Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) marks World Mental Health Day by sharing submissions from its ‘Month of Hope’ campaign.
From World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September to World Mental Health Day on 10 October, ‘Month of Hope’ was organised by CNTW mental health practitioner Paul Longden and encouraged people to share mental health coping strategies.
The campaign, which was coordinated by the Trust’s Patient and Carer Involvement Team, saw people’s different ways of coping posted on CNTW’s social media channels.
This year’s World Mental Health Day theme, set by the World Federation for Mental Health, is ‘mental health for all’.
Paul Longden said: “The submissions from the ‘Month of Hope’ fit in really well with this year’s World Mental Health Day theme. Everyone’s mental health is different, and important to them. We all have different ways of drawing on our strengths and coping.
“This year’s World Mental Health Day is more important than ever. We have all been living through a pandemic and it is normal to find that your mood and mental health has been affected during these difficult times. I hope that by sharing other people’s stories, we have been able to provide some form of solace to those who need it.”
There were many different themes that people said helped with their mental health, from reading a book and having a bath, to spending time with friends and family.
The most common theme was going outside and being in the fresh air. The Trust encourages the use of green spaces around sites to boost the wellbeing of staff and service users.
Anna Foster, Deputy Director of Commissioning and Quality Assurance and CNTWClimateHealth lead, said: “During lockdown, many people found a new appreciation of being outside and evidence proves that access to nature has positive effects on our minds and bodies.
“Getting outside, even for just a few minutes, can reduce stress and improve self-esteem. The more time we spend outdoors, the more likely we are to be physically active – leading to improved physical health which in turn leads to improved mental wellbeing and a reduced risk of anxiety and depression.
“Here in CNTW, we are considering how we can ensure our models of care emphasise the health benefits of being outside and we are lucky to have some beautiful green spaces at many of our sites.”