All posts by actionmentalhealth

Bangor hosts Mental Health event

Jaci Gray, Client Development Co-ordinator in AMH New Horizons Bangor meets Mayor of North Down James McKerrow

Bangor Town Hall was the venue for an event to celebrate World Mental Health Day.  Twenty community groups including AMH, were represented in a session with health trust workers, councillors and council officers.  South Eastern Trust mental health officer, Fiona Molloy gave a lesson in depression and explained the stigma of a condition that affects one in four people.  The Council also marked the day with a floral display at the roundabout in Main Street.

New Beginnings Art Exhibition

On World Mental Health Day, Mayor of Ards, Councillor Mervyn Oswald, officially opened a new exhibition in Ards Arts Centre, entitled New Beginnings, which was created by clients of AMH New Horizons North Down & Ards.  Mr Oswald and other councillors attended the evnt and met many of the AMH artists. 

AMH provides a range of vocational training, personnel development and employment preparation programmes.  Clients have many opportunities to explore their creative talents through a number of classes including painting & drawing, digital imaging, silk painting and Tiffany glass. In this exhibition New Horizon clients are showcasing their talents in a special mixed media exhibition, looking at self-exploration and progression through various mediums to foster a positive self image.

New Beginnings will be exhibiting in the Sunburst Gallery at Ards Arts Centre, Conway Square, Newtownards until 28th October 2011. Everyone welcome.

Fermanagh’s Mental Health Fair

AMH New Horizons in Fermanagh held a Mental Health Fair in a week filled with activites to celebrate World Mental Health Day.  Visitors were so impressed by the support services that are available to people living with mental illness.  The event was organised by Pauline Flanagan, Client Development Co-ordinator, and attracted 25 stands, among them the Fermanagh Community Mental Health Team, the Aisling Centre and SOLACE. 

A delighted Pauline said,

“the response has been magnificent.  We’ve had students from Fermanagh College, The Integrated College and the Collegiate as well as the general public and our clients from the Beacon Centre in Enniskillen.” 

For more photos of the event, check out our Facebook page.

Michelle Gildernew enjoys AMH!

It was a great day for AMH New Horizons in Fermanagh when Michelle Gildernew, MLA and Chair of the Health Committee, popped in to visit.

It was a relaxed and informal visit, and Michelle interacted very positively with clients. It’s been a number of years since she last visited the service, and she clearly welcomed the opportunity to catch up with the changes in the service. She also had time for a cup of tea and had a go at laughing yoga!

Michelle Gildernew has a go at laughing yoga!

Michelle certainly left with a good feel for the challenges facing the organisation, and the value of the service provided.

For more photos check out our facebook page.

Health in Mind Project Launched

Michelle Gildernew MLA & Michelle McIlveen MLA with Irene Knox from Libraries NI and some Tai Chi Instructors

The Health in Mind Project was launched in the Long Gallery at the Northern Ireland Assembly, on Wednesday 12th October, with joint support of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committees for Culture Arts and Leisure, and  Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Health in Mind is the result of a partnership between Libraries NI and four leading mental health charities: Action Mental Health, Aware Defeat Depression, Cause and MindWise and will provide services to people with low level mental health issues, their families, carers and the general public, to encourage awareness and an increase in self-help strategies.

The Health in Mind project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund (through the Live and Learn Programme) and seeks to raise awareness and understanding of good mental health and to promote opportunities to improve wellbeing through information, learning and reading.

Frances Dowds, Health in Mind Project Manager explains:

“Mental illness can affect anyone. At least one in five of the adult population in Northern Ireland suffers from a common mental health problem in any year. The programmes available through Health in Mind have a key focus on the provision of reading materials that promote early intervention and self-help strategies on a wide range of issues, from managing stress, anxiety and depression, to relaxation, fitness, nutrition and wellbeing.

 Good mental health and wellbeing materials will be promoted in libraries through activities, such as reading groups, a range of ‘top ten’ themed book lists, a dedicated Health in Mind website and interactive web based forum as well as a One Book Campaign. They will all be invaluable mechanisms in helping to challenge the stigma associated with mental illness while simultaneously raising public awareness.”

The Health In Mind project will be delivered in libraries and community venues across Northern Ireland and aims to make a particular impact in disadvantaged areas. It will promote the use of library resources and provide access to reliable information in the welcoming setting of a local library.

As Charles Eliot said,

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Irene Knox, Libraries NI Chief Executive states:

“Libraries NI is delighted to be part of this exciting Health in Mind programme, which is tasked with reducing the associated costs of poor mental health, along with increasing the use of a free and accessible public service that can offer help and information to members of the public, on how to improve health and wellbeing.

