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mental health

Edward Gostling Foundation

The Foundation provides grants with the aim of enhancing the quality of life for people in need, specifically those on low income who have a physical or mental disability or those with long-term illness, across the following themes:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Independent living at home
  • Respite
  • Transition

Due to the Covid-19 crisis the Foundation has taken the decision to suspend accepting applications from charities with a gross income in excess of £5 million and to focus resources on helping smaller charities providing front line community services who have less than six months’ of free reserves. This funding can be used to support their core operating costs.

Read more and apply here

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Supporting your child’s mental health as they return to school during COVID-19

UNICEF has published advice on how parents can help their children navigate their feelings during school reopenings.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused major disruptions to daily life and children are feeling these changes deeply. While the return to school will be not only welcome but exciting for many students, others will be feeling anxious or frightened. UNICEF has put together a series of tips to help your children navigate some of the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school. Issues covered include:

  • My child is scared to go back to school. How can I help him feel at ease?
  • My child’s school is recommending the wearing of protective clothing, which is making my child feel more nervous. What should I say to her?
  • How can I encourage my child to follow precautions (such as frequent handwashing, physical distancing, etc.) at school without alarming her?
  • My child is not part of the same group as his close friends returning to school and is feeling even more isolated. How can he feel more connected to the classroom and his friends?
  • How can I gently check in to see how my child is coping?
  • Is there anything I should look out for as my child starts back at school?
  • My child is worried about bullying at school and online, how can I talk to them about it?

Read more here.

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Looking after your mental health as we come out of lockdown

For many of us, the gradual easing of lockdown brings longed-for opportunities (even if at a social distance) – to see friends, play sports, resume contact with family in ‘real space’ or get back to work that we value.

But for many of us, even the happy, much anticipated changes can be difficult for our mental health.
And for many others the prospect of coming out of lockdown when debate is still live about the science supporting it can be a real worry. This may especially apply to those more vulnerable to the virus and those of us with mental health concerns.
The Mental Health Foundation, which is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak, has put together advice and links to further information on how to look after your mental health as we come out of lockdown.
The advice covers:
  • people who are shielding
  • the mental health challenges people face and how to cope with them
  • picking up social lives
  • looking after children and family
  • grief
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Percy Bilton Charity: Grants for organisations

Capital grants are available for whose primary objectives are to assist one or more of the following groups:

  • Disadvantaged/underprivileged young people (under 25 years of age)
  • People with disabilities (physical or learning disabilities) or mental health problems
  • Older people (aged over 60)

There are two programmes – large grants (£500+) and small grants (up to £500).

No deadline

Read more and apply here

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A Little Box of Hope for North Tyneside

NT Life Boxes of Hope from Robin on Vimeo.

Participants of VODA’s NT LIFE Recovery College in North Tyneside received a special surprise at their door recently with the delivery of a Little Box of Hope to help support them through this challenging time.

NT LIFE – which is funded by the North Tyneside CCG – created 200 Little Boxes of Hope, each containing a series of exercises, contacts, poems and motivational quotes and a number of small gifts, each with an explanation of why they have been included have been collated and distributed with help from a number of volunteers, support from the team at One Below at the Silverlink and funding from the North East Suicide Prevention Network.

Over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, NT LIFE Recovery College worker Ali Donkin has had to completely rethink the support offered to participants. Part of the ethos of NT LIFE is the ability to come together to share experiences and learn how to manage our own wellbeing and mental health. However, the coronavirus has (temporarily) put a stop to these face to face activities.

Ali quickly adapted NT LIFE to ensure that she is still able to support those who need it via online resources, with the NT LIFE Facebook page becoming a central point of contact for daily support and resources. The Facebook page and website feature a range of online resources including the 11:11 Mindfulness 5 Minute mindfulness journal, downloadable activities and free courses, alongside home delivered activity packs from the team at VODA. The NT LIFE course facilitators have also created a range of online sessions accessible via video conferencing platform Zoom.

It became clear that some of the people involved in NT LIFE were finding the lockdown particularly difficult and so Ali decided to create a Little Box of Hope to help them through. Ali commented: “I created the Little Box of Hope firstly to reach out and let people know they are not alone and to help them through these challenging times. There is always someone on the outside thinking of them and willing to help. They have worth and value even if they don’t feel that way right now. If at the very least it makes someone smile for a moment, in spite of their anxieties and fears, then we really have achieved something important.”

Some of the items in the box are to give the person a moment to STOP and take time to adjust their thinking, to recognise these feelings are not permanent. There are also items that are metaphors, for example the yoyo – a distraction – the soothing motion of the yoyo on the string, but also a reminder of simpler times playing with childhood toys. The box also includes practical things such as the list of crisis contacts and helplines. There are tools and techniques for dealing with feelings and also some things that are simply humorous.

“I recall many a time when I have witnessed in myself and others how humour can bring us back from the brink,” says Ali.

What do we hope this box will achieve? Ali comments: “My deepest hope is that for anyone who really is at their lowest, is thinking seriously about ending their life, it stops them in the moment and offers an alternative choice. If it prevents even one suicide then this little box of hope will be priceless.”

Feedback so far has shown that the boxes have been well received:

“I was having a really bad day today in fact I was close to ending everything. I can’t describe how much it means to me. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. To know someone thinks enough to put something like that together and deliver it is the most amazing thing I have ever had.”

