We promote positive mental health practices
“It’s OK to not be OK”.
We want to make it normal in every Sandwell workplace for people to feel comfortable talking about their anxiety, stress or depression.
We encourage everyone to share experiences and strategies for boosting personal and collective wellbeing.
We’ve gathered some mental health resources here. Please do tell us if you have something we should add.
The Black Country Emotional Support Helpline provides emotional support to callers who are in distress or in need of reassurance. The number is 0808 802 2288. The line is open from Monday to Friday from 6pm to 1am and on Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 1am. To access it, you must be aged sixteen or over and live in (or be registered with a GP in) Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall or Wolverhampton.
For people aged under sixteen, the online mental wellbeing community Kooth provides free, safe anonymous support.
Sandwell Healthy Minds offers psychological therapy services for people aged over sixteen who are experiencing common mental health problems such as low mood, depression, anxiety and stress. You can call 0303 033 9903 between 8am and 5pm, from Monday to Friday.
To talk about anything you’re going through, the Samaritans line is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The number is 116 123 – and it’s free to phone.
Pioneered by the West Midlands Combined Authority, Thrive At Work is a free, structured accreditation programme that supports employee health and wellbeing. To get an understanding of where your organisation is currently at in supporting staff wellbeing, try working through the five easy steps at Foundation level. You can contact WMCA’s Thrive At Work engagement officer Alison Pugh via email@example.com.
The Hospitality Partnership, run by Sandwell Business Ambassador Jan Denning, is doing lots to support people in the tourism and hospitality sector who may be experiencing ‘re-entry shock’ as the easing of lockdown brings them back into the workplace. Take a look at the slides and recording of a recent training session Jan hosted alongside health and wellbeing partner Balancing Edges – and contact Jan via us if you’d like further support.
ACAS – the UK’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service – has lots of resources for supporting employees who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.
The charitable organisation Embrace Resilience offers online tools to help you improve the mental health of your workforce and their families, including a learning portal and free courses in areas such as resilience.
Sandwell Council‘s Public Health team manages a website called Healthy Sandwell which covers all aspects of mental and physical health, from losing weight to sexual health, and challenges surrounding everything from early years to ageing. It has a comprehensive section on mental health.
Sandwell Family Life supports young people and families to get the best from life. Its website has contact details for a many support services – including counselling and meditation, English language and immigration support, after-school clubs and recreation activities, relationship help, money management and job hunting. The section on health and emotional wellbeing acts as a directory for support services in the area.
Every Mind Matters from the NHS offers articles and wellbeing tips – including ways to support other people.
Tough Enough to Care is a free mental health peer-to-peer support group for men that runs on Wednesdays at Wednesbury Museum and Art Gallery, from 7-9pm. Come and have a sit down, a cuppa, a biscuit and a chat. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more information.
Five quick mood boosters you can try right now
- Leave your screen for a while and have a walk. Even running up and down the stairs can be helpful.
- Do some breathing exercises – here are a few that take less than ten minutes.
- Sit back and listen to music. If you’re not sure where to start, try the Mindful Mix from BBC Sounds.
- Connect with nature. Notice the sky, birdsong, a flower. Even small moments of interaction with nature have been shown to be beneficial to our mental wellbeing.
- Try the 5-4-3-2-1 technique to anchor yourself back in the moment.
And here are 50 ways to take a break, courtesy of Karen Horneffer-Ginter (you can print out your own copy from here):