Our CEO Janice Horsman gives a talk about mental health in the armed forces. (more…)
A huge thank you to the following organisations who are supporting us by donating items, gifts-in-kind, pro-bono support and funds. We are extremely grateful for your support both by donating items and in believing in our cause and helping to raise awareness of the work that we do. Great things happen when the third-sector and corporates can come together for a common cause – thank you to these wonderful companies.
Coca Cola London Eye Experience
The Condiment Co
Covington & Burling LLP
Talking about your mental health can be difficult – you may struggle to find the words. Poetry can be an extremely powerful and cathartic tool for processing painful emotions and for moving into a more positive and mental well frame of mind. This poem explores the physical manifestation of mental pain, and ends on a hopeful note, full of future promise, motivation and inner strength !
Damaged and irreversible
No chance for change
Like the clouds that wander in the open sky
Visible to all, and in plain sight
Your Honor, I present to you the hideous scar
A multitude of questions running the human mind
Like grains of sand
My scars feature daily in the morning, noon and evening slot of every news outlet
They announce me
Not always a true reflection of me
But always the first thing that you see
The paint may fall from the outside walls of the castle
But from where you’re standing, you’ll never know
Who’s home dreaming great dreams
Maybe even writing great lyrics
A story is found in theses scars
Though it appears ugly and dark
Weather beaten, greatly marred
To the worlds physical eyes
Even on sunny afternoons summer light
Behold, these scars narrate my journeys and adventures
The paths I’ve walked upon
Where I’ve been burned
I hope to rise above these scars
Managing at the moment with Talking Therapies
Won’t let the painful memories and feelings
By Akin Olusanya
This poem was written as part of our mental health awareness week campaign, helping to bring awareness and break down stigma regarding mental health. Community Navigator, Akin, often writes wonderful poetry about mental health ; he put pen to paper to illustrate the growing need for men to be able to talk about their experiences and open up when they are struggling.
My soul is burdened, seems like I’m in the dark
And my mind, overwhelmed
A man with great pride
Had all, lost all,
Everything in me yelling for help
Remember growing up
as a young male,
the world telling me
Always be strong
Now I’m down on life’s luck
A man going on to thirty four
With no navigation to weather the storm
Strange, now I’m losing my sleep
No more appetite to eat
My once good health
Anxiety. Depression, bipolar personality disorder,
These are very real
My admonishment therefore is to men:
Let’s all speak up, rise, seek help
Get counselling, embrace therapy
Know that MIND cares
Poem written by Akin Olunsanya
Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind opened its doors to the Somalian community on Wednesday 9th May 2018 to raise awareness and break down the walls of stigma which have contributed to the suffering mental ill health in silence. In particular, the workshop focussed on stress management and coping strategies.
The talk was delivered by Xiishod, a group set up to combat mental health stigma in the Somali community. Xiishod means ‘ shame/shyness’ in Somali and is a word that encapsulates how many in this community have been made to feel when trying to broach issues about their mental health. Xiishod helps to spread awareness of mental helth and wellbeing to the Somali community and to other ethnic minority groups.
A wonderful and informative day was had by all ! We’d like to say a huge thank you to Xiishod for coming along to deliver such an important workshop.
“Everyone who attended the workshop was very thankful and asked me to pass on their thanks. I also would like to say a big thank you, to you and everyone at the Tooting Hub. If it was not for all of you such an informative and valuable workshop would not have been possible”
On 23rd April, the wonderful Year 12 students of Queens Park Community School in Brent, took part in the First Give Project. Five teams of six form students presented to their classmates and a panel of judges, hoping to win £1,000 to support their chosen charity.
First Give is a project designed to engage secondary school children with the work of local charity organisations, encouraging them to consider initiatives to raise awareness and funds that will support their local community. Students also need to do a presentation on their chosen charity to their classmates, teachers and a panel of judges (made up from local representatives), in order to compete to win £1,000 for their charity.
Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind were picked by Group 4, who gave an excellent and informative presentation on the impact of negative mental health, of the prevalence of mental health issues in the UK, and what they would do to raise awareness of BWW Mind’s work.
