Social prescibing

Wellbeing tips from Terri: How to be more present, increase self awareness and reduce anxiety

Sadie White No Comments

Sheffield Futures wellbeing worker Terri has some great tips to share on how to increase self awareness and be in the present moment to help drive down feelings of anxiety and stress.

Listen to the birds in the background, just allowing yourself to focus on the birds tweeting is calming, makes you want to get out in nature and be in the moment – at a 2m distance from everyone else though of course!

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Self isolation, social media rumours and the need for rational thinking

Sadie White No Comments

Over the coming weeks, due to the need to shut our face to face services as a result of Coronavirus, we’ll be keeping in touch with young people that use our Door 43 services online. This is the first of our weekly blogs. In these blogs our Door 43 team will impart wise words, wisdom and tools to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and social media channels. 

In this first blog, Luca Jandu our wellbeing worker talks about the need for rational thinking. Self isolation, although necessary right now in terms of physical health, can present some challenges for our emotional health. As our minds wander and we can’t forward plan, with the situation changing daily, we’re prone to catastrophising and this can cause unhelpful anxieties to manifest.  Here, Luca acknowledges this, talks about his own experience and provides some helpful ways to challenge irrational and anxious thoughts. 

 

 

So, this is the first blog from me, in this funny time we are facing! I really hope – considering the circumstances – you are all keeping as well as you can be. It’s uncharted territory for all of us, pushing us all hard emotionally, so it’s never been more important to be mindful of our wellbeing. On this note, I thought it would be worth looking at the need for rational thinking and the importance of trying to find a way to stay calm and keep going – especially hard when we are facing so many new challenges.

I had my own moment of irrational thought and mild panic last week and wanted to tell you about it as there were definitely a few learnings. I’ve been self-isolating since the 18th, so have been on social media a lot more than I usually would. As we know, social media isn’t the most reliable source of information. On the 18th, some rumours started circulating of a military crackdown, which even though I fact checked and found some of the sources to be from a fake website, the constant references to ‘military crackdown’ eventually got the better of me. So,  I rang my housemates to ask them to buy a load of rice, lentils and a crate of chickpeas and tahini – for hummus, I would really struggle without hummus! In hindsight this may have been a little irrational.

 

 

Later that evening – when looking at more reliable sources – I discovered the military had been brought in to support the police. It seems that a few police must be self-isolating or looking after their kids and the military are just doing a bit of their work – the mass of rice, lentils, crate of chick peas and litre of tahini all seems a bit silly now – whoops.

Now ‘rational me’ knows that I’m not going to starve, that the supermarkets will continue to stock the shelves and that the military play an essential role in protecting the public and can provide useful public services in times like these, getting food to isolated vulnerable people for example, which is very important. I usually have a pretty good grip on the irrational me and control my impulses, but I guess times like this can challenge our rational selves, push us all to do irrational things and social media can act as fuel in this fire. This incident emphasised to me the need to fact check what I read on social media with reliable sources, and to be a bit more conscious and mindful of my thoughts to try to keep a better grip on my irrational self.

After I told the team at Door 43 about this we posted some links to more reliable sources of information on our social media channels alongside some alternative positive news stories. I’ve put these links below for you at the bottom of my blog. We ask you in these difficult times to try to choose your sources of information carefully and look for the links we post too. While this is a difficult time with some challenges that will be new to all of us, we need to be cautious of where our information is coming from, fact check, use reputable sources for news and think rationally.

I’ve pulled together questions to ask yourselves that may help to challenge irrational thoughts as they arise. Maybe I wouldn’t be sat among this mass of rice, lentils if i’d considered these for a moment!

Questions to ask yourself when challenging irrational or anxious thoughts.

  1. Is there any evidence that contradicts my worry? Can I trust the source of my worry? Do I have all the information? Am I ignoring any contrary facts? Are my sources reputable and trustworthy?
  2. Am I assuming the worst will happen? Ask yourself – ‘Have I jumped to the worst- case scenario? How likely is this to happen really?
  3. Am I jumping to conclusions? Ask yourself – do you have the facts to back up your thoughts? Are they based in reality?
  4. What are the costs and benefits of thinking in this way? Is this a positive / healthy way of thinking? What would a healthier more balanced thought look like?
  5. Am I ignoring positive information? Is the negative looming unnecessarily large?
  6. How will I feel about this in 6 months? In a year? Look to the future, putting a situation into another point in time can give you a valuable, calming perspective.
  7. Is there another way of looking at this situation? Can you think of positives? For example, yes you might be stuck inside and you can’t see your friends but on the flip side it won’t be for ever and taking this action now will mean we can all get back to normal more quickly and safeguard the most vulnerable people.

