As lockdown continues, albeit in a slightly modified form, I suspect all of us are having struggles of one type or another with our mental health. For some that may be moments of anger, sadness or frustration (if you check in with my family I've exhibited all three of those!). For others it will much bigger challenges. I wanted to point you all at some resources which I think will be helpful for all of us at this challenging time.
The first is to point you at the brilliant talk and Q&A which Dr Kate Middleton from the Mind and Soul Foundation did for us. You can find it on both Facebook and YouTube. I can't recommend it strongly enough. If you've already heard it then why not go and listen to it again! Why not also send a link to it to someone you know who might benefit from it.
There are also a whole load articles on supporting your mental health in the midst of Covid-19 on their website as well as a wealth of other helpful information. Please take a look. They also post lots of information on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube feeds, not all of which appears on their website.
Hope in Depression is a charity which founded by Lisa Owens who is part of Kerith Bracknell. The charity runs a six week course hosted by experts in various areas of mental health to help both people who are struggling with depression and those who are seeking to support people who are struggling. I have spoken with a number of people who have attended the course and they have all spoken incredibly highly of it, both in terms of the quality of the people presenting it and the impact it has made on their own lives. You don't need to have a faith background to do the course.
The latest course, which is being run online, started last Monday (11th May) but it's not too late to join in week 2. I'd really recommend it to anyone who feels they could do with some help. You can find all the details and a sign up form on the small groups section of the website.
Hope in Depression have also recently posted some really helpful short videos on their YouTube channel around various aspects of mental health.
Kintsugi is the name for a Japanese technique of making artwork from pottery which is broken and then put back together using glue which is golden coloured, highlighting the beauty which can come from brokenness. Kintsugi Hope is a Christian charity seeking to to see a world where mental and emotional health is understood and accepted, with safe and supportive communities for everyone to grow and flourish. Earlier this year I heard Patrick Regan who founded Kintsugi speak and found him very helpful. They run Wellbeing Groups as well as having a load of helpful talks and articles on their website.
Finally many of you will remember Zoe Dickinson (or Zoe Hayes as she was). Zoe was a much loved part of Kerith and one of our key contacts at Tearfund before she moved to Cheltenham and retrained as a Wellbeing Coach, helping people with their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Zoe has produced a free Wellbeing Toolkit which could be a great first step in evaluating where you currently are and what some first steps might be in beginning to move to a healthier place. Sadly Zoe doesn't have a circular logo, which would have created a really nice symmetry to this blog, but other than that I highly recommend her!
Hope some of that helped somebody.
Keep safe and be kind (to yourself and others).
ps. My final suggestion is to watch the Disney Film 'Inside Out' which is a masterclass in the importance of us engaging with our emotions. You can get a one month free subscription to the Disney Channel if you haven't got access to it on DVD or any other digital format!