6. Please let me know about some of the websites that you like and why you like them – this can be anything from how they look to the features and information they publish. Don’t forget to let me know the address 7. How do you usually come across new websites? Internet searches (e.g. Google) Social media posts Recommendations from friends/other sites Marketing materials (e.g. leaflets) Other 8. What key messages & values do you think MHM’s website should communicate? (e.g.what sets us apart from other providers) CAPTCHA Code:*

    October 10, 2016Read More
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    CEO Blog – Lets “take 10 together” this WMHD

    At some point in most of our lives we have reached out to (or been reached out by) someone who needed (or who recognised we needed) support in a time of crisis. It is an instinctive act; to care for, offer assistance to and support someone who is in need and we offer our support in many ways…

    October 10, 2016Read More
  • Rise in callers to Release the Pressure helpline

    As part of World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10 September, Kent County Council is reminding people of a special 24-hour free helpline.

    September 9, 2016Read More
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    Release the Pressure – don’t suffer in silence call to Kent

    “Release the Pressure” is a new Kent campaign which aims to reduce the number of suicides by encouraging men feeling under pressure to seek help.

    March 14, 2016Read More
  • MHM Boxing Day Lunch – A few thank yous…

    This Boxing Day (Saturday 26th November) saw MHM, supported by Hay & Kilner, successfully provide delicious three course hot meals and hand out goody bags to more than 70 homeless, lonely and vulnerable individuals at the Oasis Café in Newcastle.

    December 30, 2015Read More
  • MHM 3rd Annual Boxing Day Lunch

    MHM are absolutely delighted to announce that due to support from Hay & Kilner solicitors, we will once again be hosting a Boxing Day lunch for the homeless, lonely and vulnerable at the Oasis Café in Newcastle on Saturday 26th December 2015

    November 27, 2015Read More
  • Operation Christmas Child – It’s Shoebox Time!

    As many of you will be aware, it has become a very important annual tradition for MHM to support ‘Operation Christmas Child’ and we’d really love all of our services to get involved again this year in this truly worthwhile cause!

    October 19, 2015Read More
  • Gateshead World Mental Health Day Review

    It was a great day out for those lucky enough to enjoy the celebration of World Mental Health Day October 10th at the St. Edmond’s Church and Trinity Community centre.

    October 12, 2015Read More
  • How CBT can break the cycle for those who feel anxiety at bedtime

    Apparently, we spend one third of our lives asleep. Not me. Ever since I was a child, most of the time everyone else has spent getting their beauty sleep, I’ve spent tossing and turning, exasperated at my inability to do what should be so natural

    October 7, 2015Read More
  • An inspiring poem about Depression from Kayleigh Brown

    We were recently contacted by Kayleigh Brown who had written a poem about her struggles with depression.  Kayleigh hopes that  through sharing her experiences that the poem can help those who may be experiencing depression themselves.

    September 25, 2015Read More
  • Kent Football and Kent CC Team up to Tackle Mental Health Stigma

    The Kent County Football League has teamed up with KCC to raise the issue of men’s mental health, and to promote the Mental Health Matters helpline.

    September 16, 2015Read More
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    Press Release: New talking therapies service announced for Northumberland

    A new psychological therapies service is set to benefit thousands of patients across Northumberland, following a listening exercise led by the NHS locally. The new service, which has been developed by NHS Northumberland CCG, was shaped by patients and clinicians together, building on comments and ideas put forward by service users. The service will be delivered from 1 September 2015 by a partnership of three organisations – North East-based charity MHM, Efficacy, a cognitive behaviour therapy service, and the Sunderland Counselling Service charity.

    July 1, 2015Read More
  • VODA Help to Promote Positive Mental Health

    VODA volunteers produce video showcasing MHM’s Newcastle Employment Matters service to promote positive mental health

    June 12, 2015Read More
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    Updated Guidance to Universities on Student Mental Health

    Universities UK has published updated guidance to universities on how best to support students with mental health difficulties.

    February 17, 2015Read More
  • HRH The Duchess of Cambridge supports UK’s first Children’s Mental Health Week

    The Duchess of Cambridge has recorded a video message encouraging parents to talk more openly about the issue of children’s mental health.

