Hackney Council,

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville on Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville

Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville marks Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 by discussing this year's theme of loneliness and highlighting the support available locally. 

"As a council we are taking steps to help improve the mental wellbeing of residents as part of Mental Health Awareness Week (9 May- 15 May) 2022. We’re doing this by sharing some of the everyday ways we can work together and on our own to improve our mental wellbeing. 

This year the theme is Loneliness which affects millions of people. Feeling lonely is something that all of us can experience at any point and can have a huge impact on our wellbeing.

Long-term loneliness is closely linked to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. As we emerge from the pandemic when many of us were forced to isolate ourselves, cut off from friends, family, work colleagues, community and support services, this Mental Health Awareness Week, I would encourage everyone to reach out to others to help someone who may be feeling lonely, which might in turn help us all feel less lonely too.

Here are some ways that we can connect with ourselves and others when experiencing loneliness: 

  • Practice mindfulness by doing some breathing exercises or colouring. 
  • Listen to your favourite music - maybe even have a dance around your room! 
  • Try stretching exercises such as yoga. 
  • Do an activity with a friend or family member – play a game, bake a cake, watch a movie. 
  • Join a local community walking group or find a volunteering opportunity in your area.

In Hackney we have a range of services that are on hand to provide you with the information and support you need. During the course of the week, the Council, Cabinet Member for Health, adult social care, voluntary sector and leisure Cllr Chris Kennedy, our Mental Health Champion Cllr Anna Lynch and I will be highlighting this support and sharing ideas on how to respond to lonliness and how to improve our mental health and wellbeing. I also co-lead the Thrive LDN programme which also has some amazing resources: https://thriveldn.co.uk/

There are a number of local services and support available to residents experiencing, or at risk of mental ill health, which are commissioned by Hackney Council, the City of London Corporation and NHS City & Hackney CCG and delivered by mental health providers including Homerton Hospital and ELFT, as well as local voluntary and community groups.

Support for residents and workers in the City and Hackney is available through campaigns such as ‘Five to Thrive’ an initiative, based on the New Economic Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing. These five steps can help people improve their emotional health and wellbeing. Health organisations, schools and community projects have used it to connect people and communities, and improve mental health wellbeing. For more information about the five ways to wellbeing go to the 5 to Thrive website. https://fivetothrive.net/

Talk Changes (provided by Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust), offers free and confidential NHS ‘talking therapies’ for adults registered with a GP in the City or Hackney, who are struggling to cope with low mood, anxiety or depression. It is one of the best performing ‘talking therapies’ services in London, helping over 6,000 people every year and has above national average recovery rates. 

Talking therapies involve talking to a trained professional to help overcome negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes. Appointments can be booked online  at https://talkchanges.org.uk/  without having to see a GP first. Most people only have to wait a fortnight only to get an initial assessment, followed by an agreed treatment plan.

ELFT also runs a Walk-in Crisis Cafe in The Raybould Centre in Homerton Row from 6pm to 9pm weekdays and midday to 4pm at weekends. People can call the free service on 07393 762 366, which is run by mental health professionals who provide advice and support. In The City of London, Dragon Café in the City offers a free and safe space for visitors to release the pressure and look after their mental and physical wellbeing."

For more information on all local services please visit: https://hackney.gov.uk/mental-health