A big shout out to Mind Allies for speaking at our support group and an even bigger thank you for collaborating with us to improve our services.
Adam Afsar, CEO of Mind Allies and Ciprian Matei, Trustee, visited Unity Park Station from London for our mental health support group session. Their charitable organisation has agreed to fund our service. So far, they’ve provided regional advertising reaching over 7000 people through Facebook marketing Mind Space, donated £60 to our tea kitty, Calm app prescriptions for free, alongside an abundance of help and advice.
Mind Allies spoke at Mind Space MK this week regarding toxicity and mindfulness.
Previously having worked in accounting, Adam has been on his own mental health journey. Seeing how bad people are suffering out there in a similar situation to his set him on this mission to embark a new purpose. A change in for those suffering from mental health. No one should ever be alone.
This week we started with a five-minute taster of the mindfulness app Calm (available on Google Play and at Mind Space MK support group meetings) where we sat back in our chairs, closed our eyes and tried to clear out the noise or business left over from the first day of the working week.
We all experienced this differently, some members were able to fully relax in the moment while others felt anxiety from the pressure to relax. Different ideas work differently for different people and it’s important to give things a go to find out what helps you best.
There is now a more varied range of drinks available at sessions for free: coffee, tea, decaff alternatives to both, herbal teas, and fruit squash.
We may even add hot chocolate to this nearer to Christmas. Watch this space.
This week’s speaker took a new approach. Instead of our regular 20-30 minute allotted time for a speech, Adam encouraged wider discussion in the peer support group by interjecting frequent with new coping techniques to boost engagement.
We offer numerous copies of mental health literature from a variety of organisations -NHS, Rethink Mental Illness, Mind, etc- at the group and you can feel free to take some home with you. This includes information on other services (useful hotlines, charities such as Papyrus and the Samaritans, as well as mental health apps).
There are also previous hard copies of session information on prior topis -stress, anxiety, medications & addiction, relationships- available to take home.
Our founders are looking to incorporate more artwork, crafts and creative writing into the support group. If you have any suggestions, or donations of art supplies, e-mail us at email@example.com
In celebration of this, and our suicide prevention training at Mind on December 5th, our next mental health support group will be on suicide prevention and awareness.
Don’t worry. It’s not all doom and gloom. We’ll be making our own crisis plans and getting stuck into decorating “hope boxes” as recommended by many major mental health organisations.
If you have shoeboxes or craft supplies you can bring, go ahead, but we will provide boxes and art materials if you don’t have access to your own. Hope boxes are for people to look in at times of need for support from items that remind them of positivity in their lives.
What to put in your Hope Box
Whatever makes you feel happiest. If you’re stuck for ideas look at the list below or read next session’s infopack here for the full low-down.
A crisis box is personal to you and should be filled with items that make you feel happier about life. The crisis box is personal to you. You can fill it with anything, such as:
- your favourite CD,
- something to distract you, like a puzzle or colouring book, a fidget spinner
- poetry, short stories, articles, blog posts that you like
- reminders of positive things you have learnt in therapy sessions on post it notes
- a copy of your crisis plan
- photographs of people you love and who make you happy
- your favourite sweets
- letters, emails, texts from people you love
- your achievements: any projects, medals, qualifications, artworks, that you’re proud of
- something that feels nice like fur, silk, velvet or a teddy bear
- sentimental things—gifts, childhood mementoes, keepsakes, family heirlooms
Suicide prevention contacts:
MindInfoline: 0300 123 3393
HOPELINEUK: 0800 068 4141
CALM (Male helpline): 0800 58 58 58
YoungMinds: 0808 802 5544
The Mix: 0808 808 4994
What is it like being a suicide survivor?
WARNING: This video may be triggering to some viewers.