Archive for May, 2018

Make Mental Health First Aid mandatory – support the campaign!

Monday, May 21st, 2018

We are proud to be supporting the Where’s Your Head At campaign, which aims to change legislation so that mental health first aid is made obligatory in every workplace in England.

The campaign was started by Bauer Media Group (who own some of the UK’s most recognised media brands including, Kiss FM, Heat, Grazia and Empire) and has since been championed by celebrities and influential mental health campaigners – most notably, Natasha Devon.

The petition is addressed to Sarah Newton, the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, and calls for her to pledge to update the Health and Safety At Work Act to ensure that businesses have the same responsibility to provide mental health first aiders as they do medical first aiders.

So far the petition has over 40,000 signatures, but needs around 100,000 to be debated in parliament. We’ve signed it – you can too at Change.org.

 

Natasha Devon MBE is an experienced health and social campaigner, who has received multiple awards and successfully influenced public policy in the past.

What is mental health first aid?

It is thought that 1 in 6 people will experience a mental health problem in the workplace. This said, common work-related experiences such as stress and anxiety are often dismissed as part of working life, which can lead to entrenched workplace stigma and an increased risk of worsening an individual’s mental health by not seeking help or advice on how to manage it.

Mental health first aid – developed by MHFA England – aims to change workplace attitudes towards mental health, provide employees with the resources they need to look after their own mental wellbeing, and better inform people about what to do if they think they are struggling.

 

As an organisation, Mind have recently been campaigning for more action to be taken around workplace mental health and have contributed to major reports surrounding the individual and economic impact of poor mental health in the workplace.

At Mind in Salford, a charitable objective of ours is to dispel the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace, and help nurture healthier workers in Salford. We have been delivering mental health awareness training to organisations and individuals across the city for years, but welcome the development of the MHFA standardised package, and will be delivering it ourselves in the coming months.

We know how important it is that mental health is recognised with the same importance as physical health, and are fully behind the ‘Where’s Your head At’ campaign. Join us by signing the petition here.

 

 

Four in five people with mental health problems say their housing has made their mental health worse

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Figures from Mind show that nearly four in five (79 per cent)* of people with mental health problems said a housing situation has made their mental health worse or caused a mental health problem.

More than two in three (69 per cent) of the people Mind surveyed said they had issues with the quality of their housing such as damp, mould, overcrowding and unstable tenancies. One in four tenants with mental health problems are behind on paying rent and at risk of losing their home.*

The findings come as Mind launches a major new housing campaign. The charity is calling on the Government and local authorities to provide good quality homes and a housing system that’s easy to understand and doesn’t discriminate against people with mental health problems.

Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at mental health charity Mind, said:

“It is unacceptable that so many people with mental health problems are living in housing situations that are making their mental health worse.

“Housing is more than just a roof over your head. It’s about finding somewhere safe and stable to call home. We all have the right to live somewhere that helps us focus on our families and our health or other parts of our lives. For people with mental health problems, a good home can be even more important when it comes to staying well.

“Too often people with mental health problems are living in cold, damp, poor quality homes or dealing with difficult landlords. Many of them will come into contact with authorities that hold outdated, stigmatising beliefs about people with mental health problems. At the best of times bad housing situations can be difficult, but for those of us with a mental health problem, it can be even harder to handle. It can make our mental health worse.

“This needs to change. While housing is high up the agenda at the moment, people forget that those with mental health problems are particularly at risk of being in poor housing situations. We want to see mental health embedded in all housing policy developed by the Government.”

Chris, 50, from London, has complex PTSD after being in an accident five years ago. While in hospital, he got behind on his rent payments and people were sending him bills and threatening debt collection letters. When Chris came out of hospital, the Housing Association put him in contact with their Benefits and Welfare Officer who helped Chris complete forms, access housing benefits and get support with his mental health.

He says:

“My housing is a source of stability in my life. Without a home, what other source of stability have you got in your life? I can’t imagine how that must be and I count myself lucky.

“My flat is more than just a flat. When you say ‘where you live’ it’s not just four walls and a telly, you’ve got neighbours, and you’ve got shops, a community. Everyone knew me and knew what happened and it all helped manage my mental health and come to terms with what happened.

“I have now been diagnosed with complex PTSD. I know I would be in a lot worse place if I hadn’t had my house.”

Another Mind campaigner says:

“My experience of living in a very damp flat made me very stressed. I had depression and I lost most of my belongings to green and white mould. The bed covers were wet so I had to buy an electric blanket to dry the bed before we got in. It was a miracle that the electric blanket and the damp did not cause the flat to catch fire.

“I had to bathe my baby in the living room until I could afford a radiator in the bathroom. My daughter was so, so cold in the bathroom so there was no way I was risking her health.

“We then moved to a new house and life started getting better. Being in surroundings that are manageable makes me better able to deal with my depression.”

 

[1] Figures from online survey by Mind. Total number of respondents who said they had mental health problems was 1,780. Of those 1,410 said that their housing situation had made their mental health worse and 1,221 said that they experienced at least one issue with the quality of their housing 
[1] Social Exclusion Unit (2004) Mental Health and Social Exclusion. London: Social Exclusion Unit

What a success! Mindfulness in Mind host Birmingham retreat day

Friday, May 4th, 2018

Last week, Mind in Salford and Mind in Hackney hosted a free urban retreat day in Birmingham for Mind Network staff from all over the country. Delivered under the ‘Mindfulness in Mind’ banner, attendees learnt about how mindfulness is used to support mental wellbeing, engaged in group practices, and were given an introduction to the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP).

We would like to say thank you to everyone who attended and express our appreciation for all the feedback we have received!

We were also extremely pleased to receive a video from leading Bangor University mindfulness practitioner, Eluned Gold, who produced an original presentaiton about the benefits of mindfulness during pregnancy and parenting.

 

 

About Mindfulness in Mind

Mindfulness in Mind, supported by national charity Mind, is the banner under which Mind in Salford and Mind in Hackney have delivered evidence-based 8 week mindfulness courses (MBSR – mindfulness based stress reduction, MBCT – mindfulness based cognitive therapy, MSC – mindful self-compassion) to the public since 2010.

 

Mindfulness is now recognised by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment option for depression and has been clinically evidenced to significantly reduce the symptoms of anxiety and stress. That is why we at Mindfulness in Mind believe it should be made available to anyone who experiences mental health issues.

 

Mindfulness in Mind also run the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP), a recognised 12 month pathway, which provides the foundation for seeking registration with the UK Network for Mindfulness Teachers. We train fellow Mind colleagues, counsellors, CBT therapists, mental health practitioners and educators from all over the UK to deliver 8 week mindfulness courses. During the programme participants will be given guidance on submitting their application for registration with the UK Network and supported to attain the levels of competency outlined in the Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs).

 

Thanks again to all of our retreat day attendees, and if you want to learn more about mindfulness or book on to the Practitioner Training Programme Visit mindinsalford.org.uk/mindfulness. Deadline for PTP applications is 1 July.