Posts Tagged ‘Mental Health’

VIDEO: Behind the Obvious – A campaign to reduce stigma and extend MHFA provision for young people

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Alisha Zahid, a former Salford resident and student at Bolton Sixth Form College, has launched a campaign which aims to dispel stigma of mental health and improve support within further education institutions.

Having lost someone close to suicide and experienced episodes of anxiety in the past, Alisha is determined that her ‘Behind the Obvious’ campaign will try and change attitudes among students in Salford and across Greater Manchester.

Increasingly, alarming figures pertaining to young people’s mental health continue to come to light in mainstream media. NHS figures published this year have revealed that nearly 400,000 children are in touch with mental health services, and that the number of ‘active referrals’ from GPs is one third higher than it was two years ago.

Speaking to Mind in Salford, Alisha described how lack of awareness and social stigma still prevents young people from feeling confident enough to seek help if they are struggling:

“Many people take it as a joke, mental health. Obviously, if you’ve not experienced it before you wouldn’t know how someone is feeling. But that’s mainly where the stigma comes from, people thinking it’s all a joke – but it’s not.”

This said, in a 2013 study of 14-18-year-olds by Time to Change, the organisation reported that in the space of just a few years, there has been a significant improvement in attitudes and understanding regarding mental health. Alisha hopes to channel this renewed understanding by encouraging peer support among students.

Although better awareness of mental health is a reason to be optimistic, students like Alisha believe schools and colleges should play a central role in preventing mental health crises by providing initial basic support, and a stigma free place for students to talk. This is a principle that has also been shared by the government in recent years, who, in 2017, announced a that every state secondary school in England will be offered one funded place on a young people’s mental health course, delivered by leading social enterprise, Mental Health First Aid England.

According to figures obtained by Mind in Salford, of the 22 secondary schools within Salford LEA which are eligible for the government scheme, only 11 of them have attended a course – leaving another 11 schools yet to be trained.

Therefore, as well as trying to affect change within the student community, the Behind the Obvious Campaign is calling upon every state secondary school in Salford to take up the offer, so that in the event of a mental health emergency, there is informed support readily available. Akin to this, the campaign calls for free MHFA places to be extended to include staff at sixth form colleges and further education institutions. Alisha has started a petition on this issue, which you can sign here.

Alongside Alisha, Mind in Salford have written to every school and further education institution in Salford to urge them to support student wellbeing, and sign the Behind the Obvious campaign petition.

For more information on MHFA with Mind in Salford, visit their website here, or to find out what training is on offer with Mind in Saflord, click here.

If you are educational professional who is unsure if you are eligible for free Youth Mental Health First Aid training, please contact, schools@mhfaengland.org.

Phoebe’s housing plea: Stop neglecting resident mental health

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Phoebe is a 24-year-old social housing tenant from Salford, who has lived in her current home since she was a toddler. Along with an estimated 7 million others across the UK, Phoebe is an informal carer to her mother, who experiences periods of poor mental health.

We met Phoebe at START, a creative arts and wellbeing centre in Salford, where we were kindly given the opportunity to speak to START members about their experience with housing as part of our Brick by Brick campaign . Phoebe spoke profoundly about the stigma her family had faced from housing staff due to her mother’s mental health, and explained how a lack of compassion from housing association staff had brought her family to brink of eviction.

We thank Phoebe for writing openly about her family’s experience; her story of neglect of tenant mental wellbeing is all too common. We hope that Phoebe’s words will encourage other tenants to speak out, and encourage Salford’s housing associations to listen and consider what changes they need to make in their organisations so that such scenarios aren’t repeated. Read Phoebe’s housing plea below:

 

brick by brick salford campaign“Please be more aware of residents who won’t let a housing officer in – maybe there’s a reason for it. For example, my Mum is a bad hoarder and we were constantly threatened with eviction, I was always terrified we’d be kicked out each day growing up. The housing officers would come in really rudely, take photos and leave again. It was only when she got CBT that they understood, yet still no help, not with mental health, not with the black mould in my house that we’ve lived with since I was three (I’m 24 now) – nothing. They won’t even help my sister who’s suicidal because she’s that desperate for help with housing – things need fixing and she needs adjustments. It feels like they just don’t care.”

