MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 2017: Why is it so important and how you can get involved?

Mental health awareness week is so important because despite 1 in 4 of us experiencing problems, the topic is still surrounded by a lot of stigma and discrimination. Just as we all strive for good physical health, our mental health and wellbeing should be equally important.

So many people in the UK are struggling without help and it’s only through raising awareness, education and communication that we can challenge stigma and start to have these conversations. It’s so important to talk.

As a society it’s so important to challenge the stigma and discrimination because it doesn’t matter how old you are, your gender or even your job: mental health doesn’t discriminate, anyone can be effected. With 1 in 4 of us being effected at some time in our life, it’s important to consider the wider impact on friends and family, because actually that would mean most of society will be effected in some way.

How to get involved

At Harmless we have carefully constructed a week of events (8-14th May) to coincide with this years Mental Health Awareness Week & it’s theme: surviving to thriving. We will be having our own focus on self-care and have teamed up with LUSH, Hotpod yoga, Super+Super and Cafe Sobar.

We are also holding an open day for anyone to pop in for a coffee, meet the team and find out about what we do. During the day we are also putting on two workshops around emotional health and wellbeing, resilience and internet safety.

Throughout the week we will be challenging stigma and discrimination in a positive and productive way, all whilst raising life saving funds for Harmless services.

If you’d like to get involved you can go onto our website, Facebook or Twitter pages for more info. Or email chloe@harmless.org.uk

Could you support us to keep our services afloat?

The support services that we offer to people in crisis is a vital aspect of our work and yet we don’t have ongoing funding for much of this work.

Much of our crisis and therapeutic work is in need of supporters and fundraisers to enable us to keep helping people who can’t get this help from anywhere else.

Currently, regular donations enable us to provide 2 crisis sessions a month to people who would otherwise not get the help that they need. This isn’t a lot, but it really is important work. We have many people who aren’t able to receive our help and we hate having to turn people away.

There are many ways that you could help us to increase the number of people that we are able to help. Could you undertake your own fund raising activity – people have undertaken personal challenges, ran half marathons and held cake sales, all in the name of raising money for our work?

You can set up a fundraiser page here: https://localgiving.org/fundraisers

If you are not able to undertake a fundraiser; could you sign up to a regular donation via direct debit? Signing up to an amount that you are able to commit to on a monthly basis means that an amount as small or large as you are able to help with, will go directly to helping people.  By giving in this way you are helping us to save lives – what could be more rewarding?

You can sign up here: https://localgiving.org/charity/harmless/

‘when I needed help, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I called a helpline but they just listened. I had totally given up on my life and wanted to die. When I found the help I needed through these guys I can honestly say that they saved my life when I saw no other way out’

If you would like to contact us to discuss fundraising for us, please email us at info@harmless.org.uk.

Get your tickets to our 10th Anniversary Celebration Event on 7th October 2017!

Join us on Saturday 7th October to celebrate 10 years of Harmless!

To mark the 10th anniversary of Harmless and a successful 5th year of the Tomorrow Project, we’ll be holding our annual celebration event on Saturday 7th October 2017 at Ruddington Grange Golf Club.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS 

The Venue:

Ruddington Grange Golf Club, Wilford Road, Ruddington, NG11 6NB

 

The Date:

Saturday 7th October 2017

 

The Time(s):

6:30pm arrival for a 7:00pm start

 

The Cost:

£40.00 per head

 

The Event:

Three course meal with raffle, silent auction, games and live music from the Monroe Acoustic Duo and the Monroe Band featuring Polly Yates.

 

Click here to watch a video of the Monroe Band

 

Dress Code:

Smart

 

The purpose:

To raise enough money to save more lives.

 

If you would like more information on the event, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0115 934 8445 or you can send an email to admin@harmless.org.uk

Harmless is an award winning self harm and suicide prevention project that has been successfully delivering services for the past 10 years, since 2007. Over the past year Harmless has gone from strength to strength. We’ve increased our partnerships and been involved in more research based projects, attended and presented at conferences all over the UK in addition to holding a National conference of our own. We have also extended our training programme to raise awareness of self harm, mental health & suicide amongst the community and professionals. We have received awards for our work and recruited more staff in order to help more people.