“Paddy and Linda Rogan are both in their seventies. I’ve been shopping for them for the last couple of months. Paddy has dementia so Linda can’t leave him and he doesn’t understand the social distancing policies everywhere.” 

 

 

 

“My sister has been living with mental ill health for 30 years and doesn’t get out much, lockdown or not. She really appreciated her box.”

 

 

 

“Thank you so much for my lovely gift and thoughts. It was so lovely of you. it moved me tears. You are a diamond. Is there any other stone more precious because if there is I’ll have to start calling you that one?”

“Just wanted to say a huge thank you for my box today. The box made me cry and made me feel so special. It’s absolutely beautiful and I will treasure it, thank you so much.”

“Thank you so much for the comfort packs for me and my mam, I don’t know if you know this but our cat was knocked over and killed early yesterday morning. We are going to use the box as a memory box for her.”

The boxes were collated and delivered by a team of volunteers, who also found that they benefited from the activity.  With volunteers commenting:

“On Friday for the first time in a long while I felt excited and involved.”

“Thank you so much for your help, support and the laughter we had on Friday packing the Little Boxes of Hope. It was an amazing day from my perspective and having delivered some of these over the weekend they are getting a great response.”

 

 

 

 

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North Tyneside LIFE: New Recovery College is here!

A new volunteer-led service has launched in North Tyneside, offering a programme of free courses and workshops aimed at the self-management of mental health and wellbeing.

Created in consultation with over 80 individuals, mental health professionals, charities and voluntary organisations, NT LIFE is the new Recovery College for North Tyneside and is launching from its new base at The Hub in the Linskill Centre, North Shields this September.

Recovery Colleges offer educational courses about mental health and recovery, which are designed to increase students’ knowledge and skills and to help them feel more confident in the self-management of their own health and wellbeing. Delivered in a safe and friendly community setting, courses and workshops are co-produced and designed by individuals who have lived experience of challenges with their own mental health, and who want to pass on their LIFE learning, skills and knowledge to help others.

Ali Donkin, North Tyneside Recovery College Coordinator said: “We are extremely proud and excited to launch NT LIFE, which stands for Learning Experiences From Everyone. We have been busy since June of this year developing a programme which meets the needs of local residents and supplements existing mental health and wellbeing support available. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our drop-in sessions and who contributed their stories, input, opinions and feedback on how the College should be shaped. Everything from the name to the logo, course content, timings and prospectus have been co-produced by the students, volunteers and professionals who we will be working with to make NT LIFE a success.”

A series of workshops and courses are now available between September and December 2019 with a range of one-off events, weekly sessions and longer-term courses on topics including mindfulness, positive thinking, resilience, confidence building, creative writing, walking football and netball, and lots more. There are also a wide range of volunteering opportunities available as part of the College with roles in administration, enrolment, course delivery and co-facilitation. Ali goes on to say: “NT LIFE relies on the support of volunteers to deliver courses and provide continued support to its day-to-day running. We absolutely champion the ‘expert by experience’ approach and believe that those people with lived experience of mental health recovery and wellbeing can be best-placed to support those who are struggling or need some support. We’d love to hear from anyone – potential students, volunteers or professionals who want to know more and get involved in NT LIFE!”

Funded by North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and hosted by North Tyneside VODA, the Recovery College courses are free and available to North Tyneside residents aged 18 and over.

For more information, including how to enrol, course details and volunteering opportunities, visit the NT LIFE section of our website or contact us for more information.

  

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Be a Game Changer business toolkit

The Newcastle United Foundation has recently launched a business toolkit for the mental health campaign #beagamechanger. The toolkit provides employers with a how-to guide of running health and wellbeing campaigns in their workplace using a range of FREE resources. This toolkit will be especially beneficial to workplaces that have a high ratio of male employees or male service users who may often be reluctant to engage with regular health campaigns.

Read more here.

View the toolkit.

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New web app helps people find mental health services

The Hub of Hope is a first of its kind, national mental health database which brings together organisations and charities, large and small, from across the country who offer mental health advice and support, together in one place. The app is simple and effective and helps people find mental health services in their local area. The new app has been developed by a charity called Chasing the Stigma.

To use the app, you simply enter your postcode and the search will bring back a range of support services, which can then be filtered by a range of mental health options.

Hub of hope is free to use. Access the Hub of Hope app here. 

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Free mental health training for small charities

The mental health charity Mind has launched free online training for small and medium-sized charities to promote better mental health in the workplace.

The Mental Health for Small Workplaces programme, which is funded by the Royal Foundation, is aimed at all organisations, including charities, with fewer than 250 employees.

The programme consists of three training modules on building awareness of mental health, self -care and how to support colleagues, and is accessible via the Mental Health at Work website.

A guide has also been produced to help employers integrate the training modules into their organisations.

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NICE recommends ‘Smartphone therapy’ for children with depression

Children and young people can be offered digital cognitive behavioural therapy (digital CBT, also known as computer CBT) as a first-line treatment for mild depression,according to new advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice). Digital CBT is delivered on mobile phones, tablets or computers, meaning users can access help quickly, avoiding waiting lists.

The guidance, for identifying and managing depression in children and young people aged five to 18, says online therapy and courses in mindfulness should be the first options for treatment of mild cases. Group CBT, group interpersonal psychotherapy and group mindfulness are also recommended as first-line treatments. NICE says that the choice of treatment should be based on clinical need and patient and carer preferences. The child or young person’s history, circumstances and maturity should also be considered. Read more here. 

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