 “Libraries offer a free public service and are accessible venues for everyone across Northern Ireland and I would advise members of the public to check at their local library and on the Libraries NI website, for events, courses and learning opportunities, which will contribute to improving mental health and wellbeing.”

Under the banner of the Health In Mind Project,  Action Mental Health delivers I.T. training and extends opportunities for participants to develop their  ICT, personal development and essential skills and to achieve qualifications. AMH facilitates the production, dissemination and publication of case studies and personal testimonies of users of mental health services in order to tackle the stigma of mental illness.

for more photos of the launch visit our facebook page :

Pull up a seat for Mental Health Day 2011

Local mental health organisations from the Newtownards area, including AMH, undertook a ‘Stress Free Day’ event at Bloomfield Shopping Centre to raise awareness for World Mental Health Day on the 10th October.  
Fiona Molloy, Chairman of the World Mental Health Day Committee outlined :

‘We would encourage everyone to adopt the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ – Connect, Be active, Take Notice, Learn and Give! A review of the most up-to-date evidence suggests that building the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ into our day-to-day lives is important. By implementing these practical steps we can have a positive experience of life and start to feel good and function well.’

The purpose of this years event was to promote a simple guide to ‘Five ways to Well-Being’.  Several local mental health organisations were represented at the event, including Praxis Care, Action Mental Health, Samaritans, Mindwise, Growing Connections, Holywood Family Counselling, Fibromyalgia Support, Volunteer Now, Patient Client Council, YMCA and FASA in addition to staff from the south  Eastern Health and Social Care Trust’s Community Mental Health Team, Health Promotion Department and Patient Client Council.  Staff from the Job Centres Pathways Team were also on hand to provide advice to people with a disability who wished to return to employment.  
Mark Boyd, SE Trust kindly provided his time and expertise to check people’s blood pressure and provide advice on the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The event was a great success with many people availing of the opportunity to both relax and take time out from their shopping.  Information leaflets on ‘Five ways to Well-being’ were available and visitors to the stand were able to find out the ways in which they can access voluntary and statutory mental health services in the area.  For some people it was an opportunity to share their experiences of living with mental ill health and complement the organisations on the support they had received.
Deputy Mayor of North Down Councillor Leslie Cree commended the work of the various mental health organisations in the North Down area.  The Mayor had volunteered to have his blood pressure checked and looked relaxed as he read some of latest mental health and suicide support resources which have just been launched by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. Councillor Cree took the opportunity to review some of the mental health literature which was available on the stand. He also chatted to both staff from the various mental health organisations and visitors to the stand.
A representative from Bloomfield Shopping Centre outlined that they were delighted to support World Mental Health Day in this way.
The organisers thanked the staff from Bloomfield Shopping Centre and the representatives from the various mental health organisations who contributed to the success of the World Mental Health Day event.
The event was being run alongside a series of events the South Eastern HSC Trust World Mental Health Day Committee were co-ordinating.

John O’Dowd opens unit in Craigavon

AMH New Horizons Craigavon & Banbridge, welcomed local MLA John O’Dowd to open their new building at Tannaghmore Gardens in Craigavon. 

AMH New Horizons has been providing services to local people with mental health needs on the Tannaghmore site since 1999.  They offer a full range of training programmes and activities to support local people in their recovery from mental ill health.  AMH actively promotes positive mental health and wellbeing and their clients benefit from Vocational, Life Skills and Employment training tailored to suit their needs. Opportunities include NVQ Business Administration, NVQ Horticulture, IT (ECDL Advanced and Basic), Essential Skills, Personal Development including Anger and Anxiety Management, Employability, Art and Crafts and a range of physical activities in local venues to encourage social inclusion and independent use of community facilities.

In Tannaghmore the clients also run a fully functioning garden nursery which is open to the public, from which visitors can buy a range of plants, shrubs and trees. 

After a tour of the nursery, and a chat with Clients and Staff, special guest John O’Dowd MLA and an audience, which included; Chief Executive of the Southern HSC Trust, Mairead McAlinden; Chief Executive Craigavon Borough Council, Theresa Donaldson; Deputy Mayor of Craigavon, Cllr George Savage; AMH Chairman, Billy Kohner and AMH CEO, David Babington, listened to a brief overview of the New Horizons service from the Service Manager Colin Loughran and two former clients.  Guests then heard about the work of AMH MensSana from project worker Naomi Brownlee and were then treated to performance of “The King’s Son – A Fairytale” by its author Ann Donnelly, which features in their Provoking Thought workshop which they deliver in local schools to raise awareness of mental health issues.

 It was then with great pleasure that John O’Dowd MLA, officially opened the new AMH New Horizons building and said “ I am proud to be associated with AMH and honoured to be here”.