The county’s biggest mental health conversation is happening with people encouraged to ‘Get Oxfordshire Talking’.
Mental ill health and homelessness can affect anyone at any time, but with the two international days of World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day both taking place on October 10, it offers an opportunity among friends, families, communities and workplaces, to talk, support and save lives.
The link between mental health and homelessness is well-known; mental ill health can increase the risk of people becoming homeless, and being homeless can negatively impact people’s mental health.
Three Oxfordshire partnerships – Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, Oxfordshire Homeless Movement and the Oxfordshire Homelessness Alliance – are working together to Get Oxfordshire Talking about mental health, encourage supportive communities and signpost help when it is needed.
People across Oxfordshire are asked to support by talking to one another, by being open to listening and supporting whoever needs it.
Local businesses are being invited and encouraged to create ‘Talking Points’ across Oxfordshire. Downloadable toolkits with printable table-top cards are available for businesses and public spaces to host their very own Talking Point and join hundreds of organisations inviting the community and customers to speak about mental health.
Rob Bale, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for Oxfordshire at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “With the support of local people, cafes and other businesses we hope to see Talking Points pop-up across the county to get Oxfordshire talking. Mental health and homelessness have always been important and intertwined subjects, and through this activity we hope people better understand the two, and how they can look out for one another and seek support when it is needed.”
Chris Keating, CEO of Connection Support and Chair of the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership said: “Poor mental health can be both a cause and a consequence of homelessness. One of the simplest ways to start someone on the road to help is to simply ask how they are and be that listening ear. Talking about our mental health reduces stigma and helps to create supportive communities. On 10th October we look forward to being a part of this drive to empower people to seek help for themselves and others. Small conversations can lead to big transformations, and we thank everyone who is a part of this effort to help.”
Get Oxfordshire Talking:
- Speak to someone at a Talking Point or creating your own Talking Point. Download the toolkit (attached and within the Facebook event) for Monday, October 10.
- Follow throughout the day via the Facebook event.
- Join the conversation #TalkingPoint
About Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership
The award-winning Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership (OMHP) is made up of six mental health service providers: Connection Support, Elmore Community Services, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Mind, Response, Restore.
OMHP offers a wide range of interventions to get people in Oxfordshire back into employment, education, stable accommodation, and support them to build relationships. The focus is on improving access and integrating service provision, to help people living with mental health issues to achieve positive outcomes. The mission is to support recovery, hope, and ambition. Achieved by being compassionate, creative, and collaborative.
About Oxfordshire Homeless Movement
Oxfordshire Homeless Movement is a partnership of the many organisations working to help those experiencing homelessness in Oxfordshire and to ensure that nobody has to sleep rough on our streets.
OHM aims to bring greater visibility to all Oxfordshire’s work in this area, guiding volunteers, supporters and people experiencing homelessness alike to the actions or services they’re looking for. Project work focuses on filling the critical gaps in services that others can’t, and always working in partnership means there’s always the best team for the job, which includes those with lived experience of homelessness. Being guided by people who have personally experienced homelessness through the Lived Experience Advisory Forum means the work remains relevant and needed.
About Oxfordshire Homelessness Alliance
Oxfordshire Homelessness Alliance was created to embark on a ground-breaking programme of work, preventing and resolving homelessness so that no one sleeps rough in Oxfordshire.
Members come together to improve service delivery and client outcomes for homeless adults and adults at risk of homelessness in Oxfordshire. Today, Alliance partners include: A2Dominion, Aspire, Connection Support, Elmore Community Services, Homeless Oxfordshire, St Mungo’s.
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Published: 6 October 2022