Hopefully going through these questions when irrational or anxious thoughts get the better of you will help you slow your mind down so you can check yourself for catastrophising, unhelpful thinking and gain some perspective.

I wish you all the best in this challenging time and remember that Door 43 – even in if in a virtual form – is still here to support you. Keep an eye on our website and social media for more information about this. We’re working hard to get things up and running.

Take care of yourselves and each other and watch this space for our next blog next Wednesday.

Luca

Information on the importance of looking after yourself:

https://bit.ly/33GNSu4

https://bit.ly/2Usalac

https://bit.ly/3dnJTXV

Reliable information sources:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Positive news:
https://www.facebook.com/thehappybroadcast/

https://bit.ly/33MD3ac

 

World Mental Health Day 2019: A short conversation can really make the difference

Sadie White No Comments

It’s World Mental Health Day today and this year the World Federation for Mental Health has chosen the theme of suicide prevention.

At our emotional health and wellbeing centre Door 43, our service is focussed on early intervention and is a preventative mental health service for 13-25 year olds that aims to stop mental health conditions in their tracks before they turn into more serious issues. It’s one of only a few of its kind in the country and since its inception the service has been very much in demand with the majority self-referring with issues such as stress, anxiety and low mood often caused by the overwhelming demands that modern life places on today’s young people.

Dan White, Head of Targeted Services and Health said, ‘It’s a good time to remind ourselves this World Mental Health Day that just a small conversation with someone can make a huge difference to a young person’s state of mind.’

‘Here at our Door 43 emotional health and wellbeing centre at Star House we offer a preventative service focussed on intervening early with young people, to open up conversations and hopefully stop more serious issues in their tracks.’

‘We know that young people can be put off accessing mental health services as they associate these environments with the stress and anxiety that is often fuelling their issues. Our Door 43 service ensures we can offer a safe and welcoming space for young people to openly talk about their feelings and access early preventative support in a completely neutral environment where they can literally get away from it all, clear their head and become ready to access the support they need.’

‘Door 43 integrates a range of health and wellbeing support under one roof, giving young people the flexibility they need in terms of access to different specialist support services such as counselling and other psychological therapies, awareness and advice work, health clinics, signposting and mechanisms for referral for those who require specialist mental health assessment. We also offer social prescribing for young people. Much like going to the GP for a prescription, where we deem appropriate, we can prescribe therapeutic activities that young people show an interest in. ’

‘We have seen very encouraging results from Door 43 so far and it’s really heartening to see the positive impact we’re having on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Sheffield’s young people.’

When talking about how the Door 43 service has helped him, Darren Jenks a young person who has accessed Door 43 in the past said,’Door43 is a place I can go and offload about what has happened in my week. I don’t feel judged by the staff; they are all so easy to talk to. I feel like having that space every week makes a massive difference to my mood.’

‘When I’ve got loads of stuff going on in my head, I can come in to see someone at Door43 and they help me to make sense of it all and we can make a plan together and I feel so much better.’

Young people can drop in to the Door 43 wellbeing café at Star House on Division Street on a Tuesday between 5-7pm or on Wellbeing Wednesday 11-4pm and on a Saturday 9.30-1pm. Our wellbeing workers can assess a young person’s level of need and provide appropriate support or refer young people on to more appropriate services through our referral network. Call 0114 201 800 or [email protected] 

Joe Carnall of Milburn fame talking to a young person at the Door 43 wellbeing café

Jenny’s story: recording in a studio through social prescribing

Tash Bright No Comments

Jenny moved to Sheffield in April 2018 “with just a suitcase and a guitar.” Earlier that year, she had felt the push to leave the seaside town she had been living in to move to Sheffield the “music city.” Jenny was excited about “all the music venues, nightlife and students” and moved to do what she wanted to do – make music.

Alone in a city she didn’t know, Jenny was working in hospitality, living in a shared house and her mental health began to deteriorate. Seeking help after a mental health crisis, she was referred to Door 43, the emotional wellbeing service for young people at Sheffield Futures.

