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Celebrating Disability Pride Month and Awareness Day with Healthy Minds

Since 1990, people around the world have marked July as Disability Pride Month, with 17th July being marked out as Disability Awareness Day. Writer Laken Brooks explains: “Disability Pride, much like LGBTQIA+ Pride, is all about celebrating and reclaiming our visibility in public because people with disabilities have historically been pushed out of public spaces.”

Disability is a broad term and encompasses a range of experiences, including physical, sensory, psychiatric, and invisible or undiagnosed disabilities, as well as neurodivergence. Many disabled people understand their lived experience through what is known as the Social Model of Disability, which demonstrates that they are primarily disabled by a lack of access and support, not by their differences. For example, a wheelchair-user may be unable to enter a building that does not have a ramp, but if proper access was available, their use of a wheelchair would not be a barrier to entering the same space as an able-bodied person.

There are sadly many barriers that still prevent disabled people from being able to participate equally in society, and research shows that this is associated with a higher levels of mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression. At Healthy Minds, we are proud to have a diverse team of both disabled/neurodivergent and able-bodied/neurotypical staff members, and it is of great importance to us that we offer assistance to anyone from the disabled community who feels that they would benefit from support with their mental health. You can self-refer through our website or by calling 01865 901600, and please do let us know if there are reasonable adjustments needed that will enable us to provide support in a way that is accessible to you.

Healthy Eating week - are you eating well?

Every June, the British Nutrition Foundation runs Healthy Eating Week to highlight what we can all do to eat well and lead healthier lifestyles. So, here’s some information and a few helpful website links to help make some lasting and positive changes.

Healthy eating is about having a balance of different foods and nutrients in the diet for good health and wellbeing. It is not about ‘dieting’ and it doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. Healthy eating is about enjoying your food, at the same time as being mindful about what you eat. What we eat is just as important for good mental health as taking regular exercise. Research is showing us the strong link between the brain and gut health and it is becoming more apparent that diet affects our mood and mental wellbeing. The big message for the week is ‘Eat well for you and the planet’ and each day has a different theme – click on the above BNF link for more details.


The British Dietetics Association has a wealth of information on all aspects of nutrition and diet including:

This information was provided by the Weigh Forward Bucks specialist weight management team. The below link provides more information on this service:

Weigh Forward Bucks patient information leaflet.

Healthy Minds FOCUS ON: Men's Health

For this year’s Men’s Health Week, the main focus is to encourage all men to check in for a health MOT. The past few years have seen unprecedented times for us all and while we may now be at the stage of living with COVID-19, it has certainly taken its toll. With challenging times still ahead, the call for men signing up for a health MOT, helps to ensure every man is both physically and mentally well for the future.

As men are one of the most underrepresented groups in accessing treatment for common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, we would like to encourage all men to access treatment early on. With our simple self-referral systems, both online and over the phone, access to our services is just a click, or phone call away on 01865 901600.

Celebrating Pride Month with Healthy Minds

Throughout June the world celebrates Pride Month, a month dedicated to recognition of LGBTQIA+ people across the world and our impact on society and culture. During this month we want to remind families and loved ones that your support and acceptance of our sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression directly impacts mental wellness and personal safety.

Despite a significant change in public perception of queer people in recent times, LGBTQIA+ people often continue to face discrimination, social stigma, and denial of civil and human rights. Research has shown this is associated with a disproportionately high rate of mental health difficulties, such as depression, anxiety or low self-esteem amongst the queer community.

Josef Landsberg, Deputy Clinical Lead for Healthy Minds, commented. “Depending on your experiences growing up as a person belonging to this group, may result in unhelpful views about yourself, the world or how others view you. You are not sick, but somehow you might end up feeling “abnormal” or “different”, making it hard to relate to some of the more dominant societal norms which could lead to isolation and loneliness. Having a representative workforce in Healthy Minds is one of the ways in which we try and make it easier for the LBGT community to reach out to us for help.”

As the community celebrates Pride this month with friends, family and loved ones, it is important to take steps to maintain our own wellbeing. At Healthy Minds our staff are trained to understand the needs of LGBTQIA+ people and provide support for everyone in this community with any emotional distress. Anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community feeling low can get mental health support. You can easily self-refer by visiting the Healthy Minds website or by calling 01865 901 600.

Source: https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-health

Watch: Therapy patients urge others to seek early help

Five inspiring talking therapy patients have shared their recovery journeys in a series of short films to encourage others to get early help for their mental health. 

The films explore how therapy improves people’s lives and what can stop some people from diverse backgrounds or older generations from asking for help.

“You may be wondering if therapy is really for you.” says Rani Griffiths, a High Intensity Therapist and Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Lead with NHS Talking Therapies Berkshire.

“We’ve got a range of staff from different backgrounds and we come from a non judgemental place. Everyone can experience mental health difficulties. It can affect anyone no matter who you are or what your background is.”

She adds: “I get to see this incredible journey through therapy, and it can be difficult and painful at times. People develop in a way that helps them connect. I see people build in confidence and take on new challenges that they didn’t think possible. I see people’s world expanding.”

Diana, who has received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), says: “Therapy has made me see life in a different way. I never really knew if I could talk to someone it would change the way I thought life was – because I felt like I was alone in this world. But when I shared with my therapist it really made the burden to be less and less heavy on me.”

“Seek help sooner rather than later.” Says Peter: “I waited 40 years to get treatment for my phobias. Would you do that normally? I had a bad knee for two years. I’ve had it sorted.”

Navdeep – “Mental health issues can be quite taboo in some cultures”

 

Peter – “I took 40 years to get help for my phobias”

 

Marriam – “I had this big fear of being judged”

 

Diane – “Therapy has made me see life in a different way. I felt like I was alone in this world. But therapy really made the burden to be less and less heavy on me.”

