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Mental Health Awareness Week: Manchester Mind does #ManchesterKind

As we mark Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) Manchester Mind continues to deliver vital services to people experiencing mental ill-health, playing our part in the inspiring city-wide response during the pandemic.

We are still here to help, and want to ensure no one is left struggling with their mental health. This year’s Mental Health Awareness theme is “kindness” and so during these difficult times, we encourage everyone to engage in one or more simple acts from 18 May throughout the month, and beyond…

Kindness Act 1: Share news of our local support services

“We know now, more than ever, people are struggling with their mental health. We know that some people may be experiencing poor mental health for the first time, or existing conditions may be exacerbated. We are here and ready to help anyone in Manchester who needs our support. Please help us share this important message.”
Elizabeth Simpson, CEO Manchester Mind

Our services have rapidly adjusted so they can be accessed from home, either online or by telephone. We continue to support those who were already receiving help from Manchester Mind, but we are there for anyone who experiencing a mental health issue for the first time.

In response to COVID19, Manchester Mind has introduced two new listening services, one for young people (age 15-25) and another for over 25s. The listening services are for anyone struggling with their mental health, social isolation, worries and anxieties. Callers can talk to someone who will take the time to listen and understand, while also signposting other helpful support services.

For adults who are struggling with their mental health, they also offer free and impartial advice for benefits, including Universal Credit claims, debts and housing. For young people (age 15-25) they provide counselling, advice (for benefits, work, housing, studies or money worries) and a virtual wellbeing café. 

Meanwhile, since the start of lockdown, our catering enterprise, Good Mood Food and community project (Food for All) have joined forces to offer emergency food provision and home deliveries to anyone in need across the city (more details below). Our adult Peer Support Project is also offering support through the phone buddy scheme and zoom groups until the groups can resume in person.

Please help us spread the word about our services so we can reach as many people as possible #NeverMoreNeeded #ManchesterKind

Kindness Act 2: Focus on Self Care

Manchester Mind is offering free weekly mindfulness sessions via zoom during the pandemic. No experience is needed, just register for the session of your choice via our events calendar. Or why not try our 5 minute breathing space exercise at home at the start, middle or end of the day? Think about how you can take care of yourselves by staying active at home and using self-care tools and techniques. You might also find Mind’s Coivd-19 wellbeing information online useful too.

Kindness Act 3: Support Others

Feel free to share Mind tips on how to support yourself and your work team during the pandemic or download and circulate free PDF Mind publications. Revisit our top tips for working at home. Or why not join your local volunteer support group or neighbourhood group to connect and kindly give back to others during the pandemic? Feel free to invite everyone to join our Mindfulness sessions here for the session of your choice and encourage your friends, family and neighbours to sign up.

Kindness Act 4: Promote Our Emergency Food Response 

Meanwhile, like many other businesses, our catering enterprise Good Mood Food, has temporarily ceased trading, meaning the loss of a vital income for the charity which supports our community cafes and “pay what you can” (free/donation) lunch sessions. Recognising that poor mental health, loneliness and lack of access to healthy food are intertwined, within days of the lockdown the team responded to the crisis to do what they do best, cooking and delivering high quality, healthy and nutritionally balanced meals, to those in the greatest need. We have been turning food donations from Fareshare GM into home-cooked meals, on average producing 1500 meals per week for those in need. Manchester Mind is also launching its first C19 fundraising campaign in aid of our emergency food project, so please be kind and share our social media news with your contacts from Monday 18 May, once the page goes live www.justgiving.com/campaign/MM-emergency-food-C19

Kindness Act 5: Virtual Fundraising this summer

During Mental Health Awareness Week why not dream up some virtual fundraising ideas in aid of Manchester Mind. From wellbeing activities, physical challenges, virtual socials or creative competitions, you may just have some unsung heroes in your family or neighbourhood! However modest or ambitious, your support makes a real difference to our local services, now more than ever. If you can come together in the spirit of kindness to consider what you might easily and safely do in aid of Manchester Mind we would love to hear about your plans. For ideas and inspiration, please see our   “virtual fundraising pack” 

We hope our five “acts of kindness” during Mental Health Awareness Week and into the Summer will inspire a sense of continued connection during these difficult times. Please know we are still here for everyone in Manchester who needs support.

Thank you as ever for your kind support – our good thoughts remain with you.

#ManchesterKind #NeverMoreNeeded