The initiative grew out of a conversation between Neil Davies and James Blandford-Baker in early spring 2015 when both became aware of tragic and challenging stories affecting young people in our community. As for so many in our villages, these stories affected us personally. With the reduction in statutory support and treatment for people of all ages with mental health conditions, as well as the stigma that is still associated with them, the H & I Mental Wellbeing Forum came together to see what could be done at a local level.
Mental wellbeing includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Mental health problems cover a very wide spectrum, affect around one in four people in Britain, and range from common mental conditions, such as depression and anxiety, to rarer problems. A mental health problem can feel just as bad, or worse, as any other physical illness – only you cannot see it. There are many issues that impact on our mental wellbeing and these make us all at risk of developing a mental health problem at any time during our lives. The majority of people who experience them do recover or learn to manage their mental health problem.
In 2017 we hired a Mental Wellbeing Champion, who led the initiative until the end of 2017. As we start 2018 we are moving the project into a new phase with the recruitment of a Mental Wellbeing Worker
We have run two weeks of activities to to remove the stigma and increase our understanding and awareness of mental wellbeing.
2017 Mental Wellbeing Week
2016 Mental Wellbeing Week
If you would like to find out what happened during the very full week of events in April 2016, you can see the events page or download the programme for the week and the poster which has summary of the events. You can listen to James Blandford-Baker and a parent talking about the week on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire (the segment starts at 2:17:30 and lasts for 6 minutes).
During the week in April 2016 we did a survey to help understand the awareness, main concerns and needs about mental wellbeing issues within our community. We now have produced a report on the findings which you can download here.