28 September 2018

Sing your heart out for mental health

Lower Your Guard

The centre of Bath is set to be filled with the sound of song as part of a series of events to mark World Mental Health Day.

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), Curo, Virgin Care, Bath Mind, St Mungo's, DHI, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Creativity Works, Bath Food Cycle, City of Bath College, Royal United Hospital and Soundwell have come together to promote the five ways to wellbeing - connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give.

World Mental Health Day takes place on Wednesday 10 October and aims to demystify some of the myths surrounding mental health conditions and raise awareness of the importance of good mental health.

As part of the activities a 'flashmob' choir will perform two songs in three locations across the city centre on Saturday 6 October. Staff from the organisations will be joined by members of the public to sing the NHS 70 song 'With a Little Help from my Friends' and Bill Wither's 'Lean on Me' at the following locations:
• Old Bond Street, 11.30am
• Bath Abbey, 12pm
• Southgate shopping centre, 12.30pm
Rehearsals for the choir are currently underway across the area amongst staff from the organisations, with members of the public urged to come along and get involved.

Carolyn, who has a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa and Generalised Anxiety Disorder, said: "Working towards improved mental health is vitality important to me. It is a constant commitment to recovery. One of the most important things that I have learnt in improving my mental health is to build a balanced structure into my life; a mix of activities that give my life purpose and meaning (i.e. volunteering), alongside activities that allow me to relax, have fun, and are of a self-compassionate nature (i.e. mindful photography, learning, being creative, meeting nutritional needs, and spending time with friends and family).

"Another aspect of improving my mental health is the self-acceptance that at times 'It is OK to not be OK' and in these times asking for help from others is a strength; whether that's contacting a friend, family member or seeking professional services. Good mental health is supported by talking, sharing and knowing you are never alone in your struggle. This all builds hope, confidence and resilience to truly engage in life."

Tips for good mental of health:

• Get plenty of sleep
• Eat proper meals rather than snacking
• Don't drink too much
• Take regular exercise
• Recognise the signs of poor mental health - confused thinking, prolonged low mood, feelings of extreme highs and lows, excessive fears worries and anxieties, social withdrawal, dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits, strange thoughts (delusions) and strong feelings of anger
• If you need to talk call the Samaritans on 116 123 or Papyrus on 0800 068 4141

Other events to mark World Mental Health Day include breathing and relaxation sessions, physical activity tasters, pebble painting, mental health in schools, volunteering and much more. For the full list of events click here

For more info go to www.wellbeingcollegebanes.co.uk
Twitter: @BaNESMentalHlth
Facebook: World Mental Health Day 2018 - BANES

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