Mind In Salford - For Better Mental Health

Mind in Salford IMHA initiative rated ‘Outstanding Practice’ by CQC

March 15th, 2018 by James Skipper

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

March 14th, 2018 by James Skipper

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 markus@mindinsalford.org.uk as soon as possible.


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

March 5th, 2018 by James Skipper

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

Download Mindfulness in Mind's PTP prospectus

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: suzanne@mindinsalford.org.uk or call 0161 212 6441/4880   https://www.mindinsalford.org.uk/mindfulness/



LISTEN: Mindfulness in everyday life – Unity Radio – 05/02/108

February 27th, 2018 by James Skipper

Mindfulness doesn’t have to be hours of meditation or a Buddhist hillside retreat; everyday activities such having a shower or even drinking a cup of tea can contribute to personal wellbeing. In an increasingly hectic world, the importance of mindful living is becoming more widely acknowledged than ever before, helping many people to maintain calmness, resilience and awareness in their day-to-day lives.

In this recent interview with Unity Radio, qualified mindfulness practitioner and Mind in Salford Chief Exec, Markus Greenwood, provides an introduction to mindfulness and discusses how everyone can integrate simple mindfulness practices in their daily routines.

You can listen to the interview below, or to find out more about the mindfulness training we offer, click here.


Take on a new challenge with Firewalk UK and Total Fitness

February 19th, 2018 by James Skipper

Are you looking for a unique way to challenge yourself and contribute to mental wellbeing in your community? The Mind Firewalk is just the opportunity.

Total Fitness Gym in Whitefield has teamed up with Firewalk UK, to give people in Greater Manchester an opportunity to take part in an unforgettable event. Participants will be taken through an afternoon of training, team activities and motivational speeches before running the hot coal gauntlet.

Training will be provided by Scott Bell – one of the world’s leading Firewalk experts and twice holder of the Guinness World Record for the greatest fire walking distance.

The experience will be completely safe and pain free.

The £15 registration fee – which you can pay via this link – will go straight to to Mind HQ in London, via event coordinator, Adam Green. After that, we ask participants to aim to raise at least £100 – with every penny going towards helping those who have been afflicted by mental ill-health and helping to tackle stigma. Alternatively, why not make a difference in your community and fundraise for a local Mind organisation? If you are interested in completing the firewalk in aid of Mind in Salford, contact our Fundraising Manager, Lawrence, by emailing lawrence@mindinsalford.org.uk or calling on 0161 212 6454.

To find out more about the event, visit the Facebook page. Here you can join the conversation and invite friends to take part too!

* Registration fee = £15
* Fundraising commitment = £100

Open to anyone aged 14+ 

Please email mindcharityfirewalk@gmail.com to register your interest or for Mind in Salford fundraisers, contact Lawrence on the details above.


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

February 6th, 2018 by James Skipper

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.


My Mental Health Story – Martin O’Doherty

February 1st, 2018 by James Skipper

Hello everyone, my name is Martin and I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 27. Having lived with what I knew were bizarre thoughts, silly fears and avoiding the things that set off my anxiety for 17 years already, I just thought I was a little weird, or different! I never quite understood why I’d get ‘bad thoughts’ or ‘weird thoughts’ and just considered myself some random anomaly. I’d never heard of the term ‘intrusive thoughts’ until I became unwell myself. If you too haven’t they are very unpleasant, unwanted and involuntary thoughts that are ego dystonic in nature. Ego dystonic means that the content of the thoughts is contrary to who you are! They are distressing, terrifying and awful to live with.

I grew up in the north west of England, where I struggled with school, work, friends, you name it! My ‘thoughts’, or OCD as I now realise, had a knack of getting in the way of everything. That was until I applied to train as an Occupational Therapist in 2006. University had been therapeutic for me. I was immersed in studies about something I was passionate about (helping others) and I was so engrossed that my ‘bad thoughts’ didn’t seem to plague me as much. I graduated with first class honours and was proud as punch in my achievement too, having been told I would never amount to anything when I was school! Now I was going to be a mental health professional! Boy was I in for a shock when I realised I was going to end up being referred to as a “service user” rather than a mental health professional.


In 2010, my career crumbled. I became ill! I never thought this would happen to me. I thought that it was the kind of thing that happened to the ‘service users’ I’d planned to be the therapist for, or other people. Or just people who failed in life…Jeez I can’t believe I used to think that way! But I did!

