Welcome to the Spring edition of the CPSL Mind e-bulletin in 2019 – an opportunity for us to share our news and highlight the impact of our work across Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire.
This edition focuses on the launch of our ambitious new organisational strategy: ‘Building on our strengths: for better mental health’. This sets out our vision, mission and goals for the next three years with a focus on creating a society in which everyone has positive mental health and feels part of a connected community.
Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) also celebrated the impact of our work during 2017-18, including the inspirational story of local mum, and now CPSL Mind staff member, Katie Wells who has used her own experience of perinatal mental health challenges to help others (see below). Please also see the link below to our latest Impact Report for more stories from across our services.
Our STOP Suicide campaign continues to attract an ever-growing volunteer community of Campaign Makers who are seeking new ways to spread awareness and start conversations around suicide prevention. Meanwhile our Training Team are equipping more people than ever before with the skills and knowledge to maintain positive wellbeing and support others – including making a huge impact at the University of Cambridge!
Elsewhere, our staff share the new mindfulness techniques they have been learning to support their wellbeing and we marvel at the dedication of our fundraisers.
Chief Executive Officer
Ambitious Strategy Launched at AGM
Ambitions to change the way mental health is viewed and putting communities and individuals at the heart of creating positive mental health for all is at the centre of our new organisational strategy.
Launched at our AGM in March, our new three year strategy sets out a vision, mission and strategic goals to build on the strengths we have demonstrated over previous years.
Our core value of ‘inclusivity’ underpins the strategy which was co-produced with individuals with lived experience, staff, volunteers and trustees alongside a wide range of our other stakeholders.
Our CEO, Aly Anderson, captures the essence of the strategy saying, “Co-producing this three year strategy has been such a rewarding and important project. I’m so excited and proud to have worked alongside everyone who has contributed to our strategy. All coming together, for better mental health.”
Celebrating Impact at 46th AGM
Katie Wells, our incredible Perinatal Project Worker pictured above, shared her inspirational story of recovery from perinatal mental health challenges to trustees, staff, volunteers and our local community at our 46th AGM (held at the Møller Centre in Cambridge in March).
As well as launching our new strategy, the AGM was an opportunity to reflect on the amazing impact our work has had on individuals and communities. Katie is one of these individuals. Her recovery from accessing our Perinatal Service at the darkest point of her life to working with us to improve the lives of others shines a spotlight on what we are achieving.
It was just one of a number of success stories to be celebrated through talks at the AGM alongside our Co-Production work, our STOP Suicide campaign and our Resilient Together community project.
The AGM was also the occasion to wish a fond farewell to Jo Lucas, as Chair of Board of Trustees, and Charles Hewitson, as President of CPSL Mind. We’d like to thank both Jo and Charles for their continued support over many years. Jo has been involved with local and national Mind for more than 30 years and played an important role in the development of our new strategy. We wish them both well for the future.
As a result of these departures, we also welcomed Stuart Jessup and Keith Evans into new roles. Stuart has been a trustee for many years and now takes up the role of Chair of Board of Trustees. Formally Vice-President, Keith Evans has stepped into the position of President of CPSL Mind. To view our up-to-date list of trustees click here.
STOP Suicide Campaign Makers Inspiring Change
Over 90 people have now signed up as STOP Suicide Campaign Makers to dedicate their time to raising awareness about suicide prevention across our region!
Can you help us to reach 100?
Our ever-growing volunteer community of Campaign Makers are crucial in spreading our suicide prevention message and continue to do so in really creative ways.
Campaign Makers are individuals who have joined our STOP Suicide campaign and aim to make a positive difference to those around them by encouraging direct conversations about suicide. They share their experiences in a variety of ways, they fundraise and they promote the campaign in their workplaces or universities or community groups using our information resources.
The beauty of this voluntary role is that it is flexible and completely up to Campaign Makers themselves how they achieve the goal of spreading the STOP Suicide message in a safe way.
Getting our community of Campaign Makers together at meet-up events earlier this year was exciting as they were able to be creative and work together using their range of skills and interests to explore how they could best reach our local community.
Examples of how they have gone about this include Nicole who hosts a podcast, Steve who set up a blog, sharing downloadable resources in community locations, making an impact on social media and hosting talks.
They are also maintaining their own wellbeing by meeting socially, using Trello as a tool manage projects and staying in contact together via WhatsApp.
