22 May 2012

Mental Health and Dementia awareness weeks

AWP is putting mental health issues on the agenda for discussion in our communities.

Aimed to tie-in with both Mental Health Awareness Week and Dementia Awareness Week - running between 20 - 27 May - the range of how we are engaging with people is imaginative and diverse.

On 22 May, Veterans' Therapist Linda Winn attended an open day at HUSH (Help for Unsung Heroes) Farms at Branscombe in Devon.

"We work closely with HUSH farms as it benefits some combat veterans," Linda told us. "This may be through handling the animals under supervision. There is also an opportunity for some to undertake activities leading to occupational certificates, for example fork-lift driving, hedging through to chainsaw licences."

The South West Dementias & Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DeNDRoN) are using Dementia Awareness week to remind people across the entire region of the importance and benefit of research. Research Network Manager Mary Griffin explains why it matters so much: "Research is essential to improving healthcare and enabling a better quality of life for everyone.

"South West DeNDRoN supports high quality research in patients who have dementia, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and Motor Neurone disease. Enabling service-users the opportunity to participate in research trials provides access to novel interventions and has been shown to improve clinical outcomes."

In Bristol, BME Community Development Worker Faiza Khaliq and her colleagues from Rethink are taking over the town.

"We plan to go along Stapleton Road, St Pauls (Ashley Road, City Road, Grosvenor road) and St Marks road, displaying information on mental health promotion via posters (Time to Change), complimented by postcards, leaflets and coasters," said Faiza.

"The range of shops and services covered will be newsagents, barbers, hairdressers, butchers, restaurants, fast food, pharmacies, clothes shops, grocery shops, GP surgeries, places of worship and other agencies. We will also try the betting shops and pubs. The aim will be covering the diverse BME area with the same message, and in most places you look you will be able to see a range of eye catching posters."

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