Our wonderful Tomorrow Project continues to deliver suicide prevention and postvention work in the community. We have now been commissioned by the EMAHSN to provided two new suicide prevention pathways for both Suicide Crisis and Suicide Bereavement within Nottingham City, this will soon be rolled out to Nottinghamshire County also. We work with those directly and indirectly affected by suicide, provide facilitative support to individuals and organisations with questions and concerns about suicide, deliver workshop style information sessions to improve understanding and awareness of suicide and self harm, and promote help seeking in the community as a whole.

The celebration evening will mark a major milestone in our work, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary, and give us the opportunity to raise revenue to keep our vital services afloat. Each year we spend time with friends and colleagues, celebrating the work that we have done and the lives that we have saved and the money we raise on the night goes directly back into our life saving services.

Please come along and join is in what will be a wonderful night, learn more about our work, celebrate our triumphs and help us to raise money to keep us driving services in the field of self harm and suicide prevention forwards.

If you would like more information on the event, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0115 934 8445 or you can send an email to admin@harmless.org.uk

The role of friends and our mental health

A few days ago my friend sent me an article titled: “To the friends who loved me unconditionally when I hit rock bottom”, and I’ve been thinking about it since. What kept coming to mind was the powerful and often unappreciated role friendships play on our lives.

“Thank you for all the times that you showed me warmth, the random hugs that you graced me with because you knew something was up even if I didn’t tell you anything”.

For me, this particular line really resonated, it shows the real importance of true friendships and the fact that sometimes they ‘just know’. Friends love you unconditionally, even at times when you don’t love yourself. They reassure us that life does get better, there is hope and they will always be by our side to remind us. I for one am truly grateful for my friend and was really touched when I was sent this article.

After reading this article it led me think about how many people don’t feel able to talk to someone, the devastating effect this would have and what we can do to change it.

Yesterday Professor Louis Appleby released new statistics stating that in 2016 there were 4,540 suicides in England. These statistics make suicide the leading cause of death in young people in the UK and also shows those over 45 are at greatest risk. With the rate of suicides at 4,540, that’s 4,540 more deaths than there should have been. This ultimately shows is the need for support, the need to challenge stigma around mental health and that starts at home.

Let friend’s know it’s okay to talk...you’re there for them to listen, without judgment.

Being open around mental health challenges stigma in a positive light and may be all a friend needs to be comfortable in asking for our help.

When someone is struggling with their mental health they may become distant, cancel plans and want to see us less than usual. However, this is when friendships play a key role and is exactly when maintaining friendships are so important.

The mental health foundation says: If you’re the friend of someone with a mental health problem, you may be concerned about them. The most important thing is to tell them that you’re still their friend. If your friend is comfortable with being touched, a hug shows that you care about them and that you accept them whatever problems they are having.

“My friend asked me questions, didn’t just assume things, she really wanted to know.”

Take your cue from your friend. Are they comfortable with questions or would they rather talk about something else? Don’t promise things you may not be able to deliver. How can you help them best?

If you’re the friend, the most valuable support you can provide is just being there to talk and listen. People really appreciate that their friends have made time to contact them, visit them and invite them round.

These are five steps that research shows can help people with mental health problems:

■            Assess risk of suicide or self-harm

■            Listen non-judgmentally

■            Give reassurance and information

■            Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help

■            Encourage self-help strategies.

Because we understand the importance of self care & thriving we decided to create a week long agenda, during mental health awareness week, to support the community around us. You don’t need to be a service user to attend, every individual is welcome. Here at Harmless we understand that mental health doesn’t discriminate, so neither do we.

“Self-care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health”.

At Harmless we encourage self-care every day, not only to our clients but to our delegates and our team. We understand the importance of self care…and after all, thriving starts with self care!

