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Raising mental health awareness via support and connection

Ahead of supporting this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May), the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Engagement team ran its first Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect Event for North Ayrshire.

Taking place at Ardeer Community Centre on Monday, April 29, the free event centred around looking at the mental health and wellbeing supports available to North Ayrshire residents.

Well-attended with over 100 community members, partners and colleagues stopping by, the event was set up as a relaxed drop-in where everyone had the chance to chat to many visiting support services, browse the information stalls and participate in a variety of workshops focussing on a range of mental health topics.

The event also offered an important chance for those taking part to share their views on mental health services and supports in their area, meet new people, chat to others with lived experience, network and enjoy a light lunch.

Organiser and Partnership Engagement Officer, Sam Hodkinson said: “Thank you to everyone who attended, we are blown away by the support. It’s so important to look after our mental health and wellbeing. So we wanted to create a safe space to highlight the wealth of support available, and our first ever Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect Event did just that providing a great opportunity for everyone to see first-hand the great work happening across North Ayrshire.

“One of a series of events, the most recent session at Ardeer Community Centre was in response to the mental health engagement feedback we had conducted over the past 18 months.

“From the feedback gathered, we had learned that across North Ayrshire the community had expressed that they needed more information about mental health and wellbeing services, with a specific focus on Advocacy services, Carers information, suicide prevention and peer support.

“The event allowed us to showcase these areas and provide the information needed. It worked well and attendees stated they liked the active layout of the day including workshops and market stalls.

“Feedback suggested they would like us to run more of these regularly in different places within North Ayrshire.

“In particular attendees shared that they would like Connect events in the future to focus specifically on older adults or young people’s mental health and wellbeing. We plan to take these suggestions forward in our future planning.”

Stay tuned to Latest News where we will be promoting further events from Sam’s team later this year. See the NAHSCP website for more info on the support provided locally.

Staff who came to Mental Health Connects event
Feedback shared from recent community mental health and wellbeing event on post it notes
North Ayrshire Mental Health and Wellbeing connect event photo collage of colleagues taking part
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Connect event photo collage of colleagues taking part
Services attending the Connects event included:
  • Breathing Space Scotland – who ran workshops and shared more about how they provide listening, information and mental health advice via the NHS24 website for people in Scotland feeling low, stressed or anxious;
  • KA Leisure Active Lifestyles team – providing info on Active North Ayrshire physical referral programme;
  • Neighbourhood Networks – with info on how they can support adults with learning disabilities to live an active life and be fully involved within their local communities;
  • North Ayrshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership – with info on their work to provide support and opportunities for those in recovery and better co-ordinate services designed to combat alcohol and drug-related issues;
  • North Ayrshire Carers Gateway – providing information support and advice to unpaid carers across the North Ayrshire area;
  • North Ayrshire Community Link Workers – with info on their holistic approach to helping people via GP surgeries;
  • The NHS A&A Health Improvement team – with info on public health, mental health and wellbeing;
  • The Primary Care Mental Health team – with info for people who may be struggling with their mental health and how to improve overall health and wellbeing;
  • The NHS A&A Suicide Prevention team – providing and awareness about suicide prevention within our communities;
  • The North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College on the range of free services they can provide and training available;
  • VoiceAbility advocacy – an advocacy and involvement service to ensure people are heard in decisions about their health, care and wellbeing.
Looking after your own health and wellbeing

Don’t forget, your mental health and wellbeing is just as important as your physical health. The Council also has a team of Wellbeing Warriors on hand to provide a listening ear, offer support and signpost you to relevant resources available.

Visit the NHS Inform website for further help and advice. Be kind to yourself and consider getting in touch with your GP who will be able to give you practical advice and help if you are struggling with your mental health.

The BeWell section of LiveWell and the Mental Health Foundation website also have helpful information and practical advice. If you have a smartphone, you can also download the helpful NHS Ayrshire and Arran mental health app.

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