 

Amedeo – “I had the usual impressions from the media, films, movies of someone lying down on a couch”

IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapy) services across Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire have teamed up to produce the videos for three county-wide NHS therapy services: Healthy Minds Buckinghamshire, Talking Space Plus (Oxfordshire) and NHS Talking Therapies Berkshire.

The films have been released in Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May 2022) in partnership with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Find out more

Healthy Minds Buckinghamshire is open to anyone over the age of 18 who is registered with a GP in Buckinghamshire. 

Visit our Self-Referral page to sign-up online for Talking Therapies (opens in new browser tab) or call us on 01865 901 600 to book a wellbeing assessment.

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place every May to raise awareness of mental health issues and the stigma often associated with these conditions. The theme for this year is Loneliness #IveBeenThere.

Visit the Mental Health Foundation website to find out more about the Week (opens in new browser tab).

 It’s Time to Talk

“Let’s talk. We’re here to help” is the message from Healthy Minds, Buckinghamshire, and TalkingSpace Plus, Oxfordshire, amid the nation’s biggest mental health conversation #TimeToTalk Day.

 

Conversations have the power to change lives.

That’s why, as part of TimeToTalk Day, people are being encouraged to create supportive communities where we can talk openly about mental health and feel empowered to seek help when we need it.

Talking therapy services Healthy Minds, in Buckinghamshire, and TalkingSpace Plus, in Oxfordshire, are IAPT (Improved Access to Psychological Therapy) services provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Both are urging people to reach out for support if they need it.

Deputy clinical lead consultant and cognitive behavioural therapist for Healthy Minds, Josef Landsberg said: “For many people taking that first step to talk to someone about your emotional problems might feel impossible. We may look for all sorts of reasons why it would not work and then convince ourselves to just ‘soldier on’. However, this can come at a huge emotional cost.

“We know that the need for emotional support is far greater since the start of the pandemic. We have worked relentlessly at making it as easy as possible to take that first step to talk to someone by expanding our workforce, and like so many services, adapting our interventions to be delivered online for those people who cannot attend face to face.”

Healthy Minds and TalkingSpace Plus both offer treatment and support to adults experiencing anxiety, depression and low mood. In addition, they both also offer specific treatment to support people with their mental health when they have a long-term physical health condition.

Dr Heather Salt, consultant clinical psychologist and lead for long term health conditions in TalkingSpace Plus, said: “We see many people with emotional distress linked to their health problems such as cardiac and respiratory disease, diabetes and, more recently long covid. We offer support and strategies to help people cope with the difficulties they may experience as a result of their long term physical health condition and emotional distress. We can link with their medical teams for joined up care, helping them to manage their stress, worry and low mood.”

To find out more or to self-refer to Healthy Minds in Buckinghamshire visit the website , text TALK and your name to 07798 667169 or call 01965 901600.

To find our more or to self-refer to TalkingSpace Plus in Oxfordshire visit the website or call 01865 901 222.

One of the Time to Talk Day missions is to change this stigma and encourage everyone to be more open: talking, listening and changing lives through conversation.

Getting involved in Time to Talk Day 2022 is easy and the suggestions are:

  1. Have a conversation about mental health, with a friend, family member or anyone.
  2. Tell your story online. It’s amazing that your own experience could help hundreds, maybe even thousands, of others.
  3. Challenge mental health stigmas in media and the bad coverage it sometimes gets.
  4. Learn more about mental health problems and how you can help the people in your life who may face them.
  5. Volunteer with or donate to a mental health charity.

Time to Talk Day is a campaign by Mind, Rethink Mental Health and Coo-op, supported by our local partners Oxfordshire Mind, which with Oxford Health is a member of Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, and Buckinghamshire Mind.

 

Healthy Minds, here to “Help!”.

Healthy Minds join plethora of stars to “Help!” you with your mental health thanks to the Beatles.

Buckinghamshire’s talking therapy service Healthy Minds is waiting for your call as national landmark mental health campaign launches with ‘Help!’ From The Beatles. Backed by some of the biggest recording artists, the new landmark campaign uses the classic 1964 Beatles song to reinforce the message for people to take better care of their mental health.

People struggling with their mental health are encouraged to seek immediate help – just like the theme of the famous Beatles song – and say ‘Help me if you can I’m feeling down’ thanks to some of the biggest recording artists, like Craig David, Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts, Tom Grennan, Laura Mvula, Ella Henderson and Max George.

It is hoped the poignant soundtrack will encourage people to think and reflect about their mental health.

 

According to NHS England and Improvement, since April 2020, over 230,000 nationally have come forward for NHS talking therapies.

 

Anybody experiencing anxiety, depression, or other common mental health concerns in Buckinghamshire is encouraged to get in touch and see how talking therapies also known as IAPT (Improved Access to Phycological Therapies) can help them. 

 

Josef Landsberg, Deputy Clinical Lead at Healthy Minds, said: “You have nothing to lose and so much to gain by taking those first steps and asking for help from your local IAPT service. Healthy Minds, the Buckinghamshire IAPT service, want you to come forward so made it even easier to get your foot in the door by offering Bucks residents the option to choose and book their first appointment online by simply visiting their website. In addition to this the service can also be accessed via conventional routes and effective treatment is available either face to face, over the phone or by video consultation.”  

So, ‘we can help you if you’re feeling down’ easily self-refer by visiting Healthy Minds, call us now on 01865 901600 or text “TALK” and your name to 07798 667169. 

 

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Covid-19 update: We are currently supporting people safely and effectively mainly through the use of digital solutions or telephone appointments, although there are some in-person appointments available. If you have any questions about this please contact us.