    February 16, 2015Read More
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    Sunderland Recovery College

    A great afternoon was had by many on Wednesday 21st January at Bethany City Church (Bede Tower) where a Sunderland Recovery College event took place.

    January 30, 2015Read More
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    Time Online – Routine Maintenance

    Due to routine maintenance our Time Online web chat service will be unavailable from 14:30 on 20/01/15 until 21/01/15.

    January 20, 2015Read More
  • Sam Completes the Santa Run

    On Sunday December 7th the Santa Fun Run took place at the Rising Sun Country Park

    December 23, 2014Read More
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    MHM and Leeds Beckett University Announce Collaboration

    MHM are delighted and proud to announce the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with Leeds Beckett University, which creates a development framework for collaboration between both organisations.

    December 22, 2014Read More
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    World Mental Health Day – ‘Breaking the Taboo – Living with Schizophrenia’

    On 8th October 2014 we celebrated World Mental Health Day in Sunderland by hosting a conference called ‘Breaking the Taboo – Living with Schizophrenia’. This was a very successful event organised by partner organisations across Sunderland.

    December 17, 2014Read More
  • What is anxiety? Most Googled search terms reveal our growing concerns

    ‘What is anxiety?’ has been revealed as one of the top 10 most searched for questions in the UK this year.

    December 16, 2014Read More
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    MHM Christmas Lunch for the Homeless, Lonely and Vulnerable

    Following the great success of last year’s Boxing Day lunch for the homeless MHM once again supported by the Soroptimist Society are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the lunch again this year at the Oasis Café in Newcastle.

    December 9, 2014Read More
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    Butterfly – A Northern Nomads Theatre Production

    MHM is proud to support Butterfly – A Northern Nomads production in association with Bridging the Gap. This is an explosive and challenging new play by double fringe first award winner Paul Charlton.

    August 29, 2014Read More
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    Your Future Matters

    Please click here to read MHM’s strategy for the next 3 years.

    August 29, 2014Read More
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    Mental health job support scheme piloted

    The government is piloting ways to get more people with mental health problems into work by combining earlier treatment with employment support.

    July 16, 2014Read More
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    Innovation and the Grand Challenge North East

    MHM and VONNE welcome anyone from the voluntary sector who wishes to hear PROFESSOR ROY SANDBACH* speaking of “Innovation and the Grand Challenge North East”

    July 10, 2014Read More
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    Austerity or opportunity? How mental health services can thrive

    Mental health services in the UK seem to be coloured by a poverty of thinking, creativity and action

    June 18, 2014Read More
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    Crusade for Better Mental Health: Damning report highlights schizophrenia issues in UK

    A damning report has highlighted the sub-standard care ­provided for schizophrenics.

    June 5, 2014Read More
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    Mental Health Awareness Week – Stadium of Light Tour

    As part of Mental Health Awareness Week on the 9th May 2014 Sunderland’s Foundation of Light arranged for some of MHM’s Sunderland supporters from our housing services to have a tour of the Stadium of Light and also an exercise session.

    May 29, 2014Read More
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    Shock figures show extent of self-harm in English teenagers

    A World Health Organisation survey reveals that a fifth of 15-year-olds in England say they self-harmed over the past year

    May 28, 2014Read More
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    New psychology centre opens in Bewsey

    A NEW purpose-built centre offering psychological therapy services has opened in the town to meet an ‘unprecedented increase in demand’.

    May 28, 2014Read More
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    Antidepressant use soared during recession in England, study finds

    Researchers reveal surge in antidepressant prescriptions between 2008 and 2012.

    May 28, 2014Read More
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    Help at hand for 26,000 people in Warrington with common mental health problem

    MORE than 26,000 people in Warrington have been identified as having a common mental health problem, according to latest figures.

    May 27, 2014Read More
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    Many mental illnesses reduce life expectancy more than heavy smoking

    Serious mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10 to 20 years, an analysis by Oxford University psychiatrists has shown – a loss of years that’s equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking.

