06 October 2016

World Mental Health Day 2016


Held on 10 October each year, World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate mental health.

With their usual innovative panache, AWP staff around the Trust joined forces with local partners to put on fun, eye-catching events with an important message for local communities.

South Gloucestershire
South Gloucestershire Council, the Care Engagement Forum and AWP teamed up to stage the Great Minds event at Kingswood Civic Centre, 1pm - 4pm on Monday 10 October. Free taster sessions, information, networking and refreshments were on offer, with South Gloucestershire's new Wellbeing College as the main focus. The Wellbeing College ran a series of free taster sessions throughout the event, including: assertiveness; the 'five ways to wellbeing'; peer support; and mindfulness.

At Sandalwood Court in Swindon, our adult therapies team held an activities day with input from local community partners TWIGS and SWADS. The event was for service users - inpatient and community - and their families and carers and included gardening, pilates, mindfulness, five-a-side football, willow crafts, cake decorating, a musical jamming session and more. The event was an opportunity for service users to meet community resources they may benefit from using as they move on from AWP's services. In spite of the team's efforts to keep the event low-key, BBC Radio Wiltshire's newshounds sniffed it out and highlighted the event in their Monday bulletin.

In Bristol, Bristol Mental Health partners including AWP are took part in a collaborative event at Cabot Circus along with Bristol Anti Stigma Alliance, Bristol City Council, Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group and others. The event featured stalls, family-friendly activities and a Talkaoke about mental health. On Monday 10 October AWP's clinical director for Bristol, James Eldred, spoke in the BBC Radio Bristol studios for a live mental health phone-in between 9 and 10.

Jenner House
At Jenner House on Monday afternoon, a Trustwide event examined the potential benefits of the Open Dialogue 'no talk about me, without me' approach, pioneered in Finish Lapland, including an update on the national pilot in which our South Gloucestershire Open Dialogue team is participating.

Bath and North East Somerset
AWP staff, service users and carers in Bath and North East Somerset have collaborated with a host of local partners for World Mental Health Day, including Bath Mind, Sirona care & health, New Hope, St Mungo's, Creativity Works, Soundwell music therapy and the Wellbeing College, amongst others. Together they held an extravaganza of 17 courses and events centred around this year's global theme of 'psychological and mental health first aid', in particular raising awareness of how to help at the early signs of mental ill health and helping participants develop their wellbeing, skills and knowledge.

The events kicked off in Bath city centre on Saturday 8 October, with the Eat, Talk, Think Gazebo in Old Bond Street (bottom of Milson Street) between 11am and 3pm. The gazebo offered 600 wellbeing cakes, stress bucket balloons, locally designed sweatshirts, local mental health stories, interactive art and the mindapples tree.

The Eat, Talk, Think event also featured a flash mob - volunteers have been practising for weeks on the stigma busting Flash Mob.

Workshops and events through the week include: five ways to wellbeing; carers' music therapy; sticking for the soul; paint your way to wellbeing; mental health first aid; creative sessions; digital delight; creative landscapes; and mindful moments.

Further Information
World Mental Health Day was initiated by the World Federation for Mental Health (NB content may not display using the Trust's web-browser). The World Health Organisation website also has background information about psychological first aid, including links to useful resources, and for mental health first aid info including courses, visit the Mental Health First Aid England website.

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