Mental Health Awareness Week in Gloucestershire
Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.
Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.
The national week, led by Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10-16 May. This year the theme is Nature and how connecting with the natural world can support good mental health.
In Gloucestershire, local organisations are working together to raise awareness about mental health and the support that is available in the county as part of the Be Well Gloucestershire campaign.
Dr Mala Ubhi, Clinical Lead for Mental Health at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Taking notice of our mental wellbeing is more important now than ever as the effects of the pandemic, such as isolation, depression, anxiety, grief and health worries, can have a huge impact on mental and physical health and wellbeing.
“The local NHS is really pleased to support Mental Health Awareness Week and we encourage residents to think more about looking after their mental health and explore opportunities to make positive connections through nature.”
The Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust’s (GHC) Partnership and Inclusion team are working with the LGBT Partnership throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, and the Patient and Public Involvement team from Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT), in the build-up to International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
The team will be out and about on the information bus in different parts of the county each day, with the aim of tackling stigma and raising awareness of the wide range of support available across Gloucestershire.
They will be sharing LGBT+ themed information, as well as information on accessing help for domestic abuse, sexual assault, hate crime, mental health and other areas, as part of our wider commitment to improving safety and equality for everyone across Gloucestershire.
- Monday 10 May – Stroud Tesco
- Tuesday 11 May – Cirencester Market Place
- Wednesday 12 May – Gloucester Quays
- Thursday 13 May – Tewkesbury Morrisons or Spring Gardens (TBC)
- Friday 14 May – Cinderford Co-op
- Saturday 15 May – Cheltenham Town Centre, outside M&S
At Gloucestershire Royal Hospital the GHNHSFT team will be joined in the main entrance by the GHC Partnership and Inclusion Team and the charity Mind to help raise awareness about mental health and the support available with patients and visitors. They will also be promoting a sponsored walk challenge entitled ‘100 Miles in May’.
Jim Welch is part of the GHC Mental Health Liaison Team based at Gloucestershire Royal. Jim and a number of colleagues from the Trust’s Emergency Department Mental Health Working Group are taking part in the sponsored challenge.
“Mental health and wellbeing is important to us all, especially in such unique and challenging times,” he said.
“GHC and GHT are working in partnership to improve the care provided to patients with mental health problems who find themselves in need of emergency or inpatient care in Gloucestershire hospitals. The Emergency Department Mental Health Working Group has drawn together experts by experience, service leads and clinical staff, supported by colleagues from social inclusion, professional education and communications with this intent.
“We are pleased to be able to support Mental Health Awareness Week and we hope to be able to demonstrate some of the innovative ways in which we are improving mental health care for our patients, carers and staff.
“The groups are keen to raise awareness of the pivotal role Mind has had in promoting mental health, and we are proud to support their 100 Miles in May challenge. Members, including experts by experience, will walk, cycle or run 100 miles over the month and we would welcome donations to such an important cause.”
Meanwhile, Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire’s NHS are taking the opportunity to highlight a wide range of community-based projects and activities which will be funded by the GloW (Gloucestershire Wellbeing) Community Grant programme over a three-year period, to help improve mental wellbeing in the county. The GloW Community Grants programme is designed to support community initiatives that address the things which contribute to our mental wellbeing and help improve our mental health; for example, social connections and networks, physical health, access to green spaces and loneliness.
John Campbell, Chief Operating Officer with GHC, said: “We’re really pleased to see the additional support being given to community projects aimed at supporting mental health and wellbeing in our county. These initiatives should have a real impact on supporting local people at what continues to be a very difficult time for many.”
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit: mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek or for the local Be Well Gloucestershire campaign, share and follow #BeWellGlos
For more information about mental health and wellbeing support available in the county, visit www.bewellglos.org.uk
Further information about the GloW Community Grants programme is available at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/glowcommunitygrants.
Further information about the 100 Miles in May Mind challenge is available at https://www.mind.org.uk/get-involved/donate-or-fundraise/take-on-an-active-challenge/100-miles-in-may/
Further information about the national Awareness event and how to get involved is available at: www.mentalhealth.org.uk
#Cheltenham Unmuted survey launched
Heads Up Cheltenham is returning for a year-long campaign to encourage good mental health and wellbeing across the whole town.
To kick the campaign off, from today, Monday 26 April, people who live and work in Cheltenham are being invited to take part in a wellbeing survey, called #CheltenhamUnmuted to assess how people are feeling.
