Norfolk County Council Library and Information Service launches ‘Reading Well for mental health’

The “life-saving” 2018 ‘Reading Well for mental health’ titles by The Reading Agency and Society of Chief Librarians were announced today at a flagship event at the Wellcome Trust (5 June).  Each title will offer invaluable support to people with mental health needs and their carers, who are at increased risk of loneliness according to recent research.

2018’s powerful book list, which will help people read well to stay well, is penned by bestselling and highly-regarded authors including Matt Haig (How to Stay Alive); Cathy Rentzenbrink (A Manual for Heartache); Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy with the Topknot); Ruby Wax (A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled) and many more.  The expert-endorsed reads can be borrowed for free from any Norfolk library – if the book isn’t available, a free reservation will be placed to order the book in to the library.

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Living with mental health by John

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MEN ARE FROM MARS…….

From an early age, the majority of boys are pressured by society, family or peers to grow up fast and be men, even before their teenaged years. Being told they can’t play with dolls or dress up in women’s clothes amongst other things that can be classed as gender stereotyping. Also being taught that they shouldn’t cry and that men are tough and strong, that showing emotions makes you weak. These boys tend to develop into men who struggle with dealing and showing/sharing emotions and this can sometimes factor in to why men struggle with mental health. A recent report made last year showed the highest suicide statistics in the uk were for men aged 40-44, at a rate 3 times higher than women. A surprising amount of people didn’t know that men can also get post natal depression. Usually typical in their early 20’s with their first child, but it can happen any time, just like women do.

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Summer Solstice 2018 – Human Henge on the HLF blog

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund for featuring Human Henge in their latest blog post about Summer Solstice celebrations at Stonehenge!

How Stonehenge can improve mental health and wellbeing

“I’ve actually been a human being for three months, rather than (being seen as) an illness or a condition or a client or an end user.” 
Female participant in the project

Our Human Hengers have had some amazing experiences celebrating Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox at Stonehenge over the last couple of years.

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Summer Solstice, photo by Amy Freeborn

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Winter Solstice, photo by Jessica Swinburne

New Burgh Castle Almanac website

The website for our Burgh Castle Almanac project is now up and running. We’ll be posting blog updates from participants as well as photos, videos and artwork from the group’s fortnightly sessions.

www.burghcastlealmanac.org

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Photo by Tod Sullivan

Restoration Trust Newsletter May 2018

We have just released our newsletter for May 2018, which includes updates on our projects Change Minds, Human Henge, Culture Quest and our new project Burgh Castle Almanac. If you’d like to sign up to receive our newsletters in the future follow this link.

Click to read the newsletter here

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New Inn Thinkathon

Back in March we held our inaugural Restoration Trust Club meeting at the New Inn in Suffolk. We were privileged to stay in this beautiful Tudor in as part of the Landmark Trust‘s 50 for free scheme. 

Here are some thoughts on the event from Mr BPD, a member of our Human Henge project.

Mystery in a Medieval hall

The call had gone out and the representatives of the five tribes journeyed to the great medieval hall. The elders sought a hidden wisdom one that had been lost to time; but with the birth of the children of stone, clues to the wisdom of existence had been revealed.

The elders had only known a wisdom that could transform lives, but like all things of value a journey of discovery must take place. A journey that would transform mortal men and women into heroes and legends’.

After feasting and a visit to the realm of the dragons and the dead the triad counsels were formed and many voice became five…

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OK enough drama. The Restoration Trust Club was set up to look at how services provided by the Restoration Trust to people with mental illness could be improved. The main issue with mental health services is the ending; most services are time limited 10 to 12 weeks / sessions so just as you start to settle in its time to face the ending.

The endings can be traumatic for many with mental health issues and if there was a way of not ending a project the trauma could be eliminated. But that would be impractical and costly. I have been in contact with mental health services on and off for the last 36 years and only come across 1 project that came close to building peer to peer support and friendship.

Peer to peer support and friendship is the key. Luckily, I was a member of group 2 of Human Henge and something unique happened, we became a peer to peer support network with social gatherings. The funny thing is none of us know how it happened, but we all know it is valuable as a support and friendship and social activities.

In some way the conference was looking at what happened with group 2 and where looking at how it could be recreated along with other ideas to increase service user involvement. We came up with lots of ideas including an annual music event (Resto Fest!), several booked socials get togethers spaced over a year.

It is important to encourage peer to peer support because great benefits can be achieved. I can only speak of the benefits I have experienced and seen since being part of Human Henge. I have got out more and socialised, I have invited people to my home, I have visited others and I have set up my own group. These are major things for me being that I have Avoidance Personality as a major part of my BPD.

It’s nice to see that the Restoration Trust is taking a very active role in improving the end results of mental health service and is engaging service users at every level of the process. One day mental health services will work more holistically with levels of support including those discharged who just need a group of local friends who share a commonality.

The Restoration Trust Club will go one step to creating a peer to peer network that will help improve the lives of those with poor mental health.

Groups Involved

Human Henge www.humanhenge.org

Change Minds www.changeminds.org.uk

Culture Quest www.culturequest.org.uk

Burgh Castle Almanac www.burghcastlealmanac.org.uk

Voyagers

Restoration Trust www.restorationtrust.org.uk

 

Authors Resource

Name Mr BPD

Website 

https://trowbridgeusersgroup.co.uk/

http://www.my-dark-lyrics.uk

About Author I have Borderline Personality Disorder and as a writer and poet I explore my madness through the creative arts. I have a personal belief that even in darkness light exists and it is a personal responsibility to always seek the light and I find the light in creating something.

I also run TUG Trowbridge “service” Users Group a peer to peer social group on Mondays for anyone how has experienced mental illness

  

 

Using archives to improve mental wellbeing – Change Minds on the National Archives blog

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Thanks to Beth Brunton for this great blog post about our Change Minds project on the National Archives blog.

The benefits to the participants have been significant. Feedback shows that the chance to meet people, and to feel connected to new people in both the past and the present has been transformative. It has opened up new interests, new confidence in skills and talents, and even paths to volunteering.

Read the full post here.