All our workshops are held in a safe, non judgmental environment, perfect to make new friends or support an already blossoming friendship.

Click this link to book onto one of our activities for Mental Health Awareness Week 2017: http://www.harmless.org.uk/store/index.php?route=product/category&path=99 

SURVIVING TO THRIVING – MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK (8th – 14th May 2017)

This year The Mental Health Foundation, during mental health awareness week, has taken a new positive turn. They have decided instead of asking why so many people are living with mental health problems, they are going to look at why too few of us are thriving with good mental health.

With the theme of Surviving to Thriving, I have decided to take a closer look into exactly what they meant.

Heres what I’ve learnt:

There is a fundamental difference between surviving and thriving. Surviving simply means to just ‘live’ or ‘exist’ whereas thriving means literally to ‘flourish’. It made me wonder how many of us are thriving? And what can we do to ‘thrive’?

Some examples of personal interpretations on thriving:

“Thriving is about Joy – Relationships – Creativity – Passion. It is about doing what you love and thoroughly enjoying it. It is about having a balance between career and personal life and even often about blending career with personal passion.”

“Thriving is about having meaning in everything you do.”

So with this topic of thriving in mind, during Mental Health Awareness week the team at Harmless will be running fundraising and awareness workshops/events. The aim for the week is to raise awareness, break stigmas and bring together the community, whilst raising funds for Harmless’s life saving service.

THRIVING STARTS WITH SELF CARE……….

“Self care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health”.

At Harmless we encourage self care every day, not only to our clients but to our delegates and our team. We understand the importance of self care…and after all, thriving starts with self care!

Benefits of self care:

- Reduces stress levels.

- Increased resilience.

- Increases positive thinking.

- More effective in supporting others.

- Our mental health effects our physical health, self care supports both.

- More energy and motivation.

Because we understand the importance of self care & thriving we decided to create a week long agenda, during mental health awareness week, to support the community around us. You don’t need to be a service user to attend, every individual is welcome. Here at Harmless we understand that mental health doesn’t discriminate, so neither do we.

We’ve carefully constructed these events to support everyone by: raising awareness, challenging stigma, all whilst raising funds to allow Harmless to continue the life saving services.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) 15th &16th May – Lincoln

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop—anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW

For more details on our next course see below

Young People’s Mental Health Workshop

I recently attended a community mental health workshop where the young people from the Broxtowe Youth Voice talked about the issues they came across at school, college and at home that they find difficult to cope with.

They explained that mental health is one of the main contributions to the stresses that young people face today. One of their suggestions to help improve young people’s mental health is to provide more information on stress management with basic management of depression and anxiety.

There was a representative there who was a speaker from Public Health who presented information about Emotional Resilience, informing us of the 7 Steps to good mental health:

  • Eat well – what goes in – think mood food and not quick fixes. There is a proven link between what we eat and how we feel.
  • Sleepyheads – The teenage brain needs a minimum of 8 hours’ slep a night. Night-time surfing or playing computer games triples the chances of developing mental illness.
  • Get real – Digital Presence and Social Media – If you spend more than three hours each school day on social media you are twice as likely to suffer poor mental health. Connectivity addict? Know when to switch off! Remember, the virtual world is just that – virtual. Don’t let the real world, full of interesting people and exciting experiences, pass you by.
  • Get Active – Moving ahead – When we exercise, the brain releases chemicals that make us feel good. Good for body, great for mind. Exercise comes in all shapes and sizes so find something you enjoy – any kind of sport, riding your bike, rollerblading, dancing, choosing to walk rather than getting the bus to school. Get a friend to join you. Motivate each other, stick to your goals and enjoy the added social benefits.
  • Think Positive – Good mind selfie – Positive thinking boosts self-esteem. Write down positive things about you. It’s proven to help! Think your way into feeling good about yourself.
  • Time to talk – Friends, Family and Social Life – Don’t hide away when you’re feeling low. Friends and family can help keep you smiling, even at times of stress. Sometimes, if you are feeling low, just talking it through can really help
  • Chillax – Relaxation – Take ‘time-out’ to be kind to yourself. Learn relaxation techniques and give yourself space just to ‘chill’. Practice a relaxation technique that suits you. Build it into your life so you can use it in stressful situations.

