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Door43

A love letter to yourself

Tash Bright No Comments

I have been working with a young woman for two months at Door43. When she first came to the service she was feeling very low in self confidence and would quite often say things to put herself down. I could see that she is a fantastic person and has many assets, but instead of reminding her about her achievements I wanted her to recognise them herself. She asked me if there was anything she could be doing over Christmas to practice self-care, and I set her a challenge of writing a love letter to herself.

At first she laughed at me and said this is “way too cheesy”, but eventually I convinced her to give it a go and even if she came back to see me in January with one point, it would be a great achievement.

She came back after the Christmas break with the following list and said it was really difficult, and at times she struggled to write the points down, but that now she has done it, she is proud. She plans to use the letter every time she is having a rubbish day or feeling a bit off, when she re-reads it she can remind herself of how amazing she is and the best bit is that these points have all come from her.

 

Dear you, I love you because:

You are amazing. Even if you don’t believe that, it is true. You need to believe in the people around you and trust them on this fact.

You are helpful when your friends are down. You always put your friends first. You’re always there to talk to and always happy to help them.

You are confident. Stop hiding behind this shy person and show people who you really are.

You never give up on yourself. You try as many times as you need to to succeed. Keep going.

You don’t let your mental health define you. Instead, you make it a part of your life and you now want to work with teenagers who have mental health issues, which is great!

You are brave. You have gone through so much in 2017. You were in hospital with no idea what to do and you became this brave person and got through it.

You are funny. You always make people laugh; no matter what mood they’re in.

You are determined. You have dreams that you will never give up on.

You are good company; you are always lovely to be around. You keep everyone in good mood and spirits, even when you are down.

You are the most organised person I know – this is a good thing. You have everything you need at all times – this is not a bad thing!

You are always early and if you were ever late you would panic like mad.

You are friendly and kind to everyone even if you don’t know them. You take the time to talk to everyone around you even if they are the opposite of you.

You are a hard worker. You always give 100% to any work you get given, if even if you don’t really feel like it.

You are creative, you knit, create and enjoy arts and crafts and you need to carry being creative as it’s a part of you.

You are a whizz at jigsaws, you love doing them to music.

You are beautiful with or without make up. You always wear make up to hide who you are when really you are beautiful like a rainbow.

You set your heart on something and you do it.

You are a star, you’re a star in lots of people’s eyes for different reasons (mainly good, so keep being the star you are).

You are you and that’s fine.

“Today is going to be a good day and here’s why. Because today, no matter what else, today, at least you’re you. No hiding, no lying, just you. And that’s enough.”

Love, me. x

Feeling the January gloom? Emotional support for young people at Door43

Sadie White No Comments

January can be the time of year when we’re feeling a little gloomy. The effects of the weather, the difference between debt and our ability to pay, the amount of time since Christmas, low levels of motivation and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation can all contribute to this.

‘January can be a really difficult time of year for us all in terms of low mood affected by low levels of sunlight, getting back into the work routine and the post-Christmas lull however all this is compounded further for young people who are already dealing with emotional health and wellbeing issues.’ Says Sadie Charlton, Wellbeing Coach at Sheffield Futures’ youth information, advice & counselling service Door43.

At Door43 we offer an accessible drop in service which doesn’t rely on referrals and acts as an informal and safe space where Sheffield’s young people can gain confidential support and advice on a range of issues.

‘We’re aiming to provide an informal space where young people feel welcome, involved and ultimately feel that they are in an environment with their peers where they are able to discuss and access support on a range of issues if indeed they feel they want to do so.’

‘With stress, anxiety and depression on the rise for young people in Sheffield and the UK, having a safe, casual space which acts as a drop in service and that doesn’t carry the stigma a or practical considerations of a professional referral could make all the difference for a worried or distressed young person.’ She continues.

