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Mental health awareness

Mental Health Awareness Week 18-24 May 2020

The Mental Health Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week - they work to prevent mental health problems. They drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all and support communities, families and individuals to live mentally healthier lives, with a focus on those at greatest risk. Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time. One week, each May, the Mental Health Foundation campaign around a specific theme for Mental Health Awareness Week - the theme this year is KINDNESS.

They have chosen kindness because it strengthens relationships, develops community and deepens solidarity.  It is a cornerstone of our individual and collective mental health. Kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and practise to be fully alive. Kindness is defined by doing something towards yourself and others, motivated by genuine desire to make a positive difference.

Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme

Our Libraries offer a range of activities and resources to help people lead happier and healthier lives. This includes the Reading Well Books on Prescription Scheme which helps people manage their health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals. The Reading Well for Mental Health Scheme helps people to read well, to stay well providing helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions; or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences. Some books also include personal stories from people who are living with or caring for someone with mental health needs.  The books are penned by bestselling and highly-regarded authors including Matt Haig (How to Stay Alive); Cathy Rentzenbrink (A Manual for Heartache); Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy with the Topknot); Ruby Wax (A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled) and many more. The expert-endorsed reads are available free in Cheshire West and Chester Libraries.

  • 'Shelf Help' provides a range of titles especially selected for 13-18 year olds, providing advice and information about issues such as anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. 
  • Reading Well for Children is a new booklist of expert endorsed reading to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. The list is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

Sources of information and advice

  • Mental Health Foundation: a UK charity, whose mission is "to help people to thrive through understanding, protecting, and sustaining their mental health.”  If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you're worried about someone you know, they can offer help and support.
  • Mind: provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • NHS: If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed or want to feel happier the NHS website offers support.
  • Rethink Mental Illness: a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness. They run services and support groups that change people's lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness.
  • Samaritans: a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Support for children and young people

  • Childline: there to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. You can talk about anything, whether it’s something big or small, trained counsellors are there to support you.
  • My Mind: dedicated NHS website for young people and children. Out of hours support and links to West Cheshire Services.
  • The Mix: Free information and support for under 25s in the UK. Get advice about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money and jobs.
  • Youth Access: is the advice and counselling network, they believe that every young person has a right to access free, high quality confidential advice and counselling.
  • Young Minds:are the UK's leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health. They also offer advice and support to parents.
  • Youth Wellbeing Directory: provides a list of free local and national organisations for anyone up to the age of 25

How to look after your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Mental Health Foundation have put together advice and support to help manage our wellbeing and mental health during this time. This includes:

  • Mental health tips: how we can manage our mental health and wellbeing
  • While working: tips for employers and employees to look after their mental health
  • Look after your mental health and wellbeing when staying at home
  • Living with the pandemic if you already have mental health problems
  • Parenting
  • Loneliness
  • A guide for young people
  • Nurturing our relationships
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Finance, housing and unemployment worries
  • Talking to your children about the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Mental health advice for older people
  • Staying at home and abusive relationships

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