Archive January 2018

Wandsworth’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ian Lewer, is to visit the vibrant Tooting Wellbeing Hub. Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind are delighted to welcome Ian to the Centre, to showcase some of services offered by the Hub, as well as giving our service users the opportunity to display their artwork, discuss their roads to recovery and voice their views about local issues.

We hope that Mr Lewer will gain a greater understanding of how the Tooting Hub helps to create empowerment, opportunity and recovery for its service users.

Activities on the day will include the popular Arts and Crafts class, a Movement and Dance Therapy session and a delicious buffet served by our on-site chef Naomi.

Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind’s chief executive, Janice Horsman, will also be present on the day to welcome Ian to the Centre.

For more information about the services offered at the Tooting Hub, please see our events calendar (at the bottom of our homepage) or list of wellbeing services.

Volunteer Constance Novis is a trainee Dance Movement Pyschotherapist studying at the University of Roehampton.  She has been delivering dance and movement sessions at our Tooting Hub as part of her one year  placement with Brent,Wandsworth and Westminster Mind . She says:

I have been on a weekly one-day placement as a dance movement psychotherapist trainee at the Tooting Wellbeing Hub since last September and its my favourite day of the week. When I arrive I hear the buzz of the conversation from the cafe and smell the fragrance of fresh baking.
I can see for myself the positive effect the centre has on the service users. The centre is airy, light and modern, the welcome is friendly and the atmosphere is energizing and supportive. It is the perfect setting for me to run my sessions, both one-to-one and in groups. I, along with the service users who visit the centre regularly, are warmly encouraged and facilitated by the great team that manage this hub.

If you’d like to book onto Connie’s well-being through dance and movement sessions, please see our events page or contact cstreet@bwwmind.org.uk. You can also view the huge range of other activities we offer at the Tooting hub by visiting our Wandsworth Services page.

Alternatively, if you’re inspired by Connie’s experience as a volunteer and would like to offer your time and skills to a good cause, why not contact us at admin@bwwmind.org.uk  .We have plenty of volunteer opportunities, whether you want to support us individually, as part of a group of friends or even through your workplace!

 

Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind are extremely privileged to welcome members of the Civil Service Fast Stream to our Westminster office, where they will be delivering employment workshops for service users.

Over a period of 6 weeks, a team of Fast Stream graduates will bring their skills and energy to deliver employment workshops aimed at supporting people with mental health problems to re-engage with meaningful employment or to contribute further to community life.

Through the scheme, Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind will engage with service users to support those who have been out of work to brush up on useful skills such as CV writing, interview skills, presentation skills and more.

The first session was held on the 12th January and was a huge success. Participants said they felt empowered by the session and had a better understanding of how to take their first steps back into work.

For those suffering from mental health issues, anxieties around securing and sustaining employment can be exceedingly stressful and have a negative impact on their mental wellbeing. BWW Mind is delighted to be offering these sessions to support service users and give them the confidence to fulfill their potential.

You can find out more about our programmes to support people suffering from mental health problems back into work by visiting our Building Employment Skills and Training page.

For information on all the workshops we offer, please visit our events page.

 

 

On 11th January 2017, Brent, Wandsworth & Westminster Mind attended the #HeadStartLearning conference on improving young people’s mental resilience and wellbeing.

The event, held at Amnesty International Centre, presented by the Big Lottery Fund in collaboration with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families is the first in a series of biennial events to take place this year.

It was attended by a wide range of mental health professionals, educational professionals, MPs and charitable organisations, provided excellent insights into the lived experience of young people suffering ill mental health and featured highly impressive presentations from young people.

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge is a committed champion of issues related to children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing and  was also in attendance, speaking with ambassadors and attendees about the mental health wellbeing issues faced by young people in the UK.

BWW Mind found the conference extremely insightful and would like to extend its thanks to the Dr Jess Deighton, Professor Michal Ungar, Dawn Austwick, Simon Munk, Richard Head and Neil Humphrey for their insightful contributions to the conference.

BWW Mind will use knowledge and best practice shared from the conference to inform our engagement with schools and local authorities and to help prioritise a programme of mental health wellbeing in partnership with these organisations.

Mentoring programmes in schools are a particularly effective way of increasing young people’s mental wellbeing, although such programmes do not currently form part of the curriculum. BWW Mind hopes to work more closely with schools over the coming years to help emphasise the importance of good mental wellbeing and to support schools in engaging students in how they can look after their mental health.

You can read the insights of the #HeadStart research and findings on the UCL website : https://www.ucl.ac.uk/evidence-based-practice-unit/headstart-learning-teama.

 

On 22 December 2017 the High Court ruled that changes to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) earlier in the  year are ‘blatantly discriminatory’ against people with mental health problems and ‘cannot be objectively justified’.

In February, the Government introduced regulations that limited the amount of support that people who struggle to make journeys because of psychological distress could get through PIP.

At the time the Government said that people in this group had fewer support needs than other disabled people who struggle to make journeys. The High Court ruling found that this amounted to no more than subjective opinion with no evidence to back up such a claim.

If this ruling stands then more than 160,000 people with mental health problems will be entitled to additional support from PIP.

The case was brought by the Public Law Project on behalf of their client RF. Mind intervened in the case alongside the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Paul Farmer said:

“This ruling is a significant victory for people with mental health problems. It acknowledges that the regulations discriminated against people with mental health problems and upholds the principle that PIP should look at the impact your condition has on your life, not what kind of condition you have.

If the ruling is allowed to stand then more than 160,000 people with mental health problems will be able to access the support they should have been entitled to all along. This support is what can make the difference between whether people can get to work or appointments, see friends and family and live independent lives. We are proud to have supported Public Law Project and their client RF to get these regulations overturned.

“The judgment is clear that the Government has no evidence for its claim that people who experience psychological distress need less support than other disabled people. The Government’s stance on this issue is symptomatic of all the deep concerns that we have about the benefits system as a whole – it just does not understand mental health problems and the impact they can have on a person’s life.

“The Government now needs to accept the judgment it has been given and start making sure that people who struggle to plan and make a journey because of their mental health will get the financial support they are entitled to.”

Read the judgment and find out what this will mean for people claiming PIP.