Southamptoners Asked For Views On Creating A Mental Health Friendly City

Southamptoners Asked For Views On Creating A Mental Health Friendly City

Southampton Mental Health Network is asking people living and working in Southampton to participate in a survey to find out what they think a Mental Health Friendly City should look like.

It wants to hear from residents of all ages, ethnic backgrounds and genders, and those working in the city, to discover what it would mean to them.

The Southampton Mental Health Network has been created to eventually help make Southampton a ‘Mental Health Friendly City’ and to bring together individuals and organisations committed to working in partnership towards this shared vision.

It feels a Mental Health Friendly City is one where people are understood, respected and supported and everyone’s mental health is encouraged and valued, as having good mental health is just as important as having good physical health. Taking care of our brains and our mental wellbeing is important for everyone.

However, it’d like to hear from people living in Southampton to find out what they envisage a Mental Health Friendly City looks like too and what it would mean to them, so we can incorporate their wishes and ideas into our collective vision.

We’re leading and coordinating the initiative, supported by the Southampton NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

To participate in Southampton Mental Health Network’s research, please download a survey online here and complete it by November 30.

You can also look out for and hop on to the Big Red Bus, run by partner organisation We Make Southampton, which will be parked up around the city during October and November.

The team on the bus will be able to give people the opportunity to feedback in person at a safe social distance.

Southampton Mental Health Network hopes as many people as possible come forward to give their thoughts and feelings on this topic, which is vital to us all, more so in view of the current pandemic.

One of the issues Southampton Mental Health Network wishes to raise awareness of is using the term ‘mental health’ to describe mental ill health, as there is a clear distinction between someone who has issues with mental ill health and someone who wishes to maintain and foster good mental health.

It feels in a Mental Health Friendly City, people will be aware of and understand what mental health and mental ill health are. Many of those affected by mental ill health feel society fails to understand the condition they live with, its impact and how to interact with them.

Southampton Mental Health Network also hopes to boost resilience and to create a movement based on improving attitudes, understanding and education with regard to mental health in the city.

Building on the ‘Ideas for Wellbeing’ survey published by member organisation Touch Network in cooperation with Healthwatch Southampton in 2018, ultimately, it is looking to establish a robust support network.

It also wishes to grow its membership, increase information on the groups out there that provide help and support, and organise events where health professionals and community groups can get together for the benefit of all.

(Photo caption: Ling salter from Compassionate Cuppa, Chloe Naegeli, Southampton Mental Health Network’s Administrator and member David Pritchard.