Welcome to the August edition of MiC’s ebulletin – watch out for November’s!
I hope you find it interesting and helpful but if you have any ideas about how we might improve it, do let us know.
Sarah Hughes, CEO
News from the CEO desk
Well, it’s that time already when we share all the news from Mind in Cambridgeshire. I am pleased to see that summer made an appearance and hope that our readers have had an opportunity to enjoy those beautiful sunny days.
As usual, Mind in Cambridgeshire has a lot to share. We seem to move at quite a pace, while also trying to make sure we offer people using our services consistency and stability – quite a challenge but one we take very seriously. You will see throughout this ebulletin some great progress across the board and I’m sure you will join me in thanking staff and volunteers, for their continued commitment to our mission and values.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Alice Cookson, volunteer at our Huntingdon groups for more than 10 years, who is retiring on the 5 September. Alice is someone who I admire greatly – not only has she been a hugely popular volunteer but, in my mind, embodies one of our most important values; Compassion. I remember in the early days, running groups alongside Alice and I always enjoyed her stories and her ability to make anyone feel at ease and welcome. Alice made a beautiful little teddy for my daughter when she was born and she still treasures it today. Again, can I ask you all to please join me in saying a huge THANK YOU to Alice – I hope she enjoys her well-earned retirement!
We have continued to work on our buildings and are turning them into super welcoming and comfortable environments. I am so happy to see new furniture and carpets, all of which make such a huge difference. We are also working on our branding and so very soon you will see some new signs and artwork around the buildings – it’s incredibly exciting. Finally, we are expecting our Mind quality visit at the end of October.
Please contact Victoria Skinner if you would like to be involved on the day.
Mind in Cambridgeshire continues to work closely with Peterborough and Fenland Mind and is about to embark on another phase in our partnership, which will involve a shared management structure. Over the coming weeks, I will take up the role of Chief Executive of both MiC and P&F Mind, while Emily Gray will take up the role of Director of Peterborough and South Lincolnshire. We anticipate that this will allow both organisations to continue to grow and work even more closely together, for the benefit of our local communities. We will tell you more about this on our websites over the weeks to come.
Mental health in the media
I hope you will have seen the growing emphasis on mental health in the media. For those of us who have been involved in the mental health world for a long time, it marks a significant sea change. I personally feel that for the first time people, in families and within communities, are talking about their mental health in positive and supportive ways. While I do not believe discrimination has disappeared, I have faith that we have got to a place where mental illness is no longer seen as something separate but something we are all at risk of. Seeing Prince Harry talk about his own emotional challenges was both moving and revolutionary. Let’s continue to talk and support our campaigns; Stress LESS and STOP Suicide.
You will hear all about our services below, so I will leave it there but continue to give us your feedback – we love to hear from you!
Cambridgeshire Wellbeing Service
The Wellbeing Service continues to work hard, providing support in the form of 1:1’s, support groups and workshops to more than 145 individuals who access our service, in a range of locations across Cambridgeshire. This quarter, we have received 70 referrals.
We introduced our new prospectus in July and are soon to be running our brand new workshop ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’. We know this will benefit a wide range of individuals and provide them with useful tips and practical ways they can incorporate the 5 Ways to Wellbeing into their lives.
There have been a few staff updates: Hannah Turner will be seconded two days a week to work as the Sanctuary Manager for both Cambridge and Peterborough Sanctuaries, while Chloe Humphrey will continue as Wellbeing Manager two days a week. Magda Smereka has started her transition from our Cambridge office to work at St Neots. We have welcomed our new Project Worker Sara Burton to the team, who will be based at our Cambridge office.
We have introduced a new database called Views. This will enable us to record data more accurately and provide a range of reporting options.
Changing Lives Primary Care Service
The Changing Lives team continue to provide 1:1 Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Counselling to the communities of Cambridgeshire and Fenland. The demand for the counselling team is very high and we are working to reduce waiting times.
We are currently working to gather all the necessary evidence to demonstrate the quality of the service for the upcoming national Mind review. Additionally, we are drafting a proposal for innovations within the service, which will be presented to the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) shortly.
Within the counselling team, we say goodbye to Stuart Thompson, a valued member of our team at the Wisbech location but welcome Paula Sandford, who is joining us, also in Wisbech.
