Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Mind in Greater Manchester announce emergency services mental health programme

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Mind in Greater Manchester have this week announced their new ‘Blue Light Programme’, which aims to improve emergency service staff mental wellbeing by providing unique services, and destigmatising mental health among workers in the region.

Available to all Greater Manchester fire, police, ambulance and search and rescue personnel, the programme offers staff eight unique interventions from a menu of services– including mindfulness, counselling and CBT therapy – which have been specifically designed to help individuals manage stress, build resilience and identify trauma.

Mind in Salford are one of the five local Mind organisations involved in the delivering the programme, which the organisation hopes will provide a much-needed layer of support for emergency services personnel. Chief Exec, Markus Greenwood, stressed how important it is that staff have access to such services:

‘’This is a wonderful opportunity for Mind to help support our emergency services. They do fantastic work but it can be very stressful at times and we all need help when things are tough. We have a menu of tried and tested services on offer that will give a choice of interventions to help with stress and promote resilience for the personnel of these vital services.’’


The programme is open to any member of Greater Manchester’s emergency services, regardless of their position or situation.

As a national charity, Mind have championed equality between mental and physical health for years, and are still a key figurehead in the push for better mental health support in workplaces. More recently, the organisation has identified emergency staff as a specific group that is more at risk of experiencing mental ill-health – their latest research finding that 87.57% of personnel said they had experienced stress and poor mental health. Subsequently, the charity has committed £4 million to be spent exclusively on ‘Blue Light’ services since 2015.

Rob Potts, Assistant Chief Constable at Greater Manchester Police said: “The wellbeing of our employees is paramount within a workforce that is frequently exposed to difficult, stressful and traumatic situations.

“The Blue Light programme will help the way we change GMP, creating a work place environment that challenges the stigma surrounding mental health issues, whilst providing the best support and advice and ensuring we are all given the opportunity to reach our full potential.”


Who are Mind in Greater Manchester?

Established this year, the organisation is a partnership of Greater Manchester’s five local Minds, working together to ensure people experience better mental health, and support people to live well and feel valued in their communities and at work. By pooling their expert resources, the organisation hopes to offer targeted support that will dispel stigma and empower staff to overcome personal mental health struggles.

As well as the provision of services, Mind in Greater Manchester have declared clear intentions to put mental health front-and-centre of the region’s social, political and commercial landscape by campaigning for change and delivering workplace training together.

Mind in Greater Manchester Coordinator, Stuart Lucas, this week outlined the organisation’s desire to make a concrete difference to the mental wellbeing of emergency services staff: “Through our partnership of five local Minds we are working harder together to achieve better mental health for everybody. The Blue Light Programme is a Greater Manchester specific initiative to ensure that we can be there for those whose job is to be there for us.

“The Blue Light programme illustrates our commitment to find positive ways to make sure Greater Manchester’s emergency services staff feel valued, are able to live well and develop their full potential. We won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect.”


Mental Health in Greater Manchester

Mental health has been firmly on the public agenda in greater Manchester; last summer £134 million pounds was allocated to mental health services, with the ambition of putting mental health on ‘an equal footing’ with physical health. Part of this investment was used to set up the ‘Manchester resilience Hub’, which was launched to support the victims and families of last May’s arena bombing. One year on, those directly involved – including emergency services staff – may still be feeling the mental impact of such a traumatic event.

Furthermore, Mental Health Awareness Week, which took place last month, saw corporations in the region such as Barclays, Manchester Airports Group, PwC, Sellafield and United Utilities, support the ‘This is Me’ campaign, which encouraged staff to break the silence around mental health in the workplace.



Within the emergency services, recognition of staff mental health continues to grow, and there is an increased appetite for extra support services, as Wayne Norris, a Greater Manchester Firefighter and mental health activist explains:

“Over the past five years, attitudes towards mental health in our workplace have got a lot better, but it’ still vitally important to get the issue out there.

“We need to be able to walk in to work and tell someone what’s affecting us, and why it’s affecting us. Having Mind in Greater Manchester’s Blue Light Programme available is brilliant – hopefully it will help staff to improve their own mental health and continue speaking out.”