Top tips for beating the winter blues

  1. Be mindful – You may have heard of mindfulness, it’s the practice of being in the present moment right now (rather than thinking about the past, or worrying about the future). There are lots of useful mindfulness apps you can get for your smart phone. Mindfulness takes practice but you could start by trying this at one moment each day such as brushing your teeth or when you’re making a cup of tea.
  2. Keep physically active – Exercise releases the ‘feel good’ hormones dopamine. Regular exercise doesn’t have to involve hitting the gym hard 5 times a week. You could start with gentle physical activities such as yoga, swimming or walking in your favourite park. It’s important that what you choose to do is something you enjoy, that way you’re much more likely to keep doing it.
  3. Find a new hobby – Activities and hobbies we enjoy are a great way to practice self-care. Regularly engaging in hobbies can increase confidence, give you a sense of purpose and a good outlet for your physical and creative needs.
  4. Be cautious of caffeine – If you’re finding it difficult to switch off at night, or you feel a bit jittery during the day, perhaps you could have a look at how much caffeine you are consuming in your daily brews. Too much caffeine can make you feel anxious. Try to drink your last caffeinated drink no later than 4pm in order to get a good night’s sleep.
  5. Balance of work, rest & play – schedule time for you to do your favourite ‘switch off’ activities. More importantly – give yourself permission to do this! This could be reading, watching that box set you’ve been meaning to do, or having a pamper night.
  6. Seek out the sun and stretch your legs outdoors – Just 15 minutes of natural sunlight per day is known to reduce depression and anxiety levels. The vitamin D from the sun (even if you can’t always see it in Sheffield!) and all that natural sunlight helps you sleep better at night. Being outdoors is a great way to practice mindfulness.
  7. Sleep – Bedtime routines are not for babies. Getting the right amount of Zzz’s each night can make a huge difference to your tomorrows. Try avoiding tech/TV an hour before bed and look at ways you can wind down to get a restful night’s sleep. How about having a bath, reading a book, using aromatherapy oils or white noise to promote a deeper sleep.
  8. Time out from Tech – Lets go old school, take time out from insta, facebook & twitter to catch up with someone face to face. Although social media can be a good way to stay in touch, it doesn’t beat the connection you have when spending time with the people you care about.
  9. Get creative – Find your flow. When we are being creative, our brains release dopamine, which is a natural anti-depressant. Creativity usually takes concentration and it can lead to the feeling of a natural high. Participating in creative activities may even help to alleviate depression. Creative activities may be art, writing, crafts, baking and colouring.
  10. Talk about what’s on your mind – either with a friend or a loved one who is supportive of you or pop into Door43 for a brew & a chat.

New home for Door43!

Door43 will also soon have a total re-design as we have secured funding from the Department of Health to create a multi-purpose Health and Wellbeing Zone to the “back of house” area at Star House. This area will house a brand new Wellbeing café to support young people’s emotional health in a fun, friendly and relaxed space and also ensure our existing services can continue to meet the needs of our young people and adults in our bright and vibrant city-centre space. Over that past 18 months, we have undertaken an extensive amount of consultation with staff, managers, young people and visitors to Star House around what the space should look and feel like. Exciting times, watch this space for more information!

Door43 offers Sheffield’s 13 – 25 year olds support on a range of social, emotional, practical and health related issues.

Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street is staffed by youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers as well as peer supporters.

Young people can drop in at Door43, Sheffield Futures, Division Street, Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm, Tuesday until 7pm and on a Saturday 9.30am – 1pm.

You can find out more about the activities and workshops on offer on the Sheffield Futures website www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/i-need-help/door43/

For those that would rather, there is also the option to book appointments.

If you know a young person or young people that you feel may benefit from the service you can refer them to the service by calling 0114 201 2774.

 

Christmas Wishes Granted

Tash Bright No Comments

As you may know, this year our festive fundraisers have been: Santa Stroll, star campaign, and our text to donate fundraiser (simply text SHEF43 £5 to 70070.) All proceeds have gone towards the Sheffield Futures Christmas Wish List! Any further donations are just as important to the young people we support and will be used to supply further services.

We’ve raised over our £489 target and have already seen some of the christmas wishes coming to life. We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in our fundraising this winter. It makes a huge difference!

 

Where have funds been distributed?

givingmonthcompleted

 

You can see some of the christmas wishes coming to life here!