“From the first moment I visited Door 43, I felt like I was listened to,” she said. “Door 43 was a really warm and welcoming environment and I felt that when I told my story, that my worker really listened.”

Jenny began to visit the weekly Wellbeing Café, a drop-in session filled with positive activities, staff and volunteers to talk to, cups of tea and inspirational talks from sportspeople, musicians and more about their own mental health stories.

Jenny’s worker encouraged her to follow her dreams and to do what she wanted to do when she moved to the city, make music. Together they worked on exercises to increase Jenny’s confidence and began to look to the future and exploring Jenny’s passions.

Jenny found herself out of work and unhappy with her living situation. One of her coping strategies was playing her guitar and writing songs about her feelings, and unfortunately she had to sell her guitar to pay her rent. Her worker knew how much this meant to her and through a social media shout-out, managed to get Jenny a kindly donated guitar and keyboard within 24 hours.

Jenny said: “The guitar and keyboard kept me alive.”

Jenny moved out of her shared accommodation into a house on her own and began feeling much better.

When Door 43 held a grand opening for their premises, with Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, they asked Jenny to perform one of her songs. It was Jenny’s first public performance in over a year, and her first in Sheffield. She said: “No-one in Sheffield had heard my music and I was really nervous, but it went really well. Afterwards I felt so much more confident and I got some great feedback.”

Through Sheffield Futures social prescribing programme, Jenny was introduced to Nigel Humberstone, who runs Beehive Works, a music studio in Sheffield. He had kindly offered studio time and assistance for Jenny to record an EP of songs about her mental health. Jenny said: “Recording my music is something I’ve always wanted to do. I used to record my songs on voice notes on my phone! Nigel and Klive have been so helpful and have made sure that everything has been done properly. I feel like there are no limits on what I can achieve now.”

Jenny has launched a Bandcamp, where people can hear and buy her music. She has finished recording five songs about her mental health journey and is looking forward to playing some shows over the summer. She said: “I’ve had to be patient and work hard to record these songs, everything takes longer than you think it will – but I’m excited to start gigging over summer. I’m being realistic and trying to be organised, but I’ll always be a dreamer.”

National Social Prescribing Day – 14th March

Tash Bright No Comments

StreetGames becomes nationwide social prescriber in local communities

Sports charity funds link workers in four UK cities to tackle social issues among young people

National sports charity StreetGames has funded four link workers to support young people accessing local sources of support in four cities across the UK. The programme will allow young people to have access to free counselling, sport and volunteering opportunities, and will support with literacy, training or employment.

These appointments follow StreetGames being selected as one of 23 new schemes across the country to share in £4.5 million of funding from the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC). The grant means StreetGames will be able to support local partners in Brighton & Hove, Luton, Sheffield and Southampton, to work with vulnerable young people, aged 5-25, helping them to get extra care and support in their local neighbourhood.

StreetGames has partnered with YMCA DownsLink Group in Brighton & Hove, No Limits in Southampton, Sheffield Futures in Sheffield, and Active Luton in Luton, who will provide physical hubs from where the service will be coordinated.

Talking on the announcement, Paul Jarvis-Beesley, Head of Sport and Health at StreetGames, said: “Social prescribing refers to the process of helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare, by connecting them to a range of local, non-clinical, community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. This is something StreetGames is very passionate about. Through the programme, a dedicated link worker will spend time with each young person finding out what they need and make the connection to the menu of local activities and services on offer. This intervention can be crucial in ensuring young people succeed as they grow in to adulthood.”

The programme will provide for over 2,100 young people, who will have 4-6 sessions each with their link worker before being directly referred into local services. Each service will be open to all, but additional resources will be allocated to making it accessible to young people who experience social exclusion through poverty or protected characteristics.

The initiative follows the launch of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy in October, which noted the value of social prescribing. In a recent speech to The King’s Fund about the benefits of social prescribing, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, said he saw social prescribing as “becoming an indispensable tool”, adding, “social prescription is about making better use of what we already have – making the arts and social activities more accessible”.