For more information look at http://www.goodmentalhealthmatters.com/NHS_GMH_Guide_Web.pdf

Harmless receive first donation from the sales of the Lovelock scarf!

We have now received the first donation from the proceeds of the Lovelock scarf. We would like to say a big thank you to Claire Mountain who has donated the proceeds totalling £277.60 for sales in March! This contribution really does make a difference and will help us to save lives!

More details on the production of the Lovelock scarf and how to get yours can be found below…

Pattern designer Clare, from Sister Mountain, developed a knitting pattern to sell to raise money for us after losing her friend to suicide. The scarf will mark her friend’s life and we hope that by celebrating her life we can offer hope to others who are struggling.

All of the proceeds from pattern sales of the Lovelock scarf will be donated to Harmless. We were chosen by the bereaved family as we are an organisation where all proceeds go directly towards saving lives, so that no one else faces such a tragic loss.

The lovelock scarf is both tragic and hopeful, and a simple way that we can pass on the love and warmth of an item of clothing to people feeling lost and alone and desperate whilst raising hope, awareness end funds for our vital work.

https://www.sistermountain.com/blog/introducing-lovelock - blog post on the knitting pattern

“I like to think of the Lovelock scarf as a hug to someone who needs it: a physical act of wrapping yourself or someone you care about in love. By purchasing this scarf pattern, not only will you be able to knit something comforting and beautiful for yourself (knitting is most definitely self-care, don’t you agree?) but you will also be helping Harmless to provide comfort to those who desperately need it”.

If you can help us and knit us a very special scarf or would like to know more, email us at info@harmless.org.uk

We will also be auctioning some of the amazing scarves to add to the fundraising.

Could you support us to keep our services afloat?

The support services that we offer to people in crisis is a vital aspect of our work and yet we don’t have ongoing funding for much of this work.

Much of our crisis and therapeutic work is in need of supporters and fundraisers to enable us to keep helping people who can’t get this help from anywhere else.

Currently, regular donations enable us to provide 2 crisis sessions a month to people who would otherwise not get the help that they need. This isn’t a lot, but it really is important work. We have many people who aren’t able to receive our help and we hate having to turn people away.

There are many ways that you could help us to increase the number of people that we are able to help. Could you undertake your own fund raising activity – people have undertaken personal challenges, ran half marathons and held cake sales, all in the name of raising money for our work?

You can set up a fundraiser page here: https://localgiving.org/fundraisers

If you are not able to undertake a fundraiser; could you sign up to a regular donation via direct debit? Signing up to an amount that you are able to commit to on a monthly basis means that an amount as small or large as you are able to help with, will go directly to helping people.  By giving in this way you are helping us to save lives – what could be more rewarding?

You can sign up here: https://localgiving.org/charity/harmless/

‘when I needed help, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I called a helpline but they just listened. I had totally given up on my life and wanted to die. When I found the help I needed through these guys I can honestly say that they saved my life when I saw no other way out’

One last push to get Leanne into the air (and hitting her target)!

Our intern, Leanne, is raising money for Harmless by taking part in a sponsored sky dive.

 “I’m Leanne Moulton I have recently started my internship at Harmless . After working closely with the harmless team I’ve gained a true understanding of the importance of the work they do and how critical the services they provide, because of this I would love to help in any way I can so have decided to conquer my fear of flying and do a sponsored sky dive!

The sky dive will be on Sunday the 2nd April 2017, all money raised will go straight to Harmless to help them reach their 30K in 90 day target to continue their lifesaving support! All donations no matter how small are incredibly appreciated.”

Support her now by sponsoring her through her gofundme  page, Leanne’s Sky Dive for Harmless, or click here.

We look forward to sharing the amount raised and a video clip of how well she coped.