    May 27, 2014Read More
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    A third of first-time mothers suffer depressive symptoms, research finds

    Australian study also suggests more women are depressed when their child turns four than at any time before that

    May 21, 2014Read More
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    Warrington primary care mental health service moves to meet demand

    A NEW purpose-built centre offering psychological therapy services has opened in Warrington to meet an unprecedented increase in demand.

    May 16, 2014Read More
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    Heavy web use harms a child’s mental health: Every hour raises risk, warns watchdog

    Overuse of the internet is causing mental health problems for children, government health advisers have warned.

    May 16, 2014Read More
  • Troops face ‘growing mental health cost’ of Afghan war

    There has been a “significant increase” in the number of UK veterans of the Afghanistan conflict seeking mental health treatment, says a charity.

    May 13, 2014Read More
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    Do counselling services at university need a dramatic overhaul?

    Are counselling services providing enough support to students feeling overwhelmed at university?

    May 1, 2014Read More
  • MHM – Boxing Day Lunch

    We may now be in to February, but we thought that it would be nice to share some of the lovely comments that we received this week following our Christmas lunch for the lonely, vulnerable and homeless on Boxing Day

    February 20, 2014Read More
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    Newcastle Community Wellbeing Programmes

    Mental Health Matters have been awarded funding to run some community wellbeing programmes in the Walkergate and Byker wards of Newcastle Upon Tyne. They are funded by the Community Development Foundation and will initially run for 12 weeks from week begining 13/01/14.

    February 14, 2014Read More
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    Mental health issues ‘cost UK £70bn a year’, claims thinktank

    OECD study shows 40% of the 370,000 new claims for disability benefit each year are caused by mental health issues

    February 12, 2014Read More
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    Debt-ridden over-50s ‘more likely to suffer mental-health problems’

    High levels of personal debt in Britain could be creating a health time bomb, according to research showing a strong link between financial problems and low mental well-being in older people.

    January 28, 2014Read More
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    ‘Cruel workplace mental health stigma must end’

    MINISTERS are being urged to step up the campaign to stamp out discrimination suffered by people with mental health issues after new research which reveals that most still feel stigmatised when hunting for work.

    January 9, 2014Read More
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    MHM Service Christmas Opening Information

    Opening Information for Mental Health Matters services through the 2013/2014 festive period. All services will return to their usual opening days/ times from Monday 6th January 2014

    December 17, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Soaring UK personal debt wreaking havoc with mental health, report warns

    Centre for Social Justice says poorer people ‘bearing brunt of storm’ as debt hits £1.4tn – almost as high as economic output

    November 20, 2013Read More
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    Depression: ‘Second biggest cause of disability’ in world

    Depression is the second most common cause of disability worldwide after back pain, according to a review of research

    November 6, 2013Read More
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    Operation Christmas Child

    This year Mental Health Matters are supporting Operation Christmas Child and we’d really love all of our services to get involved and support this truly worthwhile cause!

    October 17, 2013Read More
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    World Mental Health Awareness – London

    Our London services will be providing a “Free Confidence Training” session on Friday 11th October.

    October 7, 2013Read More
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    World Mental Health Awareness – South Tyneside

    World Mental Health Day is observed every year on the 10th October. This provides campaigners with the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of positive mental health and to challenge the stigma that many people with mental health issues experience.

    October 4, 2013Read More
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    Combat stress on the rise, figures suggest

    Combat stress among British servicemen and woman has increased by a quarter renewing fears over the effects of the battlefield on mental health, figures show.

    October 4, 2013Read More
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    World Mental Health Awareness – Sunderland

    World Mental Health Day is observed every year on the 10th October. This provides campaigners with the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of positive mental health and to challenge the stigma that many people with mental health issues experience.