  • Santa Stroll
  • Selection Boxes
  • Refreshments for Door 43
  • Santa Stroll
  • Sheffield Futures Stars
  • Art Supplies
  • Santa Stroll
  • Staff Time
  • Youth Cabinet

World Mental Health Day at Door43

Tash Bright No Comments

A new emotional wellbeing service for Sheffield’s young people launches today, Tuesday 10th October, on World Mental Health Day 2017.

The youth information, advice and counselling service which will be known as Door43, will offer Sheffield’s 13 – 25 year olds support on a range of social, emotional, practical and health related issues.

Door43 will act as an accessible drop in service which doesn’t rely on referrals and acts as an informal and safe space where Sheffield’s young people can gain confidential support and advice on a range of issues.

‘With Door43 we’re aiming to provide an informal space where young people feel welcome, involved and ultimately feel that they are in an environment with their peers where they are able to discuss and access support on a range of issues if indeed they feel they want to do so.’ Says Gail Gibbons Sheffield Futures CEO.

‘With stress, anxiety and depression on the rise for young people in Sheffield and the UK, having a safe, casual space which acts as a drop in service and that doesn’t carry the stigma a or practical considerations of a professional referral could make all the difference for a worried or distressed young person.’ She continues.

Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street is staffed by youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers as well as peer supporters.

Young people can drop in at Door43, Sheffield Futures, Division Street, Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm, Tuesday until 7pm and on a Saturday 9.30am – 1pm.

You can find out more about the activities and workshops here.

For those that would rather, there is also the option to book appointments.

If you know a young person or young people that you feel may benefit from the service you can refer them to the service by calling 0114 201 2774.

 

Door43 Information for Professionals Sessions

Tash Bright No Comments

Door43 is a new Youth Information, Advice & Counselling Service (YIACS) based at Sheffield Futures. We offer holistic emotional wellbeing support for young people aged 13-25 in Sheffield.

Come and meet the team, see the service, and find out more about what Door43 has to offer!

Join us for an informal information session on how we support young people, and how to make referrals or support young people to access our service. Find out more about the service before you visit.

Book on to one of the following dates via Eventbrite:

Thursday 30th November, 10.30-11.30 at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, S1 4GE

Thursday 15th February 2018, 10.30-11.30 at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, S1 4GE

Thursday 17th May 2018,  10.30-11.30 at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, S1 4GE

Fun Palace – THIS SATURDAY!

Tash Bright No Comments

The Door43 are running a Fun Palace this Saturday at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division Street, S1 4GE. Our theme is sex and sexual health!

Saturday 7th October 10.30-12.30

Join us for: cake decorating, arts and crafts, card games and more to informally learn about sex, sexual health & porn, in a fun and young person friendly environment. It is FREE! Come along and take the taboo out of talking about sex!

We will have a health and wellbeing worker available on the day for one-to-one screening, information and advice. Find out more about our event or book your place here

The Fun Palace is a national event, encouraging people to learn but also have fun at the same time.

We advise that anyone attending is over the age of 13.

Our new Wellbeing Cafe!

Tash Bright No Comments

Door43 welcomes you to the

WELLBEING CAFE

Every Tuesday, 5pm – 7pm

at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, S1 4GE.

Are you a young person aged between 13 and 25? Come and join us for games, arts and crafts, film nights and much more!

…or if that’s not your thing, simply drop in for a chat over a brew and biscuits.


For more information, email: door43@sheffieldfutures.org.uk or call: 0114 201 2774

Follow us on Instagram for daily updates!

Young people joined Paul Blomfield MP for a Big Conversation

Tash Bright No Comments

Members of Sheffield’s Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament joined young people at Sheffield Futures for a Big Conversation with Paul Blomfield MP. The Big Conversation is an annual community consultation with a variety of audiences.

On 20th September, the Big Conversation came to Sheffield Futures on Division Street for a special event for young people. Youth Councillor for East Sheffield, Fozia Sultana, chaired the event, helping young people to form and ask questions about the issues that matter to them.

The conversation tackled big issues such as ‘making the invisible, visible’. This is one of the issues on the current youth consultation Make Your Mark, aimed at helping invisible illnesses be more recognisable, through better education. Fozia Sultana said: “There should be more opportunities for support when people are suffering with illnesses which are physically invisible.”

