We’re seeking views to help set-up mental health networking events

Mental Health – we would like your opinion!

We’re looking to help organise mental health events in the city and are asking health professionals, service providers and users, individuals and businesses to give their views on shaping them.

We’re leading on developing the recently launched Southampton Mental Health Network, supported by the Southampton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, and are seeking information, so we can help host the events.

Our Manager, Annie Clewlow says: “The Southampton Mental Health Network has been created with the support of the Creative Options Community Project, and many other organisations, to make Southampton a Mental Health Friendly City and to bring together individuals and organisations committed to working in partnership towards its shared vision.

“Southampton Mental Health Network is currently conducting a survey to ask the city’s health professionals, service providers and service users, where and when it would be good to hold its mental health networking events, so as many people as possible can get involved and engaged. We’d like to involve those with mental health challenges, their family and friends, and the wider public, including individuals and businesses too.”

“We’re asking everyone to take part in our survey and to pass it on to their contacts, friends and family who live in the city. The closing date for all submissions is May 12. From the results of the survey, we’re hoping to be able to devise events that will suit everyone, so we can get as many attendees as possible.”

Southampton Mental Health Network wishes to bring professionals, individuals of all ages and communities together.

“This is phase one of the initiative and ultimately, together with lots of other organisations, we’re looking to re-establish a service users’ network, grow Southampton Mental Health Network’s membership and increase information on the groups out there that provide help and support to those in need. Then we can help realise Southampton Mental Health Network’s aim of creating a Mental Health Friendly City, which is good for us all.”

Southampton Mental Health Network is supported by many organisations in the city including us, Southampton Family Trust, Create and Prosper, Time to Thrive, Community Roots, Healthwatch, Board in the City CIC, Southampton Voluntary Services and Mayfield Nurseries.

Hayley Binstead from the community interest company Board in the City CIC, which opened Southampton’s first dedicated board game café, says: “We’re committed to the mental well-being of everyone in the community.

“I helped devise and design the survey for Southampton Mental Health Network to find out what the best day of the week, the best location, how long the networking events should be and how people might get to our events, so that we can create something that will be suitable for the maximum number of people hoping to attend.”

Southampton Mental Health Network wishes to improve communication between organisations and individuals who are working towards good mental health in the city and to develop a resource team for advice, support and encouragement to community groups seeking to become more mentally friendly.

Annie adds: “We were approached and asked to get involved with the survey as we’re a well-established friendly, neighbourhood charity that enriches the lives of lonely and isolated people in and around the city.

“We feel strongly about the mental health of the city, as isolation and loneliness often go hand-in-hand with emotional well-being. We’re acutely aware of the impact isolation and loneliness can have on all ages, therefore it’s crucial we help raise awareness, benefit those in need and, also, increase understanding within all communities.”

Southampton Mental Health Network survey can be found here. The closing date for all submissions is May 12.