To celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week May8-12 South West London and St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust is launching its popular ‘uplifting image’ photography competition, sharing case studies from staff and service users as well as hosting a number of events across the Trust.

The theme for Mental Health Awareness week is ‘thriving with good mental health’ and as a Trust we are committed to challenging mental health stigma and discrimination by talking about it.

The theme for 2017’s ‘Uplifting Image’ competition is ‘mental health through your lens’. The competition launches  next week and will end on World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2017.  This is your chance to talk positively about mental health and go into the running to win a prize.  The idea is to inspire, explore and talk about it.  We’ll be promoting the competition throughout the year. More details will follow next week.

Chief Executive David Bradley said:

“ We know that one in four Londoners will experience a diagnosable mental health condition in a year. We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about mental health – we should give our mental health as much attention as we give our bodies.

As a Trust we work hard to challenge stigma and discrimination that people with mental health can face. The more we talk about it, the less stigma will exist, and the more people will feel confident enough to get the help they need

“We are opening up the conversation  in a number of ways in our community.

“Last month we opened up our Recovery Cafes in Tooting and Wimbledon. The café’s are free and offer a safe space for people to gain assistance if they feel they may be moving towards, or are currently experiencing a mental health crisis – delivered  in a non-clinical environment.  You can find out more here about the services we offer to the SW community.

“Our popular competition Uplifting Image provides another opportunity we can talk about mental health – in a proactive and positive way with staff members, service users and the community.”

Other events around the Trust will be hosting during Mental Health Awareness Week next week include:

Monday, 8 May – The Recovery College is running a mindfulness workshop for staff members from 8.30am. Mindfulness meditation has become increasingly popular at the workplace, helping with stress-management, increasing wellbeing and enhancing performance and productivity.

Tuesday 9 May – Imagine Independence are holding a joint Open Day with the Recovery College to raise the profile of the services available to individuals accessing secondary care in the Sutton & Merton area. The day is a mix of drop in sessions and formal sessions where bookings are required contact recoverycollege@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk for more information.

Thursday 11 May – The Recovery College is hosting international delegates from Finland – where top specialists of the field share and learn expertise from their international colleagues. The group includes 26 participants including professors, senior physicians, health care specialists, top management of private and public health clinics and management of social services. The Finnish delegates are working at the highest level in social and healthcare management and are committed to improving: leadership skills, their own organizations and the whole social and healthcare system in Finland.

Friday, May 12The Trust is celebrating International Nurses Day with a day of  fun, learning and celebration for nursing staff.  We will have speakers including: Oliver Shanley the Joint Regional Chief Nurse for NHS Development and NHS Improvement will be joining us to share his vision for nursing in London.

We will also be sharing case studies from staff and service users across the Trust throughout the week.