Connect Minds 1st Meeting

NI Interim Mental Health Champion gives her seal of approval to local Young People taking the lead in promoting mental health across the South East.

Right now, we all need help to look after our well-being. This pandemic has been challenging for us all and supports we have previously used to keep well have been restricted by lockdown and other measures.

The Healthy Living Centre’s together with local partners have developed support packages to make it easier for people to Take 5 steps to wellbeing.  The Take 5 support package has been funded by the Department for Communities as part of the Warm Well and Connected programme and Take 5 is a proven way to promote and protect our mental health.

This resource provides information online and on the doorstep in the form of Take 5 packs containing information on programmes, services, and support with some self-care resources to support people to Take 5.  The contents of the packs have been planned by The Connected Minds Youth Committee of the Connected Minds good mental health project for Lisburn. We have provided 1800 Take 5 packs to adults and young people living across the South East.

The Connected Minds Youth Committee members have said;

“Creating the Take 5 packs has been a great team-building experience for all of us, and I am really impressed by how the packs turned out, especially since we had to do it all via Zoom.” – Eve Lee

“I personally think Take 5 will help make young people more aware of the services in their local area.” – Ben Lewis

“The Connected Minds youth committee loved being a part of such an amazing project, connecting themselves to this project and really thinking about each Take 5 step, what it meant to them, and what it would mean to the young people in our community. It was a great opportunity to spread awareness about mental health, but also providing tools to promote and maintain positive mental health.” – Carris Holdsworth (Youth Participation and Engagement Officer)

Recipients of the packs include young people across the south-east, social enterprise staff, community volunteers, members of faith and community groups including women’s groups, senior citizen clubs and others who had been attending Healthy Living Centres, local community projects or programmes.

Professor Siobhan O’Neil, Northern Ireland’s Interim Mental Health Champion has shown her support for our Take 5 programme she said:

“We are all aware of the impact of the pandemic on our mental health and wellbeing, many of us have at times not felt like ourselves, feeling down or even hopeless. Self-care is so vitally important, and ‘The Take 5 Steps to wellbeing’ provide us with simple actions that we can implement in their lives that are scientifically proven to improve our mood. 

Some of you might struggle with some of the steps, they could be new to you or it might be difficult to find ways of applying them to your lives. So I would like to congratulate the Youth Committee on their thoughtful ideas for the packs. It is a great way of encouraging people and communities to use the Take 5, and I am sure that many will be so grateful to receive these beautiful gifts to remind them of the importance of self-care.”

This programme forms part of the Warm, Well and Connected programme funded by the Department for Communities working with the 29 Healthy Living Centres across Northern Ireland.  A wide range of programmes have been on offer supporting people with their mental health, staying connected, eating well and being active from December until March.  Support continues to be provided by Healthy Living Centres in each local area.   

The packs have been distributed across the communities during March and April.