As well as the #CheltenhamUnmuted survey, there will be an online launch event during which both professionals and the public, will share their experiences and understanding of good mental health. The online conference, #CheltenhamUnmuted, will go live at 6pm on Thursday 13 May, during national Mental Health Awareness Week, and will remain available to watch online via cheltenham.gov.uk/heads-up.
A new campaign is being launched to encourage people across Gloucestershire to ‘Be Well’ and access support for their mental health and wellbeing.
Now NHS and care organisations are launching Be Well Gloucestershire – a year-long local campaign to help when stress, anxiety, isolation and other challenges become hard to deal with.
The campaign will be launched on 18 January – a date previously known as ‘Blue Monday’ however, in the spirit of national campaigns such as the Samaritan’s ‘Brew Monday’, we are making the date more positive by renaming it #BeWellMonday. We want to encourage anyone who is having a hard time in Gloucestershire at the moment to look ahead to the coming year and access the support that is available.
The www.bewellglos.org.uk website is the start of what will be a central hub for anyone who needs help or support for themselves or a loved one. Working alongside local organisations, charities and communities, we will develop resources to enable more people to access mental health and wellbeing support for those who live in the county.
Dr Mala Ubhi is the Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group lead GP for mental health:
“To help people know where to turn when things feel difficult, health and care organisations across Gloucestershire are working together this year as part of the ‘Be Well Gloucestershire’ campaign to highlight the support that is available. I would encourage anyone who has found that daily anxieties have become more pronounced over the last few months to ask for help if they need it; because help is available. Visit the new Be Well Gloucestershire website for more information. We are developing this website, so if you can’t find what you are looking for, please get in touch to let us know what mental health support information would be useful to you at this time”.
Alex Burrage is a consultant psychological therapist and clinical lead for the county’s Let’s Talk service:
“At times we can all feel overwhelmed by the things that are going on in our lives, which may include concerns about our physical or emotional health or finances. What we know is that when we feel like this it’s important to access help as soon as possible. What’s really exciting about the Be Well Gloucestershire campaign is that we’re working together to bring a wide range of services and information to help local residents to easily find the help and support that’s available. For example, if you are worried about your health and wellbeing, services like Let’s Talk, which is a Gloucestershire-based talking therapy service, may be able to help you.”
Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health and communities at Gloucestershire County Council, added: “It can be hard to know where to turn when we’re struggling with our mental health, but the Be Well Gloucestershire website is a fantastic new resource that pulls together the support available throughout the county in one place, from NHS and council-commissioned services to local and national charities. Many services are free, confidential, and you can access them yourself without a referral from a professional. The past year has been a particularly challenging time for everyone but whatever you’re worried about, please reach out for support – help is available.”
Every Mind Matters
On 18 January Public Health England will launch the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support the nation’s mental wellbeing with the encouragement that “When things aren’t so good out there, make inside feel better”.
Aimed at adults, but weighted towards those most at risk of mental health problems, this “Make Inside Feel Better” 2021 phase of the campaign will run across across PR, radio, social and digital.
The campaign is being supported by the NHS, local authorities and a range of mental health charities, health organisations as well as other charities and commercial sector partners.
The Every Mind Matters platform has been continuously updated to support people during the COVID-19 outbreak, and has a COVID-19 hub that includes tips and support on how to deal with change, cope with money worries and job uncertainty and how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home. It also includes practical tips and videos from experts on dealing with stress and anxiety, boosting your mood, sleeping better and what you can do to help others – including advice for parents and for children and young people.
Let’s all help “make inside feel better”
Blue Monday 18th Jan is (also) Brew Monday!
The 3rd Monday in January, thought to be Blue Monday, is being turned into ‘Brew Monday’ by the Samaritans to encourage everyone to reach out to someone.
Feeling alone with your problems can have a big impact on your mental health, so we are encouraging you to reach out to a friend, family member, or colleague for a virtual cuppa and a chat.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be Monday, or a cup of tea, the important thing is to take time to really listen to another person and allow them to work through what’s on their mind.
Because now more than ever, sharing a cuppa is more than just sharing a drink – it’s reaching out, checking in, and staying connected.
Share the warmth and socialise safely in support bubbles or connect virtually. Connect with a friend or family member over the phone, or have a group call using one of the many available online resources – the ones we all learned to use last year! (Skype, Teams, WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook…)
Find out more on the Samaritan’s website