Good Mood cafes, Open Door calm spaces and community connectivity, just a few of the initiatives in the fresh approach to supporting the one in four of us who may have a need for mental health services at some time in our lives.
Launched on 1st October at Good Mood cafe partner, Art & Soul in St Neots, we hosted a gathering of funders, partners and individuals with lived experience of mental health to mark the award of a three-year funded programme across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The Good Life Service responds to the belief that most people – with or without a mental health problem – would choose to have a ‘life’ over having a ‘service’. The service will be embedded in local communities and will have a focus on increasing community connectivity.
“We believe everyone has a part to play in community life and the fact that someone has a health problem – be that mental or physical – should not exclude them from doing so. We recognise that, whoever we are, we all have strengths, talents, passions and skills – and seek to provide the space to let those flourish’ explains CPSL Mind Deputy CEO Emily Gray.
“At CPSL Mind, we also acknowledge that mental distress can sometimes leave individuals feeling that a good life is out of their reach, our new approach is underpinned by the key principle that we all have mental health, which fluctuates throughout our lives and support through the tough times needs to be readily accessible. We also recognise that those with lived experience can play a vital role in supporting others”
Bex, who has experienced services for considerable mental health challenges spoke personally at the launch, she says about the cafes “what is better than meeting someone who has been through something similar who gets you? Human connection is so important when you’re struggling with mental health and one of the vital components in recovery. If you find people with similar interests, then community groups can form and that has a hugely positive impact on your wellbeing”.
Over time the Good Life programme will also include new initiatives for online support, personality disorder services, the expansion of peer mentoring and volunteering. These will be available alongside the continuation of support for individuals who receive specialist mental health services from the charity.