    October 3, 2013Read More
  • World Mental Health Awareness – Yorkshire

    World Mental Health Day is observed every year on the 10th October. This provides campaigners with the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of positive mental health and to challenge the stigma that many people with mental health issues experience. Here is an update on how our Yorkshire community services will be supporting the event. Peppermill service Between 11:30 – 4:30 pm: • We will be holding some informal discussion groups on the theme of mental health and wellbeing • Jo (our Complimentary Therapist) will be in the service all day offering Aromatherapy, Rehki, Hand / Neck Massage • Free Refreshments (possibly cakes too) Open House We will open the service at 2 pm for: • Party Games (2-3 pm) • Female Vocalist • Free Pie and Pea Supper • Bingo If you’re interested in these events, please contact the service(s) directly on: Peppermill – (01977) 794 623 Open House – (01924) 327 681

    October 3, 2013Read More
  • A week in the life of Gateshead Mental Health User Voice

    An insight to a typical week in the life of MHM’s Gateshead Mental Health User Voice service

    September 13, 2013Read More
  • Support for mothers and babies needs overhaul, says UK health minister

    New preventive approach from conception to second birthday would be aimed at avoiding mental and physical problems later

    September 12, 2013Read More
  • latest-news-2

    Doctors should prescribe exercise to over 55s, researchers claim

    Doctors should prescribe exercise as well as medical treatment to over-55s, researchers have claimed amid concerns too many are not active enough.

    September 9, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Police: A&E ‘better’ than cells for mentally unwell

    Police stations “should stop being used” as places to detain mentally ill people, according to one of Britain’s most senior police officers.

    September 9, 2013Read More
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    Gateshead Anti Stigma Partnership

    How can it be, that the word SHAME can be connected with mental health? It seems that for whatever reason, people are being treated unfairly and in turn this can discourage people from talking openly about their own mental health.

    September 9, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Loneliness of dementia revealed

    Communities need to look after people with dementia because too often they feel trapped and cut off from everyday local life, a charity says.

    September 3, 2013Read More
  • latest-news-2

    A helping hand for people with anxiety

    WELLBEING courses are on offer to people with anxiety issues thanks to a helping hand from a Tees Valley business.

    August 21, 2013Read More
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    The hidden crisis of mental health among footballers

    Amid the mind-boggling numbers being bandied around as the summer transfer season for footballers reaches a climax, here are a few more sobering sums.

    August 6, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Most adults don’t exercise enough, research finds

    Most adults in England are risking their health by failing to get enough exercise, research suggests.

    August 5, 2013Read More
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    Our children are more stressed than ever

    TEACHERS need vital lessons in dealing with mental health issues to prevent depression and anxiety among pupils reaching epidemic levels, say experts.

    August 5, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    North-East worst hit in depression boom

    New figures have yet again shown up the North-East as England’s sick man, with worryingly high levels of depression prevalent in the region.

    August 5, 2013Read More
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    Epilepsy and the risk of an early death

    Individuals with epilepsy are at greater risk of dying prematurely, new research has found.

    August 5, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    ‘Good practice starts with kindness’: meet the mental health experts by experience

    Andy McNicoll meets two people who are using their own experience of the mental health system to drive improvements in care

    August 5, 2013Read More
  • latest-news-2

    Concerns raised over mental health unit deaths

    There should be greater transparency over deaths in mental health units, say campaigners, after a series of suicides at a psychiatric hospital in Leicester.

    July 30, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Alzheimer’s blood test edges closer

    Researchers believe they are closer to developing a blood test that could diagnose Alzheimer’s.

    July 29, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Employers need to do more to overcome mental health stigma at work

    Mental health problems in the workplace are common. But despite the business benefits, employers are still failing to offer the right help

    July 25, 2013Read More
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    Children’s happiness in on the decline, report says

    The happiness of children in the UK is in decline, with 15% of young teenagers reporting low well-being, a report from a children’s charity says.

    July 22, 2013Read More
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    Over-90s ‘defying mental decline’

    Today’s 90-year-olds are surviving into very old age with better mental performance than ever before, Danish research suggests.

    July 11, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Good night’s sleep ‘protects heart’

    Seven or more hours’ sleep a night boosts the benefits to the heart of a healthy lifestyle, research suggests

    July 3, 2013Read More
  • Anxiety or depression affects nearly one in five UK adults

    Office for National Statistics says highest incidence of mild mental illness is in 50-54 age group and among women

    June 19, 2013Read More
  • Mental health issues linked to cannabis increase by half in four years

    The number of cannabis users suffering serious mental or behaviour disorders has increased by half in just four years.

