Mind Space Blog: Dec part 1

Our volunteers who run Mind Space MK are attending a Suicide Prevention course with the national mental health charity Mind at their wellbeing centres in the Milton Keynes city centre this week.

We have now invested in speakers for gentle background music (any musical requests, topic discussions or feedback for sessions, please e-mail us on admin@mindspacemk.com) which will be playing every support group as recommended by Mind Allies.

With access to Calm (available on Google Play and on your internet browser) a mindfulness app, Mind Space MK are looking into creating our own “mindfulness room” for those who want to meditate or relax to kick back in a small, comfortable, zen room with perfect enclosed walls for the speakers.

This could incorporate mood lighting (fairy lights), possibly tapestries, natural elements like plants, as well as arts and crafts such as paper chains. It could even be approached as a group activity with the decoration itself.

Come along to our next meeting on December 16th to discuss what YOU want from our mindfulness room.

You shouldn’t have any problems finding Mind Space in Unity Park Station now, as using the funds raised from our sponsored silence we bought a chalkboard street sign! Keep your eyes peeled near CMK train station for our venue.

This week’s session on Monday looked at stigma, loneliness, suicide prevention and relapses. Low mood, depression and anxiety are common symptoms that affect many mental health sufferers across the spectrum of possible diagnoses.

We didn’t want to lower the tone with too much sad-talk as in this wintery weather we’re well aware a lot of people are more emotionally sensitive than they’d normally be.

That’s why Mind Space MK used online mental health resources provided by charities such as Rethink, Mind and The Mental Health Foundation to create a handy relapse guide which you can read here or download from the self-help resources page here.

It includes all sorts of great information like helplines, charities, sms services, local NHS access to therapies. There’s a crisis plan template for each person to make future plans surrounding a potential relapse to prepare for its possibility to ensure coping strategies have been put into place.

This suicide prevention guide also included information on our group activity today.

We made ‘hope boxes’ also known as ‘crisis boxes’ for people feeling extremely low, anxious, depressed or suicidal. The suicide prevention guide, as well as the new #everymindmatters leaflets (retrieved from Purbeck surgery in Milton Keynes, where IAPT: Talk for Change is run), were the first items in everybody’s crisis box.

Our guides gave examples of what could be put into a crisis box: CDs, sweets, photos, ticket stubs, colouring book, DVDs, poetry, short-story, mementoes, heirlooms, lucky charms, something soft/furry, childhood toys, etc.

Mind Space MK provided a range of materials.

We collected shoeboxes from kind donators throughout the last two weeks to ensure we gathered enough so as nobody was missed out. Patterned paper with different nature images -wildlife, plants, water, clouds- and travel pictures -maps, stamps, boats, planes- was supplied to cover the interior and exterior of the boxes. There were sequins, glitter, stickers and decorative tapes used for more detail on the crisis boxes.

It was a little messier than our usual sessions with slithers of paper escaping across the floor and having a lot more supplies to tidy away. Well worth it, feedback from the group showed that overall everybody enjoyed the hands-on activity (bar one who didn’t engage as much, but not everybody enjoys creative crafts, and he has taught me to always give options for variety in future) as well as the idea of having a space to put positive reminders.

The next session on December 16th will surround the changes in season, SAD (seasonal affective disorder, or symptoms of) as well as how to cope when the world is colder and darker.

You will be able to read the infosheet prior to our support group meeting, as it will be posted on the blog in the next seven days.

Do you want to make a crisis box? It’s easy. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to put inside, what the video below.

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