If you would like to join our community of Campaign Makers to make a positive difference to suicide prevention in our region please visit stopsuicidepledge.org/get-involved and get in touch.
Promoting Wellbeing at the University of Cambridge
With 21,000 students, over 100 academic departments, the world’s oldest publishing house and 118 Nobel Prizes to its name, the University of Cambridge is not just a huge part of Cambridge life – it’s an influence that’s felt all over the world. Awareness and interest around mental health is growing yearly, and the University is making mental health a central part of its life too.
The University’s Disability Resources Centre has 3,200 disabled students registered, of whom 500 have mental health issues; this year its annual Disability Lecture was given by Poppy Jarman, co-founder of Mental Health First Aid England.
In 2016 our Training team created a customised course on supporting students’ mental wellbeing. Since then we have delivered the training in 7 of the 31 colleges as well as providing Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to administrative staff.
This year we’re delivering more training than ever for University staff and students. 2019 got off to a busy start with college nurses booking both MHFA and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) courses and the Institute of Continuing Education fielding an impressive 80 delegates for MHFA!
It’s not all about the training though: later this year Stuart Jessup, Chair of our Board of Trustees and Kings College alumnus, will be returning to his alma mater to inspire students with his story and share his passion for the work we do.
Training Manager, Ruth Brown, herself an alumna of Selwyn College, says: “It’s exciting to be a part of a wide range of initiatives throughout the University to prevent high levels of stress developing into more serious mental health issues. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to equip staff to respond appropriately to mental health crises in both students and colleagues.”
If you’re interested in attending one of our courses or would like to have training for your organisation please visit cpslmind.org.uk/training-services
Mindfulness – Little Changes Can Have Big Benefits!
If you’ve ever wondered what mindfulness is and what it can do for you, check out this article written by a group of CPSL Mind staff and volunteers who were recently given the chance to support their own wellbeing with a mindfulness course.
What is Mindfulness?
Have you ever been driving a car or walking and wondered how you got from A to B? The chances are most of us have. During daily routines and carrying out tasks that are familiar to us we tend to be on autopilot.
Mindfulness brings our attention back to the moment. The present. This can be through meditations, breathing exercises or daily activities.
It’s about noticing your mind wandering, naming it – i.e planning, thinking, frustration etc. – and then being able to bring your attention back to the moment.
It takes 8 weeks to retrain the brain into doing something new which then leads it to being incorporated into our lifestyle. Small changes can also make us become more mindful which will help in our daily lives to promote a kind of happiness that allows us to meet the worst that life can throw at us with new courage.
So how can we be more mindful?
Tip 1 – Your thoughts are not YOU! So don’t take them personally. Acknowledge them and then bring yourself back to the moment.
Tip 2 – Add some randomness to your life. “Habit releasing” is what you are doing here. If you always sit at the same seat, try another chair. See the world from a different place!
Tip 3 – Pick something you do everyday – such as walking the dog, cleaning your teeth or sitting in the garden – and practice it mindfully. Don’t have any other distractions and focus on this activity. Allow yourself to think about the taste, what’s around you, the sounds, colours, how it feels and movements. Your experience will never feel the same again!
Tip 4 – Your breath – sitting somewhere quiet, bring your awareness to the breath as it moves in and out of the body. Notice the changing patterns and the sensations. Feel the abdomen rising and falling. Simply let the breath breathe itself. If your mind wanders, acknowledge the thought and bring it back. Try this for 5 minutes.
Enjoy being more mindful and remember……..
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking out new landscapes but in having new eyes”
(Attrib.Marcel Proust 1871-1922)
Dedicated Fundraisers Working Through the Night
As always a big thank you to everyone who supports our work and fundraises for us. We couldn’t achieve what we do without you.
Here are few examples of recent fundraising events:
We’d like to thank students and staff from both Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge who raised over £2,000 hosting a live 24 hour nonstop radio broadcast on Cam FM!
You can read more here.
A huge thank you also to staff from local printing company Bonacia who swapped their comfy beds to sleep outdoors highlighting the link between homelessness and mental health.
They did an amazing job and raised £3,285!
You can read more here.
If you feel inspired to raise funds to support our work please visit cpslmind.org.uk/join-us/fundraise-for-us and get in touch.