    June 13, 2013Read More
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    The lessons Japan has for the UK on dementia

    As the UK population ages, our politicians are looking at the policies of a country where one in four people is over 65

    June 12, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    1.1m older people drowning in debt as credit card generation reaches retirement

    More than a million older people are struggling to pay off debts as a generation used to relying on credit cards and mortgages reaches retirement, a study shows.

    June 4, 2013Read More
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    Dementia risk may be higher for older people who have general anaesthetics

    Study of 9,000 patients suggests general anaesthetics may affect brains as a result of postoperative cognitive dysfunction

    June 3, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Psychotherapy is just as effective as anti-depressants at beating the blues

    Non-drug therapy, such as psychotherapy, is just as effective for treating depression as taking anti-depressants, according to a new study.

    May 31, 2013Read More
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    Mental Health Awareness Week Review

    A review of MHM’s Mental Health Awareness week activities.

    May 23, 2013Read More
  • Two win sickness benefit test legal challenge

    Two people with mental health problems have won a legal challenge against the government tests for sickness benefit.

    May 23, 2013Read More
  • Women 40% more likely than men to develop mental illness, study finds

    Researchers say women are more likely to have depression and anxiety, while more men report substance abuse

    May 22, 2013Read More
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    Students stay silent about mental health problems, survey shows

    One in five suffer psychological ill health, but most shun university counselling.

    May 21, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Retiring is bad for your health

    Retirement for most people holds out the golden prospect of more time with the grandchildren or on the golf course after years of hard work and saving

    May 16, 2013Read More
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    Independent Commission on Mental Health and Policing Report Published

    An independent report has found that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) must improve its response to mental health to reduce the likelihood of deaths or serious injury occurring in the future.

    May 15, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Screen carers for depression, say doctors’ leaders

    Carers should be routinely screened for signs of depression by their GP to ensure their health needs are not neglected, doctors’ leaders say.

    May 13, 2013Read More
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    Young care leavers need support until 25, say charities

    Young people leaving care should get more government help, according to a group of charities.

    May 9, 2013Read More
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    Mental Health Awareness Week 2013

    Mental Health Matters are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2013. Please click here for more information.

    May 8, 2013Read More
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    Does your child really have a behaviour disorder?

    From depression to anxiety and ADHD, more of us now suffer from mental health problems and need pills to treat them – or so we’re told

    May 7, 2013Read More
  • latest news

    Bigger babies at greater risk of autism

    Bigger babies are at greater risk of having autism, say researchers.

    May 2, 2013Read More
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    China media: New mental health law

    A number of new laws take effect in China today. The mental health law, which has taken almost 27 years to draft, attracts most media attention.

    May 1, 2013Read More
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    News from the borders of mental illness

    New research is challenging polarised views of how best to define, diagnose and treat conditions such as schizophrenia

    April 29, 2013Read More
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    A breakdown of nervous breakdowns

    Many people suffer from a ‘nervous breakdown’ at some point in their lives. Here Guardian.co.uk take a closer look at its true meaning

    April 25, 2013Read More
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    It’s Time to Talk about Mental Health

    Angela McNab, chief executive of one of England’s larger mental health trusts, explains how listening to patients has led to improvements

    April 24, 2013Read More
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    Guardian – Spending on mental health care falls for second year running

    Former minister Paul Burstow warns ‘penny-pinching’ is condemning people to a lifetime of mental ill health.

    April 22, 2013Read More
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    Guardian – Mental Health Anti Stigma Campaign

    People with mental health problems are experiencing less stigma and discrimination, but attitudes of health workers are not improving

    April 22, 2013Read More
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    BBC News – Is modern life making us lonely?

    It can be hard to admit to feelings of loneliness, but one in 10 Britons is lonely.

    April 22, 2013Read More
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    Welcome to Mental Health Matters’ new website

    Each month a member of the Mental Health Matters Senior Management Team will be writing a blog for the website.

    March 4, 2013Read More