Support2Recovery (S2R) is going from strength to strength. We are implementing a new database to help with the production of rotas and to help with invoicing.
We have recently welcomed two new support workers to our team, and are pleased to welcome Kim Griffin to the S2R team, who is working two days a week as volunteer administrator.
We are also in the process of recruiting a new S2R Manager, who will be in post by mid-September 2016.
The team are all attending quarterly meetings. These help to build good communication and, more importantly, strong relationships between the team members.
The SUN Network
The SUN Network have just held workshops to discuss the way forward for the service and these were very successful. We have some great ideas to move forward with, to shape our future.
We have now published our first 5 values peer assessment report on Richmond Fellowship and received brilliant feedback from their head office. As a result, we have had an invite from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) to complete a 5 values report on their Cameo service and adult locality teams.
The drug and alcohol update: we are focusing on working with the Vanguard delivery, identifying dual diagnosis gaps in service and delivering dual diagnosis training.
Finally, we are still gaining feedback from Mulberry wards at Fulbourn and commencing an exciting new initiative with Inclusion, to connect with Wisbech street drinkers and inform them of support available.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and Mind in Cambridgeshire have teamed up to offer a safe place for individuals in crisis.
The Sanctuary, which is in Cambridge, has been open since the 4 April 2016 and, to date, there have been 107 referrals. Each visitor has been welcomed into the Sanctuary by our excellent team of crisis recovery workers.
On the 19 September the First Response Service, that refers individuals into the Sanctuary, will become a self-referral service, allowing individuals, carers, GPs and other health professionals to refer into the service. The service will also be extended to cover Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, with the opening of a second Sanctuary in Peterborough. The First Response Service will operate 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
For further information, please contact Lynn Mars, Director of Services, Mind in Cambridgeshire E. lynn.mars@mi
Training and development
We have recently signed a Partnership agreement with Cambridge Health at Work, which provides occupational health services for the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) and beyond. The aim of this partnership is to jointly market our training services and to give us access to a wide range of healthcare providers and other organisations across the Eastern region. As a result of this partnership, we have already been commissioned to deliver four courses for West Suffolk Hospital.
We will be delivering two ASIST courses during the autumn, one in Peterborough on 5 & 6 September and one in Cambridge on 2 & 3 November. These have been commissioned as in-house courses, however there are a few places available for individuals.
Our links with the University of Cambridge are developing and we have recently been commissioned to deliver training for college nurses and porters, who are often the first responders to students in mental distress. This is an increasingly important area of work as “elite universities have experienced a big rise in students seeking counselling” in the last five years (The Times, 2016).
For further information about our training services, please email Ruth Brown, Training Manager.
Blue Light Programme
The Blue Light Programme is well underway in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. We are one of four pilot areas to run a year-long project, which aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and to challenge stigma. The project is a collaboration between Mind in Cambridgeshire (MiC) and Peterborough and Fenland Mind (P&F Mind). Jenny Swain is the worker at P&F Mind and she will be working with senior managers, Human Relations and Occupational Health managers. Jo Fitzpatrick is the MiC worker and she will be concentrating on the grassroots work. Both Jenny and Jo started in mid-June and have already hit the ground running! They have had lots of meetings and have also started to deliver training, which will be ongoing throughout the project.
Research indicates that the rates of mental health issues are much higher for staff in the emergency services, than in the general population. They are also less likely to seek help. We will be working with senior management staff, to get new procedures in place, and also with ‘Champions’, who will be recruited from all ranks and areas of the county, to help staff feel more comfortable to speak up before they reach ‘breaking point’.
Champion recruitment is well underway for all four of the emergency services. We started with Cambridgeshire Constabulary and are now focusing on Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue, with already 67 Champions to date. This involves holding drop-in sessions at various venues across the county, getting to know the organisations and general awareness raising.
The next few months are likely to be very busy, as all four services get involved in the project, and we look forward to seeing the work really take off!
Stress LESS, our campaign to help college students across Cambridgeshire to manage their stress levels, has been hailed a big success, having engaged thousands of young people. The campaign’s #Take5challenge encouraged students to change five small things in their lives, over five weeks, to prevent the pressures of the exam season from overwhelming them.
The campaign’s key messages were promoted across the county by a network of 18 student Stress LESS Champions, who were encouraged to create their own Stress LESS Action Plan and promote the campaign among their fellow students.
