People with experience of mental health problems are being invited to a special event in Chesterfield on 24 September to learn just how much support is available to them in the local community.
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, along with Derbyshire County Council and Chesterfield College are inviting anyone recovering from mental ill health to Connect 5, an event designed to show how doing five things in everyday life and in the local community can support mental health and wellbeing. Connect 5 will be held on Thursday 24 September between 2pm and 7pm at the Chesterfield College’s Infirmary Road campus.
At Connect 5, there will be a chance to try a wide range of free workshops, looking at everything from creative arts to how diet can affect mood. There will also be sporting activities, performances and much more. North Derbyshire Voluntary Action, Walking for Health, Rethink, Village Games, Chesterfield FC Community Trust, Live Life Better and other organisations from across Chesterfield and Derbyshire have joined forces to give people a unique insight into things they can do in their local community to help improve their mental wellbeing.
"Gain practical tips from others who are recovering from mental ill health"
Karen Wheeler, Acting Divisional Lead Occupational Therapist from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “The aim of this event is to enable people to believe that they can lead meaningful, satisfying lives at a time when they might have lost their confidence or be more apprehensive about what the future holds. We are promoting the Connect 5 approach, which says there are five ways to wellbeing: being active, connecting with the people around you, noticing the positives, learning and giving. At the event, people will be able to gain practical tips from others who are recovering from mental ill health, and will have the chance to see what opportunities are out there. We are working hard to break down barriers and change attitudes towards mental health that can hinder recovery. Connecting with organisations in the local community like Chesterfield College and the voluntary sector groups helps us to do that.”
Central to the planning of the event, and to the day itself, are a number of volunteers who have received mental health services through Derbyshire Healthcare.
One of these volunteers, who has worked with Chesterfield College’s staff and students to prepare for the event, says: “Chesterfield College have openly come out to support us, as have their students. Both the students and staff are amazing ambassadors. Through this network we are building hope and strength to combat everyday issues, making friends, learning trust and responsibility, and improving self-esteem so that we can go out and stand tall.”
"It takes time but hopefully it can work for others"
Another volunteer says: “From being able to give feedback to actually being able to organise something – as a service user, it is wonderful that I’ve been able to be so involved. It’s meant so much to me to be given this opportunity to help promote the event and the people who helped me get to where I am today. I hope the event will open the door to more people who may not have the confidence to do things. For all of us it’s a journey and I hope I can help someone on theirs.
“The people who will be there at Connect 5 are the same people who supported and helped me to get through my struggles. One thing I know above all else is that it takes time but hopefully it can work for others.”
Stuart Allen, Director of Learning, Health, Wellbeing and Society at Chesterfield College said: “We are delighted to be part of this inspiring approach to promoting wellbeing. Our Health and Social Care students have worked with people recovering from mental illness and health professionals to develop the Connect 5 event. Many other students studying health, society and wellbeing courses have also volunteered to help deliver the event. All of the students involved are keen to support this community approach at the same time as having the opportunity to showcase their excellent skills, behaviours and attitudes to potential future employers.”
Book your place
To reserve your place, join the event on our Facebook page, call Shirley Barrass on 01332 623831 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to just turn up on the day too.