Cat Pritchard, Brighton & Hove CYP Wellbeing Services Manager, said on the news: “We’re delighted YMCA DownsLink Group is one of the organisations awarded a proportion of this funding. We will be setting up a social prescribing scheme within our Brighton & Hove Children & Young People’s (CYP) Wellbeing Service. This service works with young people aged 4-25, offering a range of innovative mental health interventions and is a local collaboration with YMCA DownsLink Group, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Mind in Brighton and Hove and HERE. This funding gives us the opportunity to improve the transition between services for children and young people locally. We are excited about the positive impact this new link worker role could have on the lives of children, young people and families in Brighton and Hove.”

Dr Christa Beesley, a GP for Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC in Brighton and Hove, added: “I am delighted to have the support in social prescribing now being offered in Brighton. The gap between what is needed for young people experiencing mental health difficulties and what is available is huge, and waiting times for specialist therapy are very high. Social prescribing helps us to fill this gap and to get the whole community involved in supporting our children and young people.”

Sports and music have long been associated with supporting people through conditions including diabetes, dementia, loneliness, anxiety and depression. Activities offered under social prescribing are varied, and are already having a great impact on the lives of the UK’s young people. Jenny, a participant of the programme led by Sheffield Futures, said of the initiative: “The social prescribing programme has really opened my eyes to see what is available for me in Sheffield. I’ve been writing music since I was nine and now my Health and Wellbeing Worker has helped me to access studio time through the programme, which is mind-blowing! I recently moved to Sheffield and this service has helped me to gain confidence, it’s helped with my mental health and taught me to be more open-minded. I’ve been looking into song-writing with a community group, and social prescribing has shown me that there are so many opportunities out there.”

Feeling lonely or isolated? Suffering from low mood or lack of confidence? Or need help accessing services, jobs or education?

Sadie White No Comments

At Sheffield Futures we now run a social prescribing service for young people aged 13-25. Much like going to the GP for a prescription if you’re physically ill, we can work with you to prescribe activities and practical support that can help with a range of issues you may be facing such as loneliness and isolation, practical support accessing housing, education or employment or help with tackling low confidence, mood and wellbeing.

Find out more about social prescribing and how it can help you here.

Social prescribing for young people

Sadie White No Comments

Sheffield Futures are proud to launch a ‘social prescribing’ model for 13-25 year olds who require support to improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing, through access to a range of activities, tailored to their needs.

Socially prescribed activities will be entirely bespoke to the young person but may include funding to attend sports clubs or classes, leisure activities such as music and theatre groups, alternative therapies, gym membership and more for a 12-week period. 13-25 year olds will also receive support to access a range of existing provision, activities and services including arts groups, wellbeing groups, outdoors or nature groups and more.

With the overall wellbeing of young people aged 16-25 years old widely acknowledged to be decreasing and with emotional health seeing the biggest drop in 2018 (Youth Mental Health Index 2018), the need for preventative mental health services has never been more acute. The new social prescribing model has been launched in response to this and will be lead by Sheffield Futures emotional wellbeing service, Door 43.

Door 43 integrates a range of health and wellbeing support under one roof, giving young people the flexibility they need in terms of access to different specialist support services such as counselling and other psychological therapies, awareness and advice work, health clinics, signposting and mechanisms for referral for those who require specialist mental health assessment.

Gail Gibbons, Sheffield Futures Chief Executive said: ‘As we progress further down the track as a society towards a mental health crisis, there has never been a more pressing need for us to holistically address the emotional health and wellbeing needs of our young people.’

‘Sheffield Futures is proud to say that young people are at the heart of all we do, and our services change to meet their needs. The social prescribing model allows us to address many of the root causes for low-level mental health issues and encourage positive activities.’

Funding for the young people’s social prescribing scheme has been provided by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Health and Wellbeing Fund and is being co-ordinated by Streetgames UK and Youth Access, across four UK locations. In Sheffield the programme is being delivered by youth charity, Sheffield Futures.

Care Minister Caroline Dinenage said: ‘The voluntary and community sector has such a vital role to play in working with our health system to provide the kind of support that you can’t receive at your local GP surgery or hospital.’

Dinenage continues: ‘This new funding will mean that many more people receive support that looks at their needs holistically, enabling them to live happier, more independent lives. I look forward to seeing these projects put their plans into action and provide support to hundreds of thousands more people.’

The support will aim to deliver improvement in the health and quality of life through increased levels of activity, enabling community participation, breaking down barriers to accessing transport and benefits, encouraging healthy living and increasing engagement with school, college, training programmes and employment.

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