Rianna Jamieson, a Stress LESS Champion from Cambridge, said: “The campaign has really opened my eyes to how big an issue mental health is in our generation and how much of a stigma there is towards admitting that you are doing too much that you can’t handle.
“I have learnt not only how to deal better with my own stress, especially during my AS Levels, but also how to help others to deal with their stress. It’s been a truly enriching experience – thank you for allowing me to be part of this brilliant campaign!”
The campaign also had a strong online and media presence:
- 112 Stress LESS Facebook fans, reaching at least 8,869 people
- 2,965 page views and 2,524 visits to the Stress LESS web page
- More than 6,500 downloads of the Stress LESS images and over 130 downloads of the Stress LESS Action Plan
- A webinar on youth mental health, stress and relationships
- Positive local media coverage from Cambridge News, Ely News & Hunts Post
The campaign will enter its second phase in September, when it hopes to take its messages out to young people outside the college environment.
The STOP Suicide campaign team are currently busy preparing for World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2016. According to the World Health Organisation (2016), one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. We want to encourage as many local organisations as possible to help us raise awareness of this powerful message and the campaign, by displaying the banner image, above, on their website on that day and, ideally, during the week before. So please share far and wide with your networks!
We’ll also be holding a week of activity following the day. This will consist of:
- Friday 9 Sept – the Clinical School will be hosting a screening of ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ film and Q&A with Jonny Benjamin and Sarah Hughes (MiC) – CRUK-CI Lecture Theatre, 12pm – 1.30pm
- Weds 14 Sept – stand at the Priory Centre, St Neots, 10am – 2pm
- Thurs 15 Sept – stand at Tesco, Wisbech, 11am – 3pm
- Friday 16 Sept – stand at Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, Peterborough, 11am – 3pm
If you’d like to attend or volunteer for any of the above, please let us know ASAP. Any help would be really appreciated!
In June 2016 the Prince’s Trust Fenland Team 133 chose Mind in Cambridgeshire’s Resilient Together project for their community project. The young people decided to produce two films aimed at reducing mental health discrimination, specifically around bullying. The project was led entirely by the young people, from creating the concepts, scripts and storyboards to the filming.
Due to a generous donation from Market Place and the Cambridgeshire Community Reach Fund, the Prince’s Trust was able to work with a professional production company, 20Twenty Productions. This enabled them to gain valuable experience and skills in filming, audio recording and editing, as well as create two high quality videos in only two weeks. The final films will be showcased at The Light Cinema in Wisbech on 10 November.
Describing the impact of this project, one young person said: “It’s made a big difference because I didn’t think there was any stigma or discrimination with mental health issues. And now we’ve done these videos, it’ll help the community loads because it’ll raise awareness for people who don’t think mental health issues are a big deal. It’ll make people realise it is a big deal and there are people you can go to to get help.”
If you’re a resident within the Southern Fringe of Cambridge, or Wisbech, and would like to get involved with raising mental health awareness among young people and/or to learn more about how you can help build resilience in your communities, please get in touch.
Newly appointed Jo Fitzpatrick tells us about her role within the Blue Light Programme, her background in the charitable sector and what she does outside of work!
A Day in the Life
This time we take a peek into ‘A Day in the Life’ of Mental Health Campaigns Officer, Dominika Karpowicz.
What does your typical day look like? If you’d like to feature in the next ebulletin, please email us.
In the spotlight this month is… Trustee, Ian Cunningham. Learn more about Ian.
The Bigger Mental Health Picture
Important links, news and surveys in the wider world of mental health
- New Website Helping Young People to ‘Keep Their Head’ – MiC
- It’s brilliantly powerful when athletes come out as depressed – The Pool
- How to support young people’s mental health during exams & beyond – TES
- Are digital detoxes the way forward? – Cambridge News
- Pregnancy and mental health: the hidden pain of giving birth – Guardian
- Podcast about psychosis – Royal College of Psychiatrists
- New insights into how the mind influences the body – ScienceDaily
- Scientists discover 17 genetic variations raise risk of depression – Guardian
- Mind finds ‘Worrying’ levels of stress among primary care staff – Mind
- Prince Harry meets Mind volunteer at Heads Together BBQ – Mind
- Depression Alliance becomes part of Mind – Third Sector
- Keep up to date with Mind news and Time to Change