Wellbeing for Warwickshire Stories
Everybody has a story…. the people who use our services, the people who volunteer for us, the staff working for us.
It is only when we begin to share our stories that we break down barriers and reduce the stigma of mental health.
Below are some stories of people’s experiences with mental health and with CW Mind.
Dream – Inspire – Create
This World Mental Health Day the theme is Suicide Prevention and the message ‘Ask Twice’, don’t be afraid to start a conversation and encourage someone to tell you how they’re feeling. I work for CWMind in Rugby doing just this and met a member of the public on World Suicide Prevention Day who’d come up with an inspiring way to do the same for young people locally.
Earlier this year I liked and followed the facebook page @wearedrm. I liked the concept, it was local to Rugby, the cover picture states ‘mental health community clothing’ all the images are super high quality in their urban styled composition and content.
Fast forward to September 10th in Rugby town centre, I was on the CWMind Journey bus, talking to people about mental health and wellbeing and our services, whilst packing away I recognised the @wearedrm hoodie, I approached the hoodie wearer to say hi and compliment his clothing choice…it was Bill, founder of @wearedrm.
He is the easiest person to chat to, a carpenter by trade he works a day job but his passions are fashion and encouraging young people to talk through the small stuff and use creativity to overcome obstacles, low points and anxieties of their day to day life.
When I come across someone with a raw passion for breaking the stigma around mental health there is usually a personal experience behind it. Ollie. Ollie, Bill’s brother took his own life 5 years ago, when he was 18 years old is the reason for pursuing the DRM venture. Bill talks of Ollie feeling as if he didn’t fit in to the social norm and wants to tell all the young people out there feeling similarly that they just haven’t found their place yet, we all have a talent for something. ‘The Fox Fund’ is a future goal for @wearedrm, it will be a fund young people can apply to for support in their own creative project or idea.
Designing clothes is Bill’s creative outlet, he talked proudly of his mum doing it when he was younger and he dreamed of his own fashion line. Bill was keen to stress DRM isn’t a charity per se but more of a social enterprise, one that supports local charities and people, is able to purchase what it needs to grow and can ultimately maintain ‘The Fox Fund’ for the benefit of younger generations to come.
I can’t wait to see where Bill and the @wearedrm team go next, see photos of their latest clothing range, the AW charity event, read blogs and much much more on their facebook page and Instagram.
A huge thank you to Nitin who took part in a charity skydive recently to raise funds for Coventry and Warwickshire Mind. He was happy to share his experience with us. Here is what he say as he wrote to show his appreciation to all his supporters who helped him raise a brilliant £1,165 for our services:
“I am very excited and relieved to let you know that on Saturday 15th June 2019, I completed my 10,000ft Tandem Skydive for the Coventry and Warwickshire Mind charity. I have to tell you, in the days prior to the skydive, the nerves were ridiculous!
“The experience of that morning, starting with the expert information from the instructors, to being pretty much petrified in the plane, to the exhilarating feeling of flying, and ending with the sense of total love for the flat ground beneath me, will be hard to forget. This skydive was something that I never thought that I was capable of doing – your well wishes, good luck messages and the useful tips were all greatly appreciated, and helped me to keep focused in carrying out this challenge – THANK YOU!
“I am still totally overwhelmed by your efforts of generosity – the aim was to raise £650.00, but together we raised £1,165.00 – we smashed it! Your kind donations will go directly to the Coventry and Warwickshire Mind charity. The aim of this charity is to offer help, support and guidance to us, when our mental health is not balanced. If you would like to know more about the charity, please click on the link below: https://cwmind.org.uk/
Well done on your achievement, Nitin!
RED January participants for Coventry and Warwickshire Mind have been on the radio to talk about the move more challenge.
Coventry and Warwickshire Mind Ambassadors, Emily Bunce and Dee Hodgson, have been interviewed live on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire by presenter Vic Minett, to explain why getting involved in the move more in January campaign is beneficial to mental as well as physical wellbeing.
Three years ago, Dee weighed 26.5 stones, experienced extensive mental health issues and could only walk 100 metres. Now she has lost 14.5 stones and feels the positive impact of exercising more.
She explained how research has shown the connection between increased physical activity and improved mental health.
Emily said: “If you don’t consider yourself a runner, we’re not asking you to run, we’re just asking you to move every day.”
About RED January
RED January is for people of all abilities to get involved with an activity of their choice. Whether it’s running, walking, jogging, swimming, or star jumping, the choice is yours. It’s the ideal opportunity to start the new year with a positive challenge, your way.
We are delighted so many people across Coventry and Warwickshire have already pledged to take part in RED January in aid of our charity, and it was lovely to hear our ambassadors talking about their RED January journey so far in such a fun and engaging way. Well done Emily and Dee!
You can listen to their interview online from 1hr 20mins in here.
Don’t forget it’s not too late to become a REDer if you haven’t already. Let’s all get moving more this month.
Colleen – My Story
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt I was alone and I was the only one suffering with so much worry and panic. I felt as though I just needed to accept that constant gut feeling in my stomach for the rest of my life. I finally went to the doctors after my anxiety began putting a strain on my relationship with my boyfriend who I hope to have a future with. I was referred to the wellbeing hub in Rugby where I began six weeks of one to one sessions.
I was so nervous to begin with as I have never received help and not many people know I suffer with anxiety, my parents are aware of it but I have never opened up to them about how bad it had gotten. After a few sessions I finally felt relaxed and looked forward to attending them each week.
I regularly go to the gym and attend exercise classes and I never associated these with helping my anxiety, I had a car accident a few years ago which has now created masses of anxiety when I drive, one day I had an incident when I was driving home from the gym which would of usually caused me to go into panic mode, but because I’d just been exercising and felt good I didn’t worry and simply shrugged it off. When I mentioned this in my session we talked about going for longer car journeys after I go to the gym and I even revisited the roundabout where the accident happened. I even go for short walks with my iPod on me which helps to clear my head and so I forget what I’m worrying about. Exercise simply isn’t encouraged enough when it comes to mental health, everyone associates exercise with getting fit and losing weight and not that it can improve your mental health.
Since my six week sessions I now feel more relaxed and I now know I am not alone, social media has also helped me to see that I am not the only young person who suffers with anxiety. I’ve also gained more knowledge into things I can do to help my anxiety if I ever feel panicked like breathing exercises which I never knew about before.
Attending these sessions has also helped me with my future, I am now going to begin a college course in September on counselling so hopefully in the future I can help others with mental health problems. The wellbeing hub has truly helped me in realising I am not alone and there is help out there.
It’s hard to think back to what life was like before because I’ve had depression since primary school but I didn’t know it until I spoke to a friend who had depression when I was 13. When I was younger, I was very unoptimistic and cynical and at school I felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown all the time. I would always fantasise about running away from school and home. I learned to cope through college with the support of my friends and it was after college that I found it more difficult to cope. At 19 I left college and was left to control my depression alone. I found it more and more difficult to control the depression which led to various breakdowns and ultimately a suicide attempt. After this I was able to tell my mum about my depression (I was too worried to do this in all the years before) but thankfully I did because she helped me go to the GP and crisis team and since then I’ve felt much more in control.
My GP recommended I visit the service in Rugby, that was 8 months ago and I still attend the Drop-in twice a week. I’ve done a Lifestyle Check at the Hub and now regularly visit the sports centre where I use the gym thanks to the ‘Fitter Futures’ programme. I feel much more in control of my depression and I’ve worked out my mind needs a rest now and then, its own little sanctuary. I’ve found this at Rugby Wellbeing Hub, the gym and the pool hall.