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

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(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.)