My intrusive thoughts all centred upon harm coming to others, and me being directly responsible. It manifested through doubts on whether I’d contaminated friends and my family’s food or drinks. I couldn’t cope with the thoughts, or the doubts. They were always there. I’d only have to look at a bottle of household bleach and I’d be convinced I’d poured it into people’s food. The fear was paralysing. The last thing I’d ever want to do is harm someone, so why was I getting these awful thoughts in my head? I never heard of the term intrusive thoughts, and I certainly didn’t know about their ego dystonic nature, so I would get so anxious that I would throw away any food or drinks I was concerned about. I would shake, cry and rock back and forth, trying to figure out whether the thought of poisoning someone was a real memory, or my mind playing tricks on me. It eventually became easier to avoid food and drinks altogether.

Fast forward to 2013 and I started to make progress in my recovery. I began to open up about the intrusive thoughts that were keeping me in a state of fear and exhaustion. Doing this helped immensely, and I had no idea just how much it would!

The power that you can gain from disclosing what’s going on your head is truly remarkable. I went from being petrified of telling anybody my intrusive thoughts to enjoying the shock on the faces of those who I would open up to! They weren’t shocked because of the content of my thoughts, they were shocked because they too had been living with similar, and different intrusive thoughts. They thought they were the only one who had them! How wrong were they!

How do I manage my mental health now?

I am a believer that through using the power of disclosure, we can end the stigma associated with having ‘mental health’. Through it we can help others who struggle alone too. How many times have you worried what people will think if they could read the content of your thoughts? If people knew you were ‘mentally ill’ or couldn’t work for reasons associated with mental health! My guess is that you’ve lost count, as I had previously to disclosure!

In 2013 I decided to dedicate my life to helping others who had experienced OCD and lived with the terror of intrusive thoughts. I began running a support group for others who lived with OCD, and I for one can attest to how much it has helped, not only me but the many people I have met over the last 5 years of running it. I think everyone should join a support group. They can be so powerful! Just being around others who understand what you are going through, and have been there themselves is so reassuring. I’ve made lifelong friends along this journey and we support each other through the good and bad.

One of the most important aspects of my recovery journey though has been getting involved with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

I was fortunate to meet my manager one day just by chance. She was setting up what she referred to as “the Recovery Academy”. She explained to me that it was a college of sorts where courses would be cofacilitated and coproduced by experts by experience and mental health professionals! It was all aimed at combatting stigma, breaking down misconceptions and educating anyone who wanted to know more. As soon as I heard this I committed to working for her and wrote a whole course about my experience of living with OCD. In it I openly discuss the content of my intrusive thoughts and how it affects me on a day to day basis alongside a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. This course has been a platform for sharing my message of hope to hundreds of people across the north west. It has enabled me to use my experience of despair for a greater good, and that’s what I think we all should do. Use your story to inspire others and shape a new understanding of mental health. Tell people that everyone experiences odd thoughts, and they don’t mean you are odd! Experiencing intrusive thoughts and ‘mental health’ doesn’t mean you’re weak, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure…it means you’re human! We all have mental health and we all get intrusive thoughts, so let’s stamp out this stigma associated with it!


We would like to say a massive thank you to Martin for sharing his story with us for #TimetoTalkDay 2018. Martin also runs a great blog called ‘Overcoming Anxiety‘, where he talks about his personal experiences and gives others advice on coping mechanisms. You can also find Martin’s Facebook page here, and his Twitter here.

Help empower your community at Salford Citizen’s Panel

January 24th, 2018 by James Skipper

Do you live or work in Salford? Help shape future plans to reduce ill health in the City and empower communities to take control at Salford Citizen’s Panel.

The event will include:

When? – Tues, 13th March 2017, 10:00am – 2.15pm
Where? – The Lighthouse Venue, 12 Coronet Way, Salford, M50 1RE




To book, please email sandra.lindsay1@nhs.net or telephone (0161) 212 6278 with your name, address, contact details and catering requirements. Places are limited. Transport assistance available on request.

Debt, loan sharks and the impact on mental health

January 22nd, 2018 by James Skipper

In the 21st century, the costs of modern living are abundant and ever-growing. Juggling life’s outgoings can be a tricky task for anyone, and financial struggles are a common occurrence not only in Salford, but nationwide.

