World Mental Health Day: how to enhance your wellbeing in Manchester

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October 10 2017 is World Mental Health Day. Created by The World Health Organisation to increase awareness about the importance of our mental wellbeing, the theme this year is ‘mental health in the workplace’.

Anyone can face a mental health problem. According to the charity Mind, an estimated 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, with 1 in 6 people reporting experiencing depression or anxiety in any given week.

Earlier this year, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham expressed his determination to end the stigma around mental health.

A multi-million pound action plan was launched, with £134m set to boost mental health services – with nearly 60% of that sum intended to support the needs of children.

Whether you have a diagnosed condition or just want to maintain your wellbeing, there is lots of support available in Manchester if you know where to look. Make the most of it.

Mental wellbeing courses

Heads Up is a Manchester-based project offering three different courses for mental health support – Wellbeing, Art and Communication.  You don’t need a specific diagnosis to attend. If you have been feeling down, stressed or anxious recently, these classes may be ideal for you. Each is at least five weeks long, offers one to one support and follows the 5 Ways to Wellbeing Model, a proven pathway for better mental health. For more information and to book, click here.

Drop-in support centres

The Horsfall is a mental wellbeing centre inspired by the Ancoats Art Museum, a 19th century experiment set up by Thomas Horsfall who wanted to promote better wellbeing by connecting people with culture, arts and nature. Operated by the charity 42nd Street, The Horsfall is a safe space for people to go, home to a number of events, resources and workshops, and is particularly known for its opportunities for young people.

Try meditation and yoga

Research suggests that the ancient practices of yoga and meditation can regulate our responses to stress and can be beneficial for our mental health. Once you have picked up the basics, it’s easy to practise at home. If you prefer classes, there are plenty to choose from. The Buddhist Centre in The Northern Quarter has regular taster sessions both at lunchtime and in the evenings.  The YogaLife Project founded by Mick Timpson is an enterprise based in Chorlton visiting workplaces to teach employees the most helpful techniques for their situation.

See something amazing

Watching a show and opening up your perspective can be a big positive for your mental health. There are many productions coming your way in Manchester which will have you thinking. At the innovative arts space 53two this week, there’s a swinging 60s-styled show Days of Wine and Roses, whilst next week Stay Happy Keep Smiling explores the emotional lives of ordinary people after an extraordinary event. HOME is somewhere to experience mind-opening film and theatre such as Mobile, a show set in a caravan based on interview material gathered from across the UK and giving unique insight into people’s real lives.

Get active

Evidence suggests regular physical activity can improve the quality of life of people experiencing mental health problems, can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. Even a short burst of 10 minutes’ brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. So get walking, get running, get cycling or join a gym. Get the rest of October for FREE when you join Nuffield Health in The Printworks.

On campus

An estimated one in three young adults experiences mental health issues. Manchester is known for its huge student population – and there is plenty of support available too. At The University of Manchester, there will be a special day of events on 10 October including a Mental Health Fair held at University Place 11am-4pm. At Manchester Metropolitan University there will be special wellbeing café in the Business School.

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