The Blue Light Programme is available now for any Greater Manchester emergency services employee or volunteer. To see the course details or to book on to a service, visit:  or contact Mind in Greater Manchester’s Blue Light team directly on 0161 212 6461 or by emailing . Alternatively, individuals can approach their Wellbeing or HR departments, who can discuss the most suitable options with them and make a referral.

Salford Sainsbury’s Charity of the Year

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Mind in Salford have been shortlisted alongside two other local organisations to become Salford’s Regent Road Sainsbury’s charity of the year.

We are extremely grateful to be shortlisted and are excited about the prospect of working with the store to raise awareness of mental health in our community and help people get the support they deserve.

You can vote either online by visiting, and searching ‘Regent Road Salford’, or if you’re local to the area, vote for us at the end of your next shop!


Are you a business looking to fundraise or partner with a charity? Supporting Mind in Salford is a direct way to make a difference to the Salford community, and show your staff you care about their mental health.

There are loads of ways businesses can get involved with Mind in Salford, just visit our corporate fundraising page to find out how!

Corporate Fundraising




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


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 Deadline for PTP applications is 1 July.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 – Tackle stress with Mind in Salford

Friday, April 27th, 2018

14th May 2018 marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week. Originally conceived by the Mental Health Foundation, the ambition of the week is to bring individuals, charities and organisations together to raise awareness, and help identify and tackle some of the root causes of mental ill-health. This year, the focus of the week will be stress.

Why is it important to manage stress?

Leading a stressful life has been proven to increase a person’s risk of developing other forms of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, and can often be a seed from which more severe mental health conditions can manifest.

Furthermore, stress can contribute to deterioration in physical health. Stress increases the risk of strokes, and has been linked with heart disease and even obesity.

From such a wealth of research, it is apparent that acute or prolonged stress can be detrimental to an individual’s mental health. Moreover, the impact that widespread stress and mental ill-health can have on business and productivity is staggering – but often goes unreported. In an effort to raise awareness of this issue, Mind CEO Paul Farmer – alongside former HBOS chairman, Dennis Stevenson – embarked on an independent review, hoping to change the ways employers think and act around mental wellbeing in the workplace. Amongst their findings, they concluded that the annual cost of poor mental health to UK employers was between £33bn to £42bn a year.



How we can help:

There is no quick fix for improving mental health; it requires sustained momentum and access to resources that not only help treat the effects of mental health, but enable people to successfully manage their day-to-day mental wellbeing. At Mind in Salford, we offer resources that will aid your understanding of mental health, and help you to lay the foundations of mental wellbeing. What we offer:

Mental Health Awareness Training:

Our mental health awareness training takes participants through mental health definitions, the needs of people with mental health issues and how to respond, myth busting and tackling stigma around mental ill health, plus how to look after our own mental health and wellbeing.

Advocacy and Rights Training:

The course is of particular interest to, those who come into contact with people with mental health conditions as part of their work; for the family or friends of people experiencing mental health conditions who would benefit from information and guidance; and for anyone with an interest in learning more about this subject.

To find when our next available training days are, click here.

Access to Information:

Improving starts with educating, so by making resources accessible you can begin to improve understanding of your own mental health and encourage others to learn and talk about it too. Mind’s national site is filled with free resources for both workplaces and individuals that are available to download, print and distribute far and wide!

You can downlod Mind’s ‘How to Manage Stress’ pack here.

Community and Corporate Fundraising Support

Organizing fundraising events is a poignant way to raise awareness at work or in your community. Our experienced staff can give you some advice on setting up and promoting your event, as well as talking you through other fundraising options such as ‘Charity of the Year’ and match funding opportunities. For an overview of fundraising for Mind in Salford, take a look at our fundraising pack.

Workplace Mindfulness Sessions

In order to help organisations promote and support the wellbeing of their workforce, we offer either one hour mindfulness taster sessions, or half day mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) sessions.


We have all had stressful experiences at some point in our lives, which is why it should be commonplace to talk about it in wider society. Without more awareness surrounding stress and mental health in general, individuals will continue to suffer and organisations will continue to feel the ramifications.

We want Salford to be a mentally healthy place to live, learn and work, so if you think our services would benefit you, don’t hesitate to contact us.

IMHA initiative rated ‘Outstanding Practice’ by CQC

Friday, April 27th, 2018

An initiative led by Mind in Salford’s Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) team has been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who praised a Mental Health Trust’s engagement with the service as an example of ‘Outstanding Practice’.

