World Mental Health Day 2022 was this week.. After following last year’s theme of ‘Isolation’ this year the mental health foundation has announced the theme for this year is ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’
We at Relate Cross Pennine aim to bring awareness throughout the week, shedding a light on present statistics on the groups and individuals that aren’t highlighted as often in mental health literature, e.g. single parents, step-parents, young adults without friends or a solid family dynamic.
Life almost seems like it has gone back to normal but for some the aftermath of Covid has left individuals and groups vulnerable and lonely. Whether this has stemmed from loved ones passing or vital relationships that have been lost over the pandemic, it can leave people with nowhere to turn to. We can relate and, with social media being prevalent and a powerful tool in today’s society, it can only take a post or a link to a counsellors page or a local social group, that may help pull someone out of a dark space.
Here are links to projects and activities in your local area which can help you re-build personal relationships and connections. We have identified 3 ways:
Connecting to nature
When there is little to no green spaces around your neighbourhood, it can be hard to have a
meaning connection to nature. Yorkshire wildlife trust is ‘a charity dedicated to conserving,
protecting and restoring wildlife and wild places in Yorkshire.’ Established in 1946, they look after over 100 nature reserves and are involved in various conversation projects across Yorkshire. So how can you find a nature reserve near you? On their website there is a page dedicated to locating green spaces through a search engine system. Whether you are a nature lover, wanting to spend more time in the outside, or trying to get the family out for some fresh air, there’s a lot of choice. With their detailed search, you can find woodlands, flower fields or even bird hides within specific reserves, there’s something for everyone. Search for your nearest nature reserve today, boost that immunity system while taking in a scenic route.
Staying active is key to a healthy mind and body, with long walks have proven to boost immune response and decrease the risk of heart complications or failures. Hikes can be a fantastic way to get your steps in whilst experiencing the beauty of the countryside. Whether you are wanting a small stroll or big walk, there are over 24 trails in the Huddersfield area. ‘AllTrails’ is a website founded on ‘the idea that we’re all made better by spending time in nature.’ With information on local areas to walk, hike, bike and run, you can explore with confidence with ratings on each location to help you narrow down the perfect route for you. On top of that they specialise in getting everyone involved, with options on trails specifically for dogs, wheelchair accessible and for young children. So, no matter how active you are, there are plenty of options to encourage you to start walking today.
Gardening can be therapeutic for individuals that enjoy looking after and growing a small living being. It can be rewarding to watch a tiny seed grow into a large, beautiful rose plant or a yummy vegetable that you can pick and there are individuals out there with similar passions so why not share yours. Bluebell Garden club based in Huddersfield is now in its 26th year and was established by a group of enthusiastic gardeners. Today they meet on the first Tuesday of every month from 7:30pm to 9:30 and with the option of £15 membership for the year or 2.50 for one night, you can choose when you wish to attend around a busy schedule or interests. With chances of a weekly raffle, cake, and a chance to pick up gardening tips, there’s an opportunity to connect to nature whilst making new relationships with people that share the same interests.
Activity and hobby days
Hobbies are a great way to enhance passions and creativity skills. As well as promoting better health and a lower risk to high blood pressure, spending a few hours a week with your hobby can also reduce the risk of depression and your overall mental wellbeing. Whilst there are several hobby nights around the Huddersfield area, sometimes specific passion or crafts may not be available through workshops and social nights, if this is the case, we might have something for you. ‘Thursday night hobby night’ is a Facebook social group meeting up every Thursday in Warhammer, Huddersfield surrounding around the freedom to bring your own craft to the evening. Whether your craft is art colours, wood carving or models, you can bring whatever you wish to work on and meet like minded folks that may share similar creative passions. The session is available to young and the older, with the age group 11 years and older, however with such an interest, there is a first come availability so be sure to book your spot quickly!
Art is a way to unwind, to be able to let your thoughts out without necessarily having to speak to them out loud. Juliet King, an associate professor of art therapy at George Washington University says that ‘Art can tap into aspects of the self and the psyche that aren’t always accessible.’ For people that struggle within their social skills or may struggle to make connections or be in social settings, an art night may be a great way to relax in a room of other like-minded people. ‘Calder Art studio’ is a creative space hosting classes, exhibitions, and artists demonstrations all year round. ‘Pen and a pint’ is a themed drawing advent for all abilities, running on the last Thursday of each month, at just £3 for the evening. Welcome to all ages and people from all backgrounds, it can be a nice way to improve on your artistic skills and enjoy a friendly relaxed atmosphere. With three prizes every month ready to be won, why not turn up for an evening of fun!
Being a single parent is hard and when your children are your main priority, social relationships can be put on the backburner and time to yourself seems non-existent. ‘MumsMeetUp’ is a unique web app, trying to combat loneliness for mums making it simple for you to find other mums in the area with similar age children. Originally launched in 2010, there is now a huge membership of mothers in the UK, with thousands of real-life friendships formed. With blogs and forums, to parenting tips, to meeting up with people in your local area, there’s a chance to meet new people online and in person. With a search engine allowing you to see the profile of other mums, you can be sure to find someone of a similar age with likeminded interests and a chance to form new connections.
For younger adults stepping outside of your comfort zone can be daunting and new experiences may be actively avoided. However, challenging yourself to try something new is how we learn more about ourselves as an individual and give us a chance to discover hidden traits and talents we may have not discovered beforehand. Volunteering can help you can gain a newfound confidence and even qualifications to help push you towards the next step of future employment and helping in a local charity shop can be a great start. Cancer Research UK is the world's largest independent cancer research organization dedicated to saving lives through research, influence, and information. Not only do they have multiple job roles within the scientific, public and organisation sector but charity shops help raise money for the organisation through selling preloved items and clothes. Shop volunteers are always being advertised within Huddersfield, with part time and full-time jobs available. Not only can you help towards a greater cause but there’s an opportunity to work within your community and earn skills and experience to develop your CV.
After Covid 19 the NHS are recruiting more staff in the health sector and with a rise in young adults interested in going into the field, there are not just jobs available but work experience and voluntary work too. Volunteering in a hospital or in a doctors practice can be a great foundation for an individual wanting to go into the health field and can help separate you and others from attaining a future job. With an insight into the work, you may want to do in the future, you can gain not only new founded skills but a better knowledge and understanding of your area. ‘Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, employ more than 6,500 staff who deliver compassionate care from our two main hospitals, they provide community health services, including sexual health services in Calderdale from Calderdale Royal and local health centres.’ And with almost 150 volunteers at CHFT, it can be a great place to jump start your career. With a list of volunteering opportunities in various fields and organisations, you can scroll and select each detailed description to find a suitable role to fit around your needs or family life. You can find the perfect job and take control of your career today!
If you find your relationships need more support or if you want to work on your own behaviours and concerns in the way you interact with others, contact us for more information. Relate Cross Pennine is a registered charity servicing relationship counselling, individual counselling, marriage counselling, children's and young people’s counselling, family counselling and sex therapy around the West Yorkshire and Lancashire area.
To find out more or to contact us today, you can find us here