One particular problem in the UK is the growing threat of loan sharks i.e. people that offer illegitimate, illegal loans. Typically, loan sharks will agree to lend money without any official paperwork or terms, leaving borrowers susceptible to dramatic increases in interest rates, which they are unable to repay. Loan sharks often use the threat of violence and blackmail to coerce victims in to keeping quiet and agreeing to their terms of repayment. Often but unjustly, loan shark criminals go unreported.

It is widely understood that debt and mental health are symbiotic. Research has revealed that 1 in 2 British adults with debt problems has mental health issues, and 1 in 4 British people with mental health conditions also have a debt problem (HCE Group, 2017). For those entrapped in agreements with loan sharks, the repercussions for their mental health can be severe. The stress, anxiety and fear instilled by growing costs and persistent threats enough to bring on a period of mental ill-health, or intensify someone’s existing conditions.


Stress, anxiety and mental health repercussions caused by loan sharks and debt


To clamp down on the prevalence of loan sharks, a new campaign designed to encourage victims to come forward and report loan sharks was launched this month. The ‘Why I Borrowed’ campaign, started by The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), aims to expose loan sharking as a crime, tell real life stories of those who have been affected, and help people to free themselves from the illegal entrapment of loan sharks.

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,500 people.




As the ‘Why I Borrowed’ campaign has highlighted, involvement with loan sharks can have a particularly hostile impact on mental wellbeing; a recent study by IMLT revealed that over 60% of borrowers said they were in a state of worry, stress, depression or severe anxiety because of their involvement with a loan shark. This said, poor mental health as a result of financial strain can manifest itself in many ways.

Here at Mind in Salford, we offer advice to those struggling with debt, as we recognise that tackling such problems alone can be overwhelming and potentially detrimental to mental health. We offer one-to-one, confidential support; helping clients gain perspective by looking in to their rights, and developing a plan for the future. Recently, our team have assisted a client with extensive debts to recoup thousands through recovering mis-sold PPI, and challenging a ruling on the client’s benefits allowance. As a result, our team secured thousands for the individual – a truly transformative amount – enabling the client repay their debts and regain control of their life once again.

If you’ve got money troubles, it’s important not to feel embarrassed about seeking help, because it really could happen to anyone. Our debt and welfare advice services revitalise many people’s ability to plan for the future – a freedom that should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of their background, income or mental health.


  • If you live in Salford and have a mental health condition that as been either intensified or brought on by debt, click here to visit our advice page, where you can find out more about the debt, welfare and benefits advice we offer. Here you will also find a downloadable referral form.
  • If you or someone you know are being affected by loan sharks, visit stoploansharks.co.uk or call the hotline on 0300 555 2222 to report a shark.

Time to talk day 2018 – 1st February

January 19th, 2018 by James Skipper

Help make a difference to mental wellbeing in your workplace

Since Time to Talk Day first launched in 2014, it has sparked millions of conversations in schools, homes, workplaces, in the media and online. The campaign, run by our partners, Time to Change, has already dispelled much societal stigma surrounding mental health, and is aiming for 2018 to be its biggest year yet.

At Mind in Salford, we share this ambition. In order to help individuals manage and overcome mental health challenges, it is imperative that the subject becomes widely acknowledged and free of prejudice. In recent years, the prominence of mental health issues has rocketed in public awareness – something that we should all be proud of. Nonetheless, thousands of people across the UK still do not feel comfortable talking about the topic, particularly in the workplace, where employees often fear for the repercussions of disclosing their mental health problems.

Last year, responsible business charity, Business in the Community (BITC), commissioned YouGov to conduct a study of more than 3,000 workers, collecting their experiences of mental health in the workplace. The findings stated that although 84% of employers acknowledged their responsibility towards employee’s mental health, around three quarters of affected workers chose not involve work in the issue. This ratifies the notion that mental health stigma is still prevalent in many workplaces to date.

Despite this, 76% of managers said they had not received any mental health training, and 35% reported not having any workplace services to support employee mental health and wellbeing. For us, this is a fundamental problem; counselling and advice infrastructure should be a part of every workplace.












In the build up to Time to Talk Day, we want to hear from employers in Salford about what they are doing to support mental wellbeing. What systems are in place? What has the impact been? Why not even go the extra mile and run a campaign in your workplace? The Time to Talk website has loads of great advice and resources that can help you do so.

It’s #TimetoTalk, let’s make mental health a priority for workers in Salford.

Contact Info

Mind in Salford
The Angel Centre
1 St. Philips Place
M3 6FA

0161 212 4880

Registered charity no:1156625 | Copyright © 2014
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