Has your experience with housing in Salford affected your mental health? By sharing your story, you could help us better understand the real problems in Salford’s housing system, and encourage others to speak out about their experiences. Write your housing plea, or get in touch with us at, communications@mindinsalford.org.uk  .

 

Mind in Salford team up with local business to help struggling client overcome housing difficulties

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

When experiencing a period of poor mental health, sometimes managing a home can become overwhelming, especially when under severe financial pressure.

Mind in Salford’s welfare rights and debt advice team work regularly with individuals who are experiencing problems with money and mental health, helping them to manage debt, understand their welfare rights and explore avenues to help ease financial strain. Advice team member, Lisa, recently started working with a struggling client, Gemma, who was at risk of having her three young children removed by social services due to an excessive hoarding habit – a common symptom of many mental health problems such as OCD and depression.

Wanting to make a settled life for her and her children following a period in an abusive relationship, but with no money to begin clearing the house, Gemma found her situation worsening. An enduring period of depression and anxiety was further exacerbated when she received a sanction on her Universal Credit allowance, which came after her mental health condition forced her to cancel a meeting with a work coach at her local Jobcentre Plus.

 

“Mental health problems can make it extremely difficult to attend appointments and meet other welfare criteria, meaning that those suffering are often issued with sanctions. Claimants are then left with an even more restricted ability to engage with services, therefore reducing their income, aggravating money problems and increasing the risk of worsened mental health or homelessness.” Brick by Brick Report – Housing and Mental Health in Salford – Mind in Salford

 

Things started to look up when social services agreed to provide Gemma with a skip, so that she could start the process of clearing her home – a vitally important step towards regaining some stability and keeping her children. Unfortunately, the offer was withdrawn, and with no support from her landlords (a well-known local housing association) the prospect of resolving her problem seemed increasingly unlikely.

 

Typically, registered council providers such as housing associations have a duty to cooperate on matters of tenant safeguarding (such as support for with mental health problems) yet the association did not provide a skip as allegedly they deemed Gemma’s situation to be self-inflicted. 

 

Salford has the highest proportion of social renters in the country, with 35.29% of households renting from one of the city’s registered social housing providers. Source: ONS (2016)

Lisa reached out to Worsley-based company, Kenny Waste Management, who after hearing Gemma’s story kindly agreed to provide a skip free of charge. Subsequently, her friends and neighbours helped her clear her home, thereby kick-starting the process of overcoming her hoarding, providing a safe home for her children and regaining control of her life. What’s more, United Utilities Trust Fund cleared the water bill of over £3,000 that Gemma had accrued when she was without her Universal Credit entitlement, and replaced her cooker through their white goods grant.

 

 

 

We would like to say a big thank you to Kenny Waste Management Ltd, for making this incredible gesture of good will by donating their time and resources to help our client, and also to United Utilities Trust Fund for allowing Gemma the debt relief she so desperately needed.

 

“It’s great that organisations and local businesses can come together to assist local people in need.” – Lisa White, Advice Team, Mind in Salford.

 

We are pleased that with the help of our advice service, Gemma has restored some stability to her life and can begin planning for her and her children’s future. However, stories like Gemma’s are all too common, and highlight the need for improved mental health support for social housing tenants. We are therefore calling on housing associations in the Salford area to demonstrate their commitment to supporting tenant mental wellbeing, and ensure that staff know how and where to signpost and individual should they be struggling.

If you would like to find out more about some the housing an welfare issues raised in Gemma’s story, view our Brick by Brick Campaign page, where you can read our analysis and find out how to get involved.

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: https://www.gmmind.org.uk/blue-light-programme/  or contact Mind in Greater Manchester’s Blue Light team directly on 0161 212 6461 or by emailing bluelight@gmmind.org.uk . Alternatively, individuals can approach their Wellbeing or HR departments, who can discuss the most suitable options with them and make a referral.

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

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

 

My Mental Health Story – Martin O’Doherty

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

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.

Debt, loan sharks and the impact on mental health

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

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.

GETTING HELP

  • 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

Friday, January 19th, 2018

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.