The groups spoke about issues facing young carers, many of whom do not realise that they are carers. One young person said: “there should be more support from the Government for young carers, both emotional and physical support. One practical way that young carers could be helped is with free or heavily discounted travel passes, this would be one less thing for young carers to think about.”

 One young person said: “We need a more diverse curriculum. Schools needs to include LGBT+ in sex education lessons, and to have a focus on emotional relationships, not just physical.”

 The conversation also focussed on mental health, with one young person describing their experiences of mental health services. They said: “In the past I gave up trying to access mental health services because there isn’t enough provision for everyone who needs it. There also needs to be a way for young people to access support at earlier stages, rather than when they’re at crisis point.”

Paul Blomfield MP listened to the young people, and said: “I have been given a completely new insight about young people’s mental health which I have never understood before and this has been very useful.”

After calling the event very interesting, Paul concluded: “A common theme in the discussions has been changes to the curriculum to prepare young people for life. Schools are currently measured by success in exam league tables and we could help to instruct schools to include education about life skills young people need for their futures.”

 “Your voice is a very important part of setting my priorities. Thank you all for contributing and your time.”

World Suicide Prevention Day

Tash Bright No Comments

This post was written by Kate, Sue and Dave from the charity SToRMS.

SToRMS stands for Strategies To Reduce Male Suicide.

SToRMS is a small organisation based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and set up in July 2015. It is a fund within the South Yorkshire Community Foundation, a registered charity. SToRMS was set up in memory of Dan McAllister who unexpectedly took his own life in May 2015 aged nineteen.


Recent ONS statistics showed that in 2016, 5,668 people died by suicide in Great Britain. This represents a fall from over 6,000 across the last 6 years, however there is still work to be done. Of these deaths, 24% were women and 76% were men.

As many of you will know, SToRMS was set up in July 2015, after we lost Dan McAllister to suicide. Over the two years since that day, we have heard from many other families and loved ones who have lost their son, daughter, or friend in the same way. Although each person has their own unique story, one thing is constant: every single death was preventable.

The societal shifts we need to see are not simple. It is not just a case of increased funding to ensure that access to mental health services is faster, or more effective. We also cannot just focus on suicide prevention training for medical professionals, university lecturers or other staff regularly dealing with “High Risk” groups. Moreover, anti-stigma campaigns will not make a difference without other changes. All of these things cannot happen in isolation. The problem is far bigger than that.

Today, we want to talk about something that our initiatives have not really covered thus far. This is the impact of a death by suicide on family and friends. This aspect of suicide prevention tends to go unacknowledged, but in fact the people immediately affected by suicide are at significant risk of taking their own lives themselves.

When someone you love dies it is devastating. When they die by suicide however, the emotions experienced by those left behind are intense, particularly as the way their loved one died is often traumatic, or sudden. Everyone deals with grief differently. After Dan died, as a family we all hurtled between anger, devastation, guilt and numbness. There were days when we couldn’t do anything but cry if we even tried to speak. So we stayed silent. Dan died away from us whilst at University. Some universities and emergency services provide support to families who have been bereaved by suicide. We cannot speak for others, but the support we received was provided by the incredible people at CRUSE Sheffield. Apart from that, we had each other.

The recent deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington sparked a social media frenzy, which ranged from messages of condolence, to diatribes about how someone could be so selfish. For the record, saying suicide is selfish completely misunderstands the mind-set of someone who is suicidal. It implies that this individual felt that they had other options, other than to take their own life. This is simply not true.

Across the world, 800,000 people die by suicide every year. The pain that the ones left behind feel is enduring. It changes people, it breaks up families, and it leaves you questioning what the point is. Then there is the stigma. From a personal perspective, we decided early on that we would choose to be open and honest about how Dan died wherever possible. We decided that the last twenty minutes of his life did not define him. But people are scared to talk about suicide. This is not malicious, but borne out of uncertainty. Talking about it is painful, yes. But not talking about it doesn’t make it go away. When someone you love dies by suicide, that knowledge is always there, in the back of your mind. In the early days, it is all consuming. It is the first thing you think about when you wake up. You think about it when you are paying for your shopping at the supermarket. Then, when you are trying to sleep, images flood into your mind. Sometimes it can be terrifying. As time goes on, that reality becomes more normal. For us, it hasn’t become less painful, however it does become less of a shock. But we never forget. When you lose a loved one to suicide, one of the most constant emotions you feel is confusion. Part of it is pure disbelief that someone you love could make that “decision”. We have slowly come to realise that what got us here was a chain of events, emotions, or actions that we will probably never truly understand. But that doesn’t stop you asking, “why?”