Other charities represented on the day were Kiva, Kensal Rise Under 5’s and the Flying Seagul Project.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Kristiyan, Ana and Ina for picking us and for doing so well to convey the work that we do here. The students showed they were both confident and compassionate and we were hugely impressed by their organisational skills and community action plans.
Thanks also to First Give for helping to pioneer this amazing schools participation project.
Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind is delighted to have been selected as the charity partner of the year by the London office of Covington & Burling LLP, an international law firm with 13 other offices as far afield as Beijing, Dubai, Johannesburg and Washington DC.
We are grateful to have been picked over so many other worthwhile organisations and are thrilled not only at the opportunity to raise funds but to be able to raise awareness of the work that we do, the issues surrounding those experiencing mental health problems, and to play a part in ensuring the Covington staff have the right tools to maintain their own good mental wellbeing!
The good folks at Covington will be taking part in a number of fundraising activities throughout the year, raising money to support our service users. Already, they have raised funds through a Jeans Day and have already donated almost £350 in just a few months!
Watch this space for more updates on the inventive ways the Covington staff are raising vital income to support those experiencing mental health issues in Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster!
Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind is alive with the sound of music! No, we haven’t stepped into a Julie Andrews film – it’s our wonderful Westminster Sings choir that has been filling the halls with their dulcet tones.
The choir has been meeting regularly at our offices in Pimlico, lead by the hugely talented choirmaster David Phelops. Curious staff have even joined in, lured by the sound of singing throughout the office!
In partnership with the Westminster council, we are delivering this fun and light-hearted choir, which is open to all, even if you are not a service user. Community singing has been found to improve overall wellbeing and reduce loneliness, so can be great for improving your mental health and mood.
If this sounds like something you’d to take part in, please contact Fateha on FMcDaniel@bwwmind.org.uk
The choir will be making its big debut on 16th April at Kensington Town Hall. We do hope you will be able to attend!
Here at Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster Mind, we are lucky enough to have some truly fantastic budding poets amongst our staff and service users. Akin Olusanya is just one such poet, who has agreed to share his amazing poetry with us.
Inspired by our Talking Therapies service, Akin has reflected on his experiences through the medium of poetry. We hope his poetry will inspire you to make use of our Talking Therapies service if you could do with some extra support:
When the voices I hear and the voices that press
Weigh down upon my mind in fear
And my feet goes numb, feelings of being stuck
A companion to these four walls, my world
Struck by the silent persistent whisper – Your radiant sun is out there
Taking a deep breath, I take a first step, I search
Oh look; what do I see here?
Privacy and confidence,
My troubles – safely I share
Seek out this path
Talking Therapies from Mind
I’m functioning once again
To register your interest in our Talking Therapies, please visit this page and submit an enquiry.
World Poetry Day is an international day celebrating the power and beauty of words and poetry. Poetry can be a wonderful and cathartic way of working through feelings and emotions. Many famous poets used words to work through their mental health issues, including Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Lord Byron and John Keats. Why not check out some of the wonderful poems that will be available today on World Poetry Day?
To celebrate World Poetry Day, we are sharing some of the amazing poetry written one of our very own service users. The highly talented Akinola Olusanya felt compelled to express through the power of poetry how it can feel to experience a mental health issue. We think that this extremely moving poem gives a powerful insight into how mental health problems can leave you feeling deflated and unlike your usual self, as well as touching on feelings of isolation and the fear of stigma. Read below:
An afternoon when butterflies flap colourful wings
That’s when I think
There is no colour in me;
I work in the city, climbed up that ladder
Got me the office
Seems I’m living the dream;
No one knows my pain, no one understands
No one there, when Doctor Chen said
Result of an early trauma – it’s a mental illness
All colour has left me;
Can’t tell my friends, cant share with cousin Fred
Mocked, ridiculed, ostracised
– my greatest fears;
Listen to me; don’t crucify
Listen to me; don’t stigmatize
Mental illness happens
We need to talk about this;
Let’s talk mental health
Get this conversation going
Let’s put back
Some radiant colour here.
Have you written some poetry about your experiences of mental health? Perhaps you’ve put pen to paper yourself in honour of World Poetry Day. We’d love to hear from you. To submit your poem to us, please email email@example.com