This year for World Mental Health Day, our new Employment Support team in Coventry & Warwickshire were busy attending public events across the area raising awareness of mental health issues and the specialist help they can provide to people.

Marion attended an event at Coventry Rugby Club to partake in themed group sessions to address current issues and changes to local services. After a welcome and overview of the programme by Dr Sharon Binyon, Medical Director for Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT), we started the interactive engagement sessions to have our say on themes such as: improving Specialist Community Mental Health and Wellbeing Services in the area; how CWPT is now expanding its Perinatal Mental Health Team; suicide awareness; and supporting people with severe mental illness into sustainable and competitive employment. The event ended with a ‘What’s next?’ plenary and close by Dr Sharon Binyon and the opportunity to further network with other service providers and service users to promote MHM, IAPT and the Coventry and Warwickshire Employment Service.

On the same day Marion also attended the Community Learning Disabilities team meeting at the Wellbeing Hub in Nuneaton, to discuss receiving referrals and holding peer-support groups with their service users. Marion had the opportunity to meet some service users and discuss how our employment support could support them in returning to the workplace. 

Hafsah attended an event run by iGlobal UK in partnership with Highfield Hall. The session was hosted by Shabnum Shah with the aim to bring people together to raise awareness of mental health and encouraging people to be proactive and talk about mental health in society. The main topics discussed briefly by keynote speakers covered a broad range, from wellbeing at work, diversity, women in business, the elderly, and school and young people.

One lady gave an insight into her personal journey of what it was like to have her children suffer with mental health conditions. She discussed that while some support she received was adequate, there was also a time when she was without support, and shared the challenges she faced and still faces when it comes to supporting her children in accessing mental health services and obtaining the right support. Ultimately, the event really helped raise awareness of mental health in various areas of life and allowed inspiring discussions to take place during and outside of the event.

Most recently, Marion also attended the ‘Our Rugby Our Future’ event on the 17th of October. The event celebrated Rugby’s vibrant voluntary and community sector, allowing service providers and local people the chance to explore a busy marketplace and discover the wide range of services that are on offer in this borough and in surrounding areas.

The event was well attended, including Councillors from both Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire Country Council. We made many links and arranged follow-up meetings with other service providers, and also with local people by engaging them with simple word games that promoted positive mental wellbeing. The day also included a free lunch at the new Hope4 Hope Centre, which some of our team were proud to attend the launch of last week. This lunch was a great opportunity to sit down with Hope4’s service users and talk to them about our service and other local support that might help them.

Some members of the employment support team also helped to adorn local parks with 'Midlands Messages of Hope' for World Mental Health Day, creating and displaying laminated cards with messages of hope and encouragement for people to take home with them.