2021-05-15 12:22

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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 - Activities And Messages

It's Good To Talk

Pic: its ok not to be ok

As one of Pink Floyd's songs lyrics says - "All we need to do, is keep talking".

That has to be the main theme for the CWU in its activities across the country supporting this year's Mental health Awareness Week as the Union's mental health first aiders and safety reps took time out to promote their message that if you have any mental health issues, they are there for you to talk to over what it is that is causing you mental health problems.

But if talking was as easy as it appears to be when it comes to everyday things, it seems that when it comes to speaking about individuals mental health, it very quickly becomes the Elephant in the room.

Just why is this? Well, one of the CWU branches in the North West of England, Birkenhead LDO, addressed this very issue by asking their colleagues to write on a wall of Elephants, just what it is that stops them talking about their mental health. So, they did indeed do just that. Here are a few examples:

Pic: Elephants - click to see wqriting on the wall

There was also the making of video messages and documents all designed with support and encouragement to talk, by several Mental Health First Aiders.

Here from the North West Region of the CWU, is a very emotional poem from Brian Parsons, which sums up just how it feels to be in the midst of overwhelming darkness and loss of direction, and struggling to find a way out of the void:

But above all the ending of this poem doe give hope and remind those suffering that they are not alone. As Brian says, in 2021, we are now in the 1 in 4 age of mental health problems which blight our lives.

This message of hope, support and the way to recovery, couldn't be clearer from some of our Mental Health First Aiders in the CWU in the North West:


In Wigan Delivery Office, the CWU MHFA Stu Hazelden, helped to change a dingy looking storeroom into a light and relaxing quiet room. Somewhere for those needing a break and when stress gets a bit much, can go to gather thoughts and chill out from the hustle and bustle of the office.

Pic: Wigan Do quiiet room

Meanwhile, in Woolton Delivery Office, the CWU MHFA, Carl Ireland; populated a free-standing and portable notice board with Mental Health leaflets and information.

Pic: Wollton DO notice boardPic: Brian Parsons with CWU flagBrian Parsons, CWU Lead Learning Rep for North West Central Amal, shows off his CWU credentials holding a CWU flag, doctored especially for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, complete with the Lighthouse Logo used to symbolise unity with those in the Union who need help and support for their mental health well-being.

The lighthouse was the costal warning light to ensure ships did not flounder and break-up on the rocks as they navigated past the coastline in often heavy seas. The same can be taken with regard to our mental health, as being the situation at least 1 in 4 of us find ourselves in. The friendly and comforting lighthouse in this case, are the numerous well trained CWU Mental Health First Aiders out there in Branches, offering a safe haven from the storms raging inside their emotions.

This has been just a brief look at the activities that have taken place during this week of mental health awareness. With all of us at some point in our lives experiencing situations, whether they be in the form of work-place pressures, house moving, a divorce, deaths in the family or of friends and colleagues, an d even the birth of a child, losing a livelyhood and even losing a home; our mental health can truly suffer.

So, it is clear that weeks such as this, and the continued vigilance of those we love and our work colleagues, family and friends; are an imperative if we are to promote and cultivate a caring and supportive society, both in work and at home.

Pic: Jamie McGovern tutoring MHFAsJamie McGovern CWU Health & Safety Area Rep for the Grter Mersey Amal Branch, works tirelessly on mental health awareness campaigns and supports those needing help because they are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression.

Summing up on the work done by CWU MFHAs and the week he told Unionsafety:

"Our MHFAs have without doubt proved their value and worth to the North West Region and CWU. I am incredibly proud to have worked with Ady Prins and Steve Croke in taking 54 new MHFAs through both the classroom courses and Online courses.

These people continue to inspire and once again have stepped up to show that they are a Volunteer army of lifesaver's and it's only right and proper that during MHAW21 these incredible Humble people get recognition for what they do, as for MHFAs Every day is an awareness day!"

Contact the services below for free, confidential support.

Remember, you are not alone.

• Samaritans: 116 123

The Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. 24/7 support for people who are in despair or suicidal.

Pic: Mental Health Advice  - click to go to view CWU NW sway document• Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (or text 86463)

The team at the leading mental health charity Mind can provide information on a range of topics including types of mental health problem, where to get help, medication and alternative treatments.

• Workplace mental health support service: 0300 4568114

Provided by Remploy, in partnership with Access to Work, WMHSS offers a free and confidential support service to help you remain in your job when it is being affected by stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issue (whether diagnosed or not). If you are finding work difficult or you are absent from work their advisors will help you make a wellbeing plan and support you with workplace adjustments, including how to get support from your employer.

• Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): 0800 58 58 58

CALM provide a helpline for men in the UK who are down or have hit a wall, who need to talk or find information and support. The helpline is open 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. They also offer a web chat service between the same hours.

• Prevention of Young Suicide (Papyrus) 0800 068 41 41

Papyrus provide confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person. Their HOPE Line UK service is staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information to; children, teenagers and people up to the age of 35. They can be contacted on 0800 068 41 41, by email: pat@papyrus-uk.org or SMS 07786 209697

Even more information can be accessed using the Sway document which can be accessed by clicking on the pic above right.

Source: CWU North West Region / CWU Branches: Birkenhead LDO, Crosby DO, Warrington MPU / Jamie McGovern /Brian Parsons / Carl Ireland / Stu Hazeldon


Pic: Bak to News icon link

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