08/10/21: Mental Health Champions to make Breckland a 'Mindful District'

We're calling on local people to come forward to sign up for training to become one of a network of 250 Mental Health Champions. The announcement comes ahead of World Mental Health Day on Sunday 10 October.

The move is part of bid to make Breckland a district of 'Mindful Towns' and comes after the council announced it would release £15k to fund the champions' training earlier this year. The scheme is being led by the newly-created Breckland Mental Health Community Partnership, which comprises the district council, Norfolk and Waveney Mind, the Wellbeing Service, and YANA - the rural mental health charity. Now, bookings are open for anyone who is interested in becoming one of the Mental Health Champions.

The mental health training will be offered to individuals, small businesses, community groups and grass-roots organisations through a tiered education and awareness training programme of either 2-hour Wellbeing Champions training, half-day Community Champions training, or 2-day Mental Health First Aid training. Once trained, the champions will be able to spot mental health concerns in the people they're close to, and signpost them to other support, making businesses and community groups better placed to support their own staff, customers and service users. Participants will have the opportunity to supplement their learning with optional follow-up developmental opportunities where they will be supported in learning how to maximise the impact of their training by creating and promoting mindful activities within the community setting. 

Cllr Alison Webb, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Communities at Breckland Council, said: "Our Inspiring Communities programme is a £1m investment over three years in the wellbeing of all Breckland residents, and the Mindful Towns Mental Health Champions project is exactly the type of initiative we want to fund and see flourish. It's a way for us to support local people to help the communities they live and work in, and the initial input from us will equip the champions with knowledge that will benefit many more local people.

"We hope that providing training to 250 champions across our district will build community capacity and strengthen the network of support available to those in need. I'd encourage anyone who has an interest in mental health to sign up to the programme and take advantage of this free training  - or to get in touch with us and find out more about the different training options." 

Ashley Bunn, Director for Strategy and Business at Norfolk and Waveney Mind, said: "We are delighted to be working with Breckland Council and the other members of the newly formed Breckland Mental Health Community Partnership to bring mental health awareness and training to the communities of Breckland, and are especially delighted to announce the programme is open for bookings on such a poignant day for mental health.

"Through our education and awareness training we hope to empower local businesses and community volunteers to better understand mental health, how it can affect overall wellbeing, the potential triggers and signs of mental health issues, and how best to signpost residents to the range of support available.

"We work to ensure that no one in Norfolk and Waveney has to face a mental health problem alone and partnerships like this enable us to reach far more people, helping to build healthier, more resilient communities."

Kelvin Colbourn from The Wellbeing Service commented: "We are really impressed with Breckland Council's commitment to helping those that may be struggling with their mental health. We look forward to supporting and training the new Community Mental Health Champions, who in turn can help give people the tools they need to increase their own resilience."

Melinda Raker, Founder Patron of YANA, said: "Living in Breckland, I am hugely proud of my local council for initiating this unique Community Partnership. I am a great believer in collaboration for a common purpose and am therefore delighted that YANA will be working with MIND and Breckland Council to provide Mental Health First Aiders with the skills and confidence to support and signpost local residents, colleagues, friends and family."

Find out more, or book your training as a Mental Health Champion


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Last updated: 08/10/2021 17:39:19