13 Oct 2017

Staff came together to continue the fight against stigma and supported World Mental Health Day (Tuesday 10 October) this week, which was themed around mental health in the workplace.A range of events and activities took place to mark the annual fixture.

Buckingham Palace opened its doors to Trust staff

Dr Oliver Dale, Consultant Psychiatrist, and Professor Michael Maeir, Director of Medical Education, were invited to Buckingham Palace by Her Majesty The Queen in a reception that acknowledged the contribution of those working in the mental health sector within the UK.
Also present were T.R.H The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and H.R.H Prince Harry.Dr Oliver Dale said: “It came across loud and clear how passionate The Duke of Cambridge and Stephen Fry are about championing the needs of patients and carers that we work with. They also commented on how the very fact of offering such a reception at Buckingham Palace marked a change in the country’s attitude to mental health and well-being.”

Professor Michael Maeir added: “It was a great pleasure and honour to be invited. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, together with Prince Harry, have been champions of mental health by their public support for those suffering from mental illness. This has opened a welcome dialogue with the public, and has done more for mental health than anyone of us working in that speciality could ever have done.”

Music was therapy with West London Collaborative 

West London Mental Health Trust Chairman Tom Hayhoe, Director of Communications and Engagement, Sally Sykes and Dr Christopher Bench, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of Local Services, joined colleagues from the Recovery College, Alison Hoble, Amanda Jones and peer trainers Katy Paramor, Kerry Butler, Beth Murphy and Janet Roberts for an evening event at the Grange in Ealing to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

Organised by West London Collaborative, the evening featured poetry, music and rap, including a catchy novel rap penned by people who use trust services – with a title that summed up the evening ‘Music is my therapy’.Chief Executive of West London Collaborative, Jane McGrath, said that the evening had been a great success – the room was packed and the atmosphere reflected that everyone enjoyed the performances. Shane Dennis from Hammersmith and Fulham Adult Social Services also helped facilitate the music and poetry.Jane added: “There is such a wealth of creative talent in those who use the Trust’s services – it was great to showcase their work on World Mental Health Day.”

West London Collaborative is a not-for-profit community interest company which supports the Trust with service user and patient co-production in service design.

Staff and service users battled it out on the pitch 

The Trust’s World Mental Health Day football tournament took place on Wednesday 11 October at Goals Soccer Centre in Isleworth. Six teams including Hounslow Hawks, West London FC , Exercise Specialists, Acute services, OCS, WLMHT Estates took part.Matches were very competitive between the teams. The day culminated with the Cup Final between Exercise Specialists and West London FC, but it was the Exercise Specialists who won 3-0. Acute Service and Estates competed in the Plate final, with Acute triumping at 1-0. Paul Stefanoski, Director of Finance and Business, presented trophies to the winners.

Tea and Talk at St Bernard’s

Domestic and Portering teams at St Bernard’s Hospital held a Tea and Talk event where cakes were sold to raise money for the Trust’s charity.

A total of £70.55 was raised as the tea break encouraged staff to take time out for a breather.

Hammersmith and Fulham MHU channelled positive thoughts 

Occupational Therapists and Activity Co-ordinators in H&F MHU led an art project encouraging patients to think about what was working well for them.

Once finished, patients added their ‘star’ to a reflective mural. The idea was for the patients to try and think of something positive that is going on for them, in the midst of all the bad or negative things. Healthy snacks were also provided to patients to give them a creative boost!

Story time at ‘The Human Library’

A number of staff and service users in the Orchard volunteered their morning to be a ‘human book’ as part of the Human Library experience. Staff and service users ‘borrowed’ a book for 5 minutes to share thoughts and experiences of this year’s theme Mental Health and the Workplace. As well as a presentation from Nash, a guest speaker captured this year’s theme as she spoke of her own experience.There will be more World Mental Health Day celebrations taking place next week in the Men’s Medium and Low Secure Services.

Jo from Home Ward Ealing featured in Get West London

Jo, a Personal Assistant working in the Trust’s Home Ward Ealing service, was featured in local paper Get West London. Jo spoke out about the unwavering support she received from the Trust’s Occupational Health team when she experienced a mental health crisis earlier this year. She said: “At the Trust, I can talk to my line manager if I need to. He has told me to take breaks if I feel upset or need space. I feel much more optimistic now and am able to cope with work. I want other staff to know that there is help within the Trust and to not worry about asking for it.”

Showcasing the work of Hounslow Wellbeing Network

The Wellbeing Network helps people to avoid social isolation by enabling them to build real world social networks and develop their own assets and skills. We highlighted their work in the community for World Mental Health Day. Watch the full video here.

Twitter Book giveaway

Farzanah won our very popular giveaway of ‘Chase the Rainbow’ by Poorna Bell on Twitter, which received 299 retweets and 14,000 impressions.

Upcoming events…

Walk and Talk – The Trust’s first-ever 10km ‘Walk and Talk’ event will take place in Hounslow on Saturday 14 October, 10am – 1pm. It will begin at Syon Park and incorporates the sights of the Thames Towpath and Kew Bridge. It will be delivered by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and WLMHT, supported by the Wellbeing Network (Hounslow), Wembley National Stadium Trust, London Borough of Hounslow, Middlesex FA, Hestia, GOALS Soccer Centres and Brentford FC. Sign up here.