News

Every year, mental health support organisations around the world celebrate #WorldMentalHealthDay on 10th October. World Mental Health Day is an important day in our calendar, where we campaign to raise awareness of mental wellbeing in our community, and work to break stigma and empower those experiencing a mental health difficulty. (more…)

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.

Experience Days
www.experiencedays.co.uk

Coca Cola London Eye Experience
https://www.londoneye.com/

Sipsmith Gin
https://sipsmith.com/

Caffe Nero
https://caffenero.com/uk/en/

The Condiment Co
https://www.thecondimentco.co.uk/

British Land
http://www.britishland.com/

Covington & Burling LLP
https://www.cov.com/en/offices/london

Waitrose
http://www.waitrose.com/

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

Dragons fought

Where I’ve been burned

And hurt

 

I hope to rise above these scars

Managing at the moment with Talking Therapies

Won’t let the painful memories and feelings

Define me

 

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
Trapped,
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
Lost
Strange, now I’m losing my sleep
No more appetite to eat
My once good health
Failing me
Anxiety. Depression, bipolar personality disorder,
Schizophrenia …
C’mon fellas,
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

Seek counselling

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.