Are you Surviving or Thriving? #MHAW17

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week #MHAW17, Harmless Training Team have delivered a number of sessions, including

  • Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training in Nottingham
  • Level 3 Advanced Working with Self Harm in Derbyshire
  • Presenting at Mental Health Today Conference in Cardiff
  • Mental Health First Aid Lite (MHFALite) in Nottingham
  • A workshop on Self Care and Resilience in Nottingham
  • Training for Managers – Mental Health in Nottingham

Wow! That was a busy, but imperative week.

The workshop for Managers took place on 11th May. Due to the stigma surrounding mental health, what better way to try and tackle this, than providing training on how to support staff in the workplace, experiencing mental ill health.

Within the workshop we discussed a range of things, however some key points we covered were;

  • What are some signs and symptoms of depression in the workplace
  • How can we reduce stigma in the workplace and in wider society
  • The benefits of supporting staff in the workplace

There were lots of in depth discussions about what is currently being done in various settings around the city, to support staff in the workplace, experiencing low mental wellbeing or mental health conditions.

But what about our Managers? What about their wellbeing? Are they surviving or thriving? They look out for their staff on a day to day basis, what are they doing to ensure they are looking after their own wellbeing?

As it is #MHAW17, I decided I would ask them to write up and share some of their self care activities that they have upcoming. Activities that ensures they are looking after and supporting themselves, just as they support others in the workplace.

An enormous thank you to the Lush Nottingham team

Thank you to the NOTTS Lush team for their wonderful workshop that kick started our Mental Health Awareness Week of events. The event was full and the feedback sung their praises.

To coincide with this years Mental Health Foundation’s theme of ‘surviving to thriving’ we decided to carefully construct a week of events focussing on #SelfCare. With creativity during the event perfect to nurture our emotional wellbeing, and then with being able to take the bath products home made the work shop perfect for #SelfCare.

The group made strawberry swirl bath products and were treated to hand and arm massages, a very relaxing day!!

“Kneading the ‘dough’ for the Lush product was super therapeutic and I also enjoyed swirling the pink and white dough together to make the classic cone shape for the Comforter Bubble Bar – taking it home was a bonus as it has filled my house and car with its wonderful aroma! Many thanks to Lush and the Harmless team”

Here are some photos of the event:

Thank you again to the lovely team and we hope to work with you again in the future.

Reach out to a friend

At Harmless we are asking everyone to reach out to a friend this #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, because it really is the small things that make the biggest difference. Imagine what we could achieve if we all came together? Join us in raising awareness and challenging stigma and discrimination.…

#HarmToHope #Harmless


WORKSHOPS… available during Mental Health Awareness Week

Internet Safety & Emotional Wellbeing

10am – 11am

Wednesday 10th May 2017

Would you like to know more about Internet use, how to identify risk factors and protect you, or your loved ones from harm?

Join us Wednesday 10th May BOOK NOW:

Self care & Resilience

1pm – 2pm

Wednesday 10th May 2017


Do you find yourself feeling run down?  Is your work/life balance a nightmare? Self care is a necessity not a luxury! Join us at looking at how you can give back to yourself. 

Join us Wednesday 10th May BOOK NOW:

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

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’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: 


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.


“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.

World Health Day- 7th April 2017

World Health Organization (WHO) is leading a one-year global campaign on depression. The goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help.

What’s it like living with depression…

I suffer with depression and anxiety and have done for the majority of my life. My way of describing depression is as if someone has poured a large jug of water into your head and your brain is drowning but on the outside no one would know.

Matthew Johnstone author and illustrator of, “I had a Black Dog” decided to write the book as a visual articulation of what it is to suffer depression. His wish is that his story is shared with partners, parents, siblings, friends, even doctors and therapists to help articulate what you or someone you know is going through. He also highlights the importance of recovery explaining that everyone’s path to recovery is different. 

Never, ever give up the fight; Black Dog can be beaten. As Winston Churchill said, “If you find yourself going through hell, keep going.”

What stats have to say…

Depression: let’s talk

To find out more information and what you can do to help visit…


Free training for Mental Health Awareness Week

To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, Harmless are running a number of free upcoming workshops that have been commissioned by Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City CCG in line with the Wellness in Mind Adult Mental Health Strategy. Places are extremely limited, so booking quickly is advised.


Mental Health First Aid Lite (MHFA Lite)

Wednesday 11th May 2016

9:30pm -12:30pm


MHFA Lite is an introductory mental health awareness course. You’ll receive a MHFA Lite manual that you can take away with you at the end of the session and also an attendance certificate from MHFA England.


Mental Health Community Workshop – Carers and Citizens

Friday 13th May 2016

1:30pm – 3:30pm


These workshops will focus on how to promote resilience and wellbeing in the community through building of awareness and resilience amongst citizens and carers.

A drop in session will be held after the Community Workshop 3:30pm – 4:30pm staffed by the trainer and a member of our clinical team.


For more information, or to book a place onto one of these free workshops, please contact us using the details below:


Phone: 0115 934 8445

Please note to be eligible for this training you must live or work in Nottingham city.

Every Colleague Matters Launch

Harmless recently attended Nottingham’s Every Colleague Matters launch, where we were invited to speak about the workshops we will be delivering as part of our commissioning from Nottingham City Council and Nottingham CCG.

We had half an hour slot to share information about these workshops and also to deliver an interactive, 20 minute ‘taster’ session.

I presented information about what we will be delivering, why we are delivering these and also who these workshops are aimed at. We received such a positive response upon sharing this information and the interactive session, delivered by our trainer, Sarah, that I thought it would be valuable to share this information more widely.

We will be delivering Community Workshops, Frontline Workers training, Workplace Training for Managers and also MHFALite

By providing training to specific groups of people, we can directly influence the lives of people with mental health problems and equip Communities, Frontline Workers and Managers with the confidence and skills to respond to mental health problems.

In terms of the Community Workshops, the purpose of these will focus on how to promote resilience and wellbeing in the community through building of awareness and resilience amongst citizens and carers. These workshops will be aimed at volunteers, community care workers, neighbourhood workers etc. These will be a 2 hour workshop, with a drop in after each one, staffed by a Harmless Therapist

The Mental Health Awareness for Frontline Workers workshop will focus on improving skills and confidence to recognise people with mental health problems and offer appropriate support. This will acknowledge that Frontline Workers will also have needs around their own mental health and encourage self-care and emotional resilience. These workshops will be aimed at frontline workers such as reception staff, security officers, police, ambulance crew, job centre staff etc. These workshops will be half a day

The Workplace training for Managers will examine how practical support can be provided to create an environment that is healthy for staff and promote interventions to raise awareness. This training will be aimed at CEO’s and Senior Management in a range of organisations within Nottingham City and will take place over half a day

Finally, we will be delivering MHFALite. MHFALite is an introductory mental health awareness course and will be delivered by a fully qualified MHFA trainer. The course introduces ALGEE – a unique memory tool that can be used to provide mental health first aid. Delegates that attend will receive an MHFALite manual and also an attendance certificate from MHFA England.

All of these workshops have a big focus on reducing stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health and also raises hope that recovery is likely and possible.

For more information on any of these courses and upcoming dates, please email;