Maudsley Showcase roundup
On 12 May we proudly showcased eight other donation-funded projects in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Week (11-17 May). It was held at the ORTUS Learning and Events Centre, which is a building funded by supporter donations.
In keeping with this year’s theme of ‘Mindfulness’ we based our showcase around the Wheel of Well-being project, which aims to improve personal well-being and mindfulness by dividing well-being into six areas.
It advocates positive change in six key ways: Planet, People, Spirit, Place, Mind and Body. It's based on research that has provided evidence for how particular actions, activities and practices have the ability to improve mood, reduce the risk of depression, strengthen relationships, maintain overall health, and even increase life-expectancy.
Using this wheel as a foundation for the day, we opened activities with a series of short talks by SLaM staff and representatives from the projects to demonstrate the essence of each segment of the wheel.
The Adamson Collection is a collection of art used for art therapy by British artist Edward Adamson, during his 35 years of working in a long-stay mental hospital. The Adamson Collection has recently been recognised as one of UK's most important collections of asylum art.
As well as aiding recovery, the collection also promotes the creativity of those living with mental health problems to the wider public - and challenges stigma in the process.
The Angelus Foundation aims to educate, encourage and assist individuals in becoming more knowledgeable about the risks legal highs (harmful drugs that escape prohibition due to being research chemicals or used for purposes such as plant feed) pose to their health and well-being. Donations funded their ‘Why Not Find Out?’ campaign, which is a project aimed at creating awareness of new psychoactive substances and ultimately helping young people to stay safe.
Bethlem Fresh and Healthy Food Project (Planet)
With the tagline 'inspired by nature, harnessing her wealth, looking after ourselves, looking after the planet’, Bethlem Fresh and Healthy Food Project is an initiative that encourages service users to grow, pick and cook food produced in their walled kitchen, garden or orchard.
With its distinctive art-deco staircase, the new gallery and learning spaces at Bethlem Royal Hospital secure its unique collections of archival material, historic objects and works of art for future generations. The collection offers a rich resource for study of the history of mental healthcare and treatment.
The SLaM Recovery College offers a range of workshops and courses including aimed at helping people understand and live with anxiety. Every course and workshop on offer is co-developed and co-run by trainers who have experienced mental health difficulties themselves, working alongside trainers who are mental health professionals. It's a chance to learn together as well as share experience and knowledge.
The Tree of Life workshops are run for small groups of staff and in-patients at the Psychiatric Intensive Care Units at SLaM. They use narrative therapy to encourage participants to share and reflect. This involves talking about the positive aspects of their life through the metaphor of a tree to work through issues. The Tree of Life represents different aspects of a person’s life.
We heard from Julie Fraser, Clinical Psychologist, and three service users: Ubong Akpan, Maggie Hayes, and Ursular Joy, who all talked about their personal trees.
SLaM’s volunteer programme encourages people to use their free time in an enjoyable and positive way. It's aimed at opening up new networks and career opportunities for volunteers, and also supporting service users with their own recovery by helping them gain new experience and increased confidence.
We heard from Alex, Georgios and Jackie, who told us what their experiences as volunteers meant to them. Alex is looking for more experience in the mental health field, Georgios is using volunteering to aid his recovery from anxiety, which was brought on by his busy marketing career, and Jackie is using it to help increase her confidence.
An evening of activities
Following the presentations, we held an interactive marketplace in the Connect room of the ORTUS, which was led by the Wheel of Well-being group.
Guests were invited to take part in a game where they rolled a dice which sent them off on a journey around the Wheel to visit the different segments of positive change, each represented by a Maudsley Charity supported project.
Each stall included an interactive element. The Angelus Foundation had a boardgame that highlighted the pitfalls of legal highs, Bethlem Fresh and Healthy Food Project showcased their fresh produce,and the Tree of Life encouraged guests to join in with a group therapy session, and to create their own tree of life.
On top of all this, Maintaining Health Partners held meditation and interactive therapy sessions in order to bring calm and mindfulness to the busy marketplace throughout the day.
Paul Mitchell, host of the event and Chief Executive of Maudsley Charity, said, 'It's always heartening to hear firsthand the added value that the charity can make.'
The work of these amazing projects would not be possible without your generosity and support. To find out more about how you can get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 848 4701.