Mental illness remains the ‘elephant in the room’, whether at home, work or school. It’s an issue that we are aware of but choose to avoid talking about. Here at Action Mental Health we want to take the elephant out the room, encouraging people to discuss their mental health, this Christmas.
Today is #GivingTuesday – a global campaign to encourage giving on the second Tuesday in December. But you don’t have to give money, you could give your time, your goodwill, or you could give us a tweet…
Today we launch our anti-stigma campaign with our very own AMH elephant touring iconic places in Belfast to raise awareness and get people talking.
When you share our elephant using the hashtag #ElephantInTheRoom you will show you care about the wellness of others and demonstrate that you are a safe place to talk about mental illness without fear of being judged.
Our elephant also needs a name! Tweet us your suggestions to @amhNI and we will pick a winner.
There are lots of ways to support AMH this festive season, whether you want to raise vital funds for services in your area or simply raise awareness of the issues and show support for loved ones working to recover.
Here’s just a few ideas to get involved in our #MerryMinds Christmas Campaign:
Movember is the largest global men’s health charity with campaigns in 21 countries. The message asks men (known as Mo Bros, supported by female Mo Sistas)) to grow a moustache for the 30 days of November to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.
Originally campaigning to raise awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer, In the UK they have just announced their third funded program area – a commitment to invest £2.5million in men’s mental health initiatives.
Mental health issues clearly affect both men and woman but when you look at it from a male perspective the statistics are quite shocking. Movember 2015 will be applying a male lens on men’s mental health issues, with the aim of being better able to support men in seeking help and treatment earlier.
Teams of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas will take part in services and projects across AMH in Northern Ireland. including the Mo Sistas (below) supporting their male colleagues in our New Horizons service, Foyle!
AMH are holding an employment conference in Newry as part of their week of of events to mark World Mental Health Day.
“Mind Your Business” in the Canal Court Hotel on Wednesday 8th October will provide managers and business owners with guidance on how to support their staff’s mental wellbeing and create a culture which enables staff to remain productive, as well as providing an overview of the law surrounding these issues.
Corporate resilience is essential for businesses and services to survive and grow. To strengthen corporate resilience requires strengthening the resilience of the workforce, together with ensuring the cultural environment for the workforce clearly links the wellbeing of individuals to their performance and the performance of the organisation as a whole.
AMH’s Chief Executive David Babington explains;
“Stress and depression are at the highest levels they have ever been, and this is causing huge problems both to individual employees and the organisations they work for. Last year alone, mental health cost the Northern Ireland Economy £790 million. Mental health problems are also one of the largest contributing factors to long term absenteeism. Many individuals and organisations are facing uncertainty, job cuts and a period of great change, and against this background, keeping people engaged and performing well, can seem like an uphill battle.”
This year key note speakers include representatives of HSENI, The Law Centre, The Labour Relations Agency, Allstate Northern Ireland, Business in the Community, a Clinical Psychologist and Action Mental Health.
The event will take place on Wednesday 8th October 10am – 1pm at Canal Court Hotel, Newry. Places cost £30 per delegate and include lunch. Book your place online at w
Lucky clients at our New Horizons Service in Fermanagh had the opportunity to take part in a “pond dipping” and “fly fishing” course, delivered by Michael Shortt (a contributor to Trout & Salmon Magazine) and Mark Corps.
Clients were able to learn the theory about the life of the fish, the life of the fly and then the direct experience of seeing wildlife up close and personal at Mill Lough, Ballanaleck.
It’s a “bugs life” and the group got the opportunity to dip for fly’s in the lake and learn how to recognise the different types and species of fly. Everyone got the opportunity to practice the skill of fly casting and confidence has continually grown over the past three weeks.
The group will get the opportunity in the coming weeks to put their skills to the test in a local fishery to catch trout!
Ordinarily, a Tuesday night at Lisburn Distillery Football Club grounds might see a group of young boys come together for football practice or to watch a game. However, Tuesday 10th December saw them come together to look after their mental, rather than their physical, health.
Action Mental Health (AMH) delivered the first of a series of workshops in Mental Health Awareness for 14-19 year old boys. The “Provoking Thought” workshops are funded by The Big Lottery Fund as part of the Together For You project which is led by AMH. The project team works closely with schools, colleges and other agencies to promote positive mental health among young people, through the provision of information and resources.
During the workshops project staff provide an interactive presentation to enhance the young people’s understanding of mental health and highlight its relevance and importance for their lives. Group discussion then offers an opportunity to reflect on major sources of stress and identify possible coping strategies. Last year the MensSana workshops were delivered to over 5,000 young people.
The good working relationship between AMH and local businesses and organisations like Lisburn Distillery has been nurtured by the New Horizons Service in Derriaghy, and Employment Officer Andrea Warwick is hoping the success of such partnerships will encourage others to contact the organisation. She said;
“Action Mental Health works to improve the health & well being of people with mental health needs, by creating opportunities for progression towards independence and ultimately re-enter the workplace. Increasing placement opportunities is therefore a vital part of the work our Employment Officers do. We are really pleased with the great working relationship we have established with Lisburn Distillery and other local organisations. These workshops are just one of the ways we can return that support.”
Last year AMH helped 67 clients to gain employment, 52 clients moved on to further training/education programmes and 84 clients undertook voluntary work.
If you are a local business or organization who would like to know more about offering placement, fundraising or other support to AMH, contact Andrea on 028 9062 9759.
Together For You is funded by the Big Lottery Fund Northern Ireland. The project, led by Action Mental Health (AMH) in association with Aware Defeat Depression, CAUSE, CRUSE, MindWise, Nexus, PraxisCare and Relate NI, will promote mental health and wellbeing in Northern Ireland and provide a range of services in new and innovative ways.