We are launching today, on World Mental Health Day 2018, the Sharing Wellness Campaign which will run until the end of January 2019. It is a Manchester-wide conversation about mental wellbeing and is supported by Manchester Health & Care Commissioning through its Mental Health Grants Programme.
Though everyone’s mood changes all the time, for many people, feeling confident in themselves, engaged with life, able to cope and to experience a healthy range of emotions is not a given. Some people experience poor wellbeing but do not call it depression or anxiety. For others, circumstances have compelled them to accept a diagnosis of their problem and to try to improve things.
Mental wellbeing can be a difficult subject to broach but at Macc, with our long history of supporting local voluntary organisations, we know about the fantastic work you are doing to support local people. Rooted in community and in diversity we are promoting a citywide conversation about how to improve mental wellbeing and to find out from the people who know, what works.
You may have experience of dealing with and improving your own mental wellbeing or supporting someone you know. We invite people of all communities in Manchester to shout loud, raise their voices and help build an inspiring picture about what works to improve mental health - even if you haven't been diagnosed with a mental health issue.
Has socialising, music, art, theatre, specialist support services, healthy eating, sports, physical activity, hobbies or positive relationships worked for you or someone you know? What else can help to make people feel better?
We are particularly keen to hear voices not usually heard; those of people who do not often feature in conversations about mental health. Whether you or someone you support are a refugee, older person, or from an BME community, LGBT+ group, or living with a long term and chronic physical health condition – we want to hear what works for people’s wellbeing. As we want to create a space where it’s safe to share and to give people control over what they share and how it’s going to be communicated, we are happy for stories to be anonymous or to use a pseudonym.
Can you help someone to get their voice heard? Here are some of the ways you can get involved between now and the end of January 2019:
• Simply share or help someone share what works for their mental wellbeing. Join in the Sharing Wellness campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #SharingOurWellness from 10th October 2018.
• Run an event or activity which shows what mental wellbeing means to you and tell us about it. It could be an awareness-raising event, making a video, putting together a photography or art exhibition, host a zine-making workshop or any other activity you’d like to run. Be as creative as you like and don’t be shy in sharing less traditional means of promoting mental health wellbeing!
• We have around 20 mini-grants of up to £500 for organisations to run activities in support of the Sharing Wellness campaign
• We also have 30 free places available on our Gathering Stories skills training across 2 x 1 day courses, intially available for mini-grant holders but these may also be made available to everyone. These will help you or a member of your organisation to develop their storytelling skills and get to the roots of the story you want to share.
It would be great if we could gather as many stories, in as many different formats, as possible. If you would like to get involved in Sharing Wellness, please contact Helen Walker at [email protected].