We set up SToRMS because we wanted to make changes within our community and in wider society which might have changed the outcome for Dan, and therefore might do the same for others. Dan had no diagnosed mental health problems, and although we knew he was stressed and occasionally unhappy, when we tried to encourage him to seek help beyond our family, he reassured us that he was okay. We believe therefore that if Dan had felt able to open up and tell us or anyone about how he was feeling, the outcome might have been different. Moreover, if we had asked the right questions and facilitated conversations, the same could be true. Often, we think that if someone is suicidal it will be obvious. Stereotypical representations of depression or anxiety encourage us to believe that if someone we knew was considering taking their own life, we would be able to recognise it, and intervene. For us, it wasn’t like that. With Dan, every statement of frustration, or self-deprecation was accompanied with a smile, or if we asked him what he meant, he would brush us off. But, with the benefit of hindsight, we are beginning to recognise the subtle signs that we missed.

This is why we place such emphasis on the community element of suicide prevention. We believe that everyone has a role to play. There is fantastic work currently being done by charities such as Papyrus, CALM, and If U Care Share. We are currently working on our contribution, which will centre on workshops which are for everyone. Inspired by the approach of MHFA training courses, our initiative, ‘Wise Talkers’, will aim to equip people with the skills to deal with difficult conversations, to be able to direct people towards further help and support if necessary, but perhaps most importantly, to practice self-care throughout this. We are excited to launch these initiatives in the coming year.

This year, the theme of World Suicide Prevention Day is:

Taking a minute can change a life.”

This core principle underwrites the work that we fund and provide across Sheffield. We believe that everyone has the capacity to offer support to someone experiencing suicidal thoughts. Here are some key things to remember:

  1. Ask the question directly: “Are you thinking about taking your own life?”. This will not make someone more likely to take their own life, in fact, it might reconnect them, and give them the opportunity to voice what they are feeling and experiencing.
  2. This is the most important thing you can do. Don’t try and jump in with answers, as this may cause them to shut down. Also, try to avoid saying that you understand. Often this comes from a good place, but the reality is that you can’t truly understand because you are not them. Instead, acknowledge and validate that what they are feeling or experiencing is difficult.
  3. Do not judge them. This is not just about avoiding saying something, but it’s also about your body language, and expression. Try and be as relaxed as possible, and don’t panic if they say something which concerns you. Respond calmly and clearly. You might also feel uncomfortable, but try not to let that show.
  4. Let them know that you are there. Making someone feel less alone is key to reducing the risk that they might take their own life. Also, don’t just say it, act on it. Text them to find out how they are, invite them to do things. Say that you are there to listen, but equally you can just be with them to watch a film, or get a takeaway. The small gestures really do make a massive difference.
  5. Look after yourself. Supporting someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts can be exhausting, and you must make sure that you have support yourself. If you feel that it is becoming overwhelming, try and encourage them to seek other help. But, don’t assume that someone else will do a better job than you. Chances are, if that person has been able to talk to you, you will be able to help them in some way. They may value your opinion and support. Have confidence in your ability. Saying something wrong is far better than saying nothing at all.

In recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day, we ask you to act according to these principles. There might be someone in your life that you haven’t spoken to for a while, but keep meaning to contact. You might know someone who is having a hard time. Start those conversations today. You really could save a life.

Also, light a candle to remember Dan, and all those beautiful, brilliant people who we have lost to suicide. We can make a difference together.

Thank you for reading,

Kate, Sue and Dave.

https://iasp.info/wspd2017/

http://stormsdmc.org


For anyone who has been affected by this post, and would like to talk about it more, please visit our new wellbeing service, Door43. If you are looking for help, we are here to listen.

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