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Mental Health Awareness Week

Written by ICM Volunteer, Dee.



As we cruise through another May, we find ourselves once more at the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week, an event with the aim to improve the nation’s mental health.


Founded in 2001 by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s theme, ‘Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health’, highlights the link between physical and mental health.


As someone who has struggled with mental health issues for many years, I can’t overstate the positive effects both therapy and exercise has had on my wellbeing. Finally reaching out for help at a low point in my life has helped me take back control in a time where I felt lost and powerless. With each walk I take, my confidence has improved, and I am lucky to find myself on the road to recovery.


I was fortunate to have the means to improve my situation, but what other resources are actively available in our community?


With so much stigma around talking about our low feelings, we at ICM know how important it is to provide safe spaces for people to talk through their troubles and get the help they need to improve their quality of life. No one should struggle through difficult thoughts alone, and the more we push to create environments where people can feel open to talk about their struggles, the less stigmatised mental health issues will become, making access to much needed resources more readily available.  



Improving mental health is a key component of everything we do. Our project Emulate was brought to fruition with the core goal of supporting young disadvantaged men through mentorships and offer them the support and opportunities to create positive changes and better their lives. 


Our New Gen and South Street Kids initiatives help provide safe spaces for children and young people to express themselves creatively and inspire them to look forward to a brighter future. (You can learn more about all our projects here.)


Our ESOL learners have also expressed how our services have impacted them in positive ways and improved their mental wellbeing.


“I don’t have enough English skills to express my gratitude for everything you and your team have done for me. I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you! In the darkest year of my life I was faced with extreme situations which I couldn’t have overcome if you were not by my side with a big shoulder. So for now, best wishes! Many thanks!”


Though there may be times where we feel isolated, it is important to remember that you are never alone in your feelings. There will always be people who want to help you through your struggles, and alleviate any burdens you may carry. Asking for help can be daunting, but is always the pivotal step towards recovery, and towards a brighter future.


We encourage everyone to reach out to those struggling with their mental health, to check in and offer support in any capacity they can, both this week and in all subsequent weeks.

 

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.” Morgan Freeman.

 

To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week, you can visit Mental Health Foundation’s website here.


Struggling with your mental health? Here are a few good places to try.

You’re not alone.


SHOUT: For free, confidential support, 24/7, text SHOUT to 85258.


THE SAMARITANS: offer emotional support 24 hours a day - in full confidence. Call 116 123 - it's FREE.


MIND: infoline on 0300 123 3393


CALM: The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide. You can talk to CALM about anything. Call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58 or use their webchat here.


Talk to your GP - Your GP may be the first person you talk to about your mental health problems. If you have a good relationship with your doctor, you may find it helpful just to know there is someone you can talk to about the feelings you are having. Your GP may refer you to specialist services if he/she feels they will help you.




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