Support for the initiative was espoused in last month’s inspection report of Prestwich Site which is one of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s inpatient mental health units.

The report summarised that overall, “staff cared for patients with compassion; feedback from patients confirmed that staff treated them well and with kindness; and staff involved patients and those close to them in decisions about their care and treatment”, resulting in most services being rated as ‘Good’.

Services in the Substance Misuse and Child and Adolescent wards however, received ‘Outstanding Practice’ commendations, for their innovative approach to service planning and provision.

Mind in Salford’s IMHA Service contributed substantially to the commendation.  Charlotte Gaskell, Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) for the Young People at the Junction 17 Unit, established an advocacy working group with another advocacy provider to address collective themes common to clients of both services. The initiative enables greater collaboration between Prestwich Site advocacy providers by working directly with senior leadership teams, and meeting quarterly to assess the impact of individual policies on younger patients.

Not only has this personalised approach been highly regarded by the CQC for its attentiveness to young patients, but also for its success in stimulating communication with Advocacy agencies, particularly as poor communication has been highlighted as a shortcoming of some NHS services in recent years.

In response to the rating, Mind in Salford said, “We are extremely proud of the work of our advocates, who work tirelessly to represent the views and secure the rights of their clients. We are committed to providing advocacy services for patients across Prestwich and Salford, and are extremely pleased that GM Mental Health Trust and the CQC recognise the importance that the role plays in supporting and empowering service users.”

Read the full inspection report here.

Job Vacancy: Trustee, Mind in Salford

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Role: Trustee (voluntary, unpaid)

Location: Salford, Greater Manchester

Mind in Salford is on an amazing journey, can you help us with the next stage?

Mind in Salford is an independent, user focused charity providing quality services to make a positive difference to the wellbeing and mental health of the people of Salford.  We’ve been doing this since 1972, but over the last few years we’ve grown significantly and broadened the scope of our services.  We’re now looking to add two new trustees onto our board as we look to further increase our impact for the people of Salford.

As a trustee, you will be part of the team that leads the charity and decides how it is run.  You will attend our regular board meetings (currently monthly, on a Wednesday evening) and will undertake other work between meetings to support the staff team and keep the work of the board moving forward.

You will be excited by the opportunity to make a positive difference to the Charity and the people we serve.  Whatever your background, experience and skills, if you think you have something to offer we want to hear from you.


How to find out more about Mind in Salford


Mind in Salford Twitter


Charity Commission – information about Mind in Salford


How to find out more about being a charity trustee


Charity Commission – Charity trustee: what’s involved


Information from Reach


How to apply


Please send a current CV and a short covering letter (no more than 2 pages) explaining why you want to be a trustee for Mind in Salford and how you expect to be able to contribute.  Please submit your application to as soon as possible.


WATCH: Mindfulness and Metta in Mental Health – Talk at the Mindful Living Show 2018

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

A talk by Mind in Salford’s CEO and Mindfulness Lead, Markus Greenwood, about how mindfulness techniques can be used in mental health and wellbeing practices. Delivered on 02/02/18 at the Mindful Living Show, Manchester.

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Become a certified mindfulness teacher on the Mindfulness in Mind Practitioner Training Programme (PTP)

Monday, March 5th, 2018

Want to become a Mindfulness Teacher?  Our new Mind Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) prospectus is now available for the Mindfulness in Mind Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) starting in September 2018 – You can view and download the prospectus here.

The Mindfulness in Mind Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) is a 12 month part-time fully supervised training pathway.  Mindfulness in Mind is an affiliated training organisation of the UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teachers, upholding the Good Practice Guidelines (GPGs).

“The excellent teaching and supportive attitudes of others are really reassuring. Such a range of personal backgrounds and life experiences on the course demonstrates how mindfulness can be beneficial for everyone.” – PTP Student

You can train on the PTP via our Northern Hub (Greater Manchester) or our Southern Hub (London)

The fees for the PTP can be paid by monthly instalments to spread the cost and the income from the PTP supports Mind to continue to deliver free 8 week mindfulness courses to people with mental health conditions on low or no income in the local community.

For a PTP application pack or further details contact: or call 0161 212 6441/4880