World Mental Health Day: Four positive North-East stories

PEOPLE of all ages across the North-East, UK and world have been battling to stay positive in the face of Covid.

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on October 10 every year, with this year’s theme being ‘mental health for all’.

The pandemic has brought drastic change to the way people live and work, which has drastically impacted the nation’s mental health. That’s why today we are looking back on some of the positive mental health stories we have covered this year. 

A hospital passport, developed by local charity, Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind, is being rolled out to adults and older people diagnosed with cancer who are accessing mental health services from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) in Teesside.

The document, called “Passport to my Health and Well-being”, will make it easier for individuals to share information about their mental health with those involved in their care and includes information on their condition, medication and preferences.

The passport also includes a list of national helplines and has space to record information about local support services and hospital appointments.

A teenager has handed out over 500 ‘boxes of positivity’ in efforts to help people struggling with their mental health.

Jack Cole was home for the weekend during his third stay at a mental health hospital when he put together ‘Jack’s Treasures’ boxes for friends there.

The boxes included sensory items, a worry stone and ‘engouragmints’ – Polos with inspirational quotes written on them –, and were paid for with his saved birthday and Christmas money.

After seeing their positive impact, the 16-year-old kept putting the boxes together.

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A MENTAL health charity is adapting its Workplace Wellbeing programme to help businesses and their workers to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Mind offers the programme to help businesses up skill their employees to understand themselves and each other better and was developed to help strengthen the local economy by building and nurturing emotionally resilient workforces that can perform in challenging times.

Now, with the very real challenge posed by the Coronavirus impacting businesses of every size and all sectors, the Workplace Wellbeing team has adapted its approach to ensure it can continue to deliver services and support businesses when they most need it.

A Former solider set up a special group for men to talk about their mental health following Mental Health Awareness Week in May.

Gareth Howell, of Redcar, has established the community in memory of friends he has known in the army and in Redcar who have experienced mental health problems, with some taking their own lives.

“The idea was just to get people together and talking,” the man, who served in the army for 23 years, said.

“There was a number of suicides in Redcar last year, so I got the Walk n Talk Facebook group together and we put a few flyers out and 20-odd men turned up for the first walk to Marske and back in March. We’ve had 400 people join the group. There really is a need out there.”

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