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

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…

http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2017/toolkit.pdf?ua=1

 

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

Skydiving Champion

Here is Leanne’s skydiving experience captured on video. We are pleased to announce she has raised….

 £480

What an achievement! A big thank you goes to everyone who donated and to our lovely Leanne for being such a brave individual. 

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.

Safeguarding young people from sexting

There has been a rise in the number of sexting cases among young people. Many more young people now have access to phones and social media accounts and are engaging in or are affected by sexting. It is much easier for them to send and receive explicit messages and images.

Young people need to understand what sexting is, sending sexually explicit messages and or suggestive images, such as nudes.

Sexting is illegal among children. If a child is under the age of 18, it is illegal for them to take a nude photo of themselves or a friend, as well as distributing them even though the age of consent is 16 years, the Protection of Children Act means it is against the law for a child to share a sexual image.

Images covered under the law include naked pictures, topless photos of girls, any acts and sexual images in underwear. If a young person is found in possession of any of these, has been sending them or taking these types of photos, the Police can record it as a crime.

One of the most effective ways young people can be safeguarded against sexting is to talk to them about it.

Ensure they know what it is, how dangerous it can be and what the results of engaging in sexting are. This could help them make the right choice. If you do find that your child has been sexting, it is possible to get the images removed by contacting the Internet Watch Foundation, which will search for any explicit photos or videos of your child in order to protect them from possible ramifications.

To see how the Internet Watch Foundation can help, visit their website here: www.iwf.org.uk

“I have lost someone to suicide, how do I get help?”

At The Tomorrow Project, our Suicide Bereavement Pathway is open to anyone who has experienced traumatic bereavement by suicide. We understand that this type of bereavement is particularly difficult, with a lot of complex feelings and questions.

What we can provide is practical and emotional support, to help guide you through this confusing and difficult time. We can help with issues surrounding finance, debt, employment, housing and many other things, we can also provide information and support throughout the inquest process which is often new to many bereaved people. We’re also here for emotional support too, for when you need to speak to someone about how you’re feeling, and what your needs might be so that we can support you towards finding that help.

Reaching out is not always the easiest thing to do, but we are here, and we want to help. You can refer in to us through a variety of different ways, you can call us on 0115 934 8445, e-mail us at bereavement@tomorrowproject.org.uk ask your doctor to get in touch with us, ask a friend, message us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or even if there’s someone you know who is struggling and you’d like to find out what support is available then please let us know.

Bereavement by suicide is uniquely devastating and we know how much impact this can have on family, friends, colleagues and the community. This isn’t something that anyone should have to face alone, and that’s why we’re here so please, let us be there for you.