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
This autumn three poets from BWW Minds’ creative arts project Portugal Prints took part in the Healing Words poetry competition, run by The Advocacy Project and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).
Chris Bird won a prize for his poem ‘Hiding Places’, the actress Joanna Scanlan, one of the judges, presented Chris with his award as winner of the Best Illustrated Poem category. You can hear Joanna talking more about the project at http://www.advocacyproject.org.uk/poetry/
Many thanks to the team from the Advocacy Project for an amazing evening.
Advocacy at Tooting Hub
On the first Monday of each month highly trained and experienced advocates will be on hand to help anyone who has used mental health services to:
- develop a voice and have a say about your treatment and care
- give guidance and support to enable you to understand your rights
- ensure that where needed you can access people to speak on your behalf.
This service is available to anyone living in Wandsworth who has used mental health services.
Please see flyer for more details: ADVOCACY AT TOOTING
Health and Wellbeing Day
Tooting Hub celebrated its bi monthly wellbeing day today we had a fun filled day starting with a cooking demonstration where Christine Street (Centre Manager) and service user Viktoriya Noori showcased different ways to cook porridge using various healthy ingredients to an audience of service users. This was followed by Susie Brinton, a masseur and Ayurvedic practitioner from Amla Health who delivered a talk on Ayurveda and its influence on nutrition, mind and the body.
Several Service users were then treated to personal head and shoulder massages from Susie which received very positive feedback from service users “I feel like a new man” said one, “the massage was wonderful and brilliant” said another.
A healthy lunch of fish, potatoes and salad was enjoyed by our service users who described it as “perfect” and “beautiful”.
The day was rounded off by some stretching and breathing exercises by WW Mind staff member Alison. Service users found the session ”very relaxing and exhilarating”, some of the service users are pictured stretching in the session.
When asked how what they thought of the day, service users gave a series of glowing comments:
“I enjoyed myself throughout the day”;
“very helpful and interesting”
“She (Susie) gave a brilliant talk”;
“the exercises were good, something that I could do, the breathing exercises really relaxed me”.
See our Facebook Page for pictures from the event.