Supporting New Directions for those suffering mental ill-health

Mental health problems are widespread in the UK - it is thought that 1 in 4 adults will suffer from mental ill-health in any given year. While public attitudes and government-led strategy are improving all the time, there is still a recognised need for support and first-stage intervention within communities for those suffering from mental ill-health.

New Directions (MIND in Sedgemoor) were awarded a grant of £830 in May 2015 from Somerset Community Foundation’s Red Nose Day Community Cash grant programme, to support their Growing Health project.

Growing Health delivers a range of activities aimed at improving mental and physical wellbeing, enabling service users to select those that they are most interested in and structure their own programme. The classes and sessions are delivered in an informal community setting particularly beneficial to those who find formal health and care environments make them anxious or uncomfortable. The grant from SCF was to add needle felting craft and tai chi classes to their activities rota, with both activities offering clients the chance to learn something new in a supportive group setting, regardless of their current skill level or experience.

Feedback from the participants of the courses was very positive – 100% of those who took part in needle craft found the course useful, though it had given them a new and creative skill, thought it had increased their confidence and found it reduced their anxiety and stress. The image to the right shows some of the fantastic work that was carried out by participants of the needle felting course.

The tai chi course feedback was equally encouraging; with 100% of participants reporting increased confidence and the chance to meet new people and 92% commenting that they had connected with others and gained support. A number of participants in both courses have also gone on to access other services from MIND in Sedgemoor, such as counselling and a depression support group.

The team behind New Directions are now hoping to continue the Tai Chi course and through their activities make a difference to those suffering mental ill-health in the Sedgemoor area of Somerset.To find out more about Mind in Sedgemoor please click here

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