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Mental health has been highlighted as a key policy priority early in the 2017 election campaign, with proposals to change the law, provide additional staff in mental health services, bring an end to discrimination in employment practice, and deliver Mental Health First Aid training in all schools – among others.
We were delighted to be invited to two events at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth recently. First we took part in a staff wellbeing event to mark World Health Day, and had a very busy day talking to a wide range of hospital staff browsing the stalls. The children’s books published by the Sanity Company proved particularly popular, and we were able to promote our Human Library event which took place the following week.
We brought the Hampshire Human Library to the main entrance of Queen Alexandra Hospital thanks to an invitation from the Patient Experience team. This was a great opportunity to engage with staff, patients and relatives and challenge stigma through the power of one to one conversations.
Join us on Wednesday 29 March for the next Mental Wealth Trialogue in Southampton.
A ‘Trialogue’ group is a neutral space where people can gather to develop their understanding on mental health issues, including the challenges of maintaining good mental health, and to transform thinking on developing better services and healthy communities.
The Trialogue event will be from 6 – 8 pm at the Old Chemist in Bitterne Park, Southampton.
Interested in the history of local mental health care?
Thanks to the Heritage Lottery, we’re launching a new programme to offer training in research skills alongside a focus on good mental health and wellbeing. Monthly workshops from March will support volunteers in undertaking a chosen research project looking at an aspect of mental health care within the last 100 years.
With the planned closure of St.James Hospital, we were inspired to develop this programme as a way of exploring and preserving a social heritage which has profoundly influenced mental health care to the present day. We believe this will also increase understanding and help to challenge stigma and prejudice.
The programme will run throughout 2017, culminating in a public exhibition to celebrate the research findings of the volunteers.
We’re holding two introductory workshops on 16 and 21 February in Portsmouth so that people can find out more about the programme, and how to apply.
We’ve delivered two Hampshire Festivals of the Mind so far – in 2014 and May this year – on a shoestring with fantastic support from people volunteering to help. We need your votes to help us fund a third Festival so it can reach more people and bring about much needed change in how mental health support is offered in schools, communities and health services.
PLEASE VOTE FOR US!!!!
We urgently need your support for our bid to raise funds for the next Festival of the Mind in October 2017.
After our successful interventions at the Mental Wealth Festival in London (see previous post), we wanted to highlight the next Human Library training day at the University of Southampton on Saturday 15 October from 1 – 4pm.
The Human Library is an international equalities movement which promotes positive social change in over 60 countries.
At a Human Library ‘Books’ are people, and reading is a conversation.
Human Books are volunteers who share personal experience to challenge prejudice, stigma and discrimination. We also need volunteers to help with the running of Human Library events.
This year the Good Mental Health Cooperative is taking part in the ground breaking Mental Wealth Festival in London from 13 – 15 September. Speakers include Ruby Wax, Alistair Campbell and Hugh Grant, and a host of inspiring talks, events and activities at City Lit College, as well as two panel discussion events in Parliament itself.
Artwork inspired by our Trialogue events will be exhibited alongside fashion garments created by the students of Winchester School of Art who worked with the Southampton Neuroscience Group from the University of Southampton. The fashion garments were featured at the Hampshire Festival of the Mind in May, and Sandy Walker will be speaking at the Mental Wealth Festival about this unique creative neuroscience initiative.
Sandy will also be speaking about our Mental Wealth Trialogue events in Portsmouth and Southampton with Claire Holloway, our Trialogue artist-in-residence, and the impact on the development of mental health services and mentally healthy communities.
And on Thursday 15, we’re taking a minibus full of volunteer Books to London to take part in a Human Library event as part of the Mental Wealth Festival. Partnering up with the London Human Library, this promises to be a fascinating event engaging the public and Festival attendees in challenging stigma and discrimination one conversation at a time.