Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

Research has shown that two thirds of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lifetimes.

So, it is essential that people in a mental health crisis receive a fast, effective and streamlined response – to get the right support, whichever service they turn to first

During Mental Health Awareness Week, Monday May 14 to Sunday May 20, we are highlighting our ground-breaking simulation training package that brings everyone together in the crisis pathway – including doctors, nurses and police.

Designed in the North East by mental health crisis care professionals and experts by experience, Respond simulates a mental health crisis scenario with video and audio clips, and group discussions in a safe environment.

Hear what the experts have to say about Respond:

Julie Wheatley – AMHP Team Leader

Kate Miller – Mental Health Project Lead

Shaun Morton – Service Navigator, Fulfilling Lives

The pioneering scheme has received an overwhelmingly positive report from evaluators, the Academic Health Sciences Network reported that Respond has been ‘highly successful in improving the understanding of, and collaboration between, different professions and agencies working together to care for people experiencing mental health crisis.’

It brings together everyone in the crisis pathway – including doctors, nurses, police, paramedics, approved mental health workers and experts by experience – to explore their problem-solving skills, knowing that mistakes can be made without any long-term consequences.

Over 400 professionals in the North East have already completed Respond training, now other organisations across the region have expressed an interest in rolling out training to their workforce.

New scenarios include Crisis in a Private Dwelling and Crisis on a Mental Health Ward. The Respond team has also had requests to develop Respond for a wide range of scenario’s including Crisis in an ED Department.

The team continues to work with colleagues across the UK and abroad to provide support and train the trainer packages so that other areas can establish their own multi-agency groups and start to deliver the Respond scenarios.

The Respond team are currently running sessions across Northumberland and Tyne and Wear – if you are interested in courses being delivered in your area, please contact Amy Rafter at or 0191 245 6662.


Mental Health Awareness Week: Stress

 Stress: Are We Coping?

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 the focus is on stress.  While stress is not a mental health problem in itself it is a key cause of mental health problems. Stress can be linked to depression and anxiety but also physical problems such as joint pain and cardiovascular problems.

Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems and it is important to understand early on when stress may become a problem. To help identify your levels of stress why not take the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Test Your Stress’ quiz:

By learning to focus on your own mental wellbeing you become aware of how you are feeling and how well you can cope with day to day situations. Our individual wellbeing is dynamic and that is why it is good to know what works well for you when managing mental wellbeing. Below are some quick tips for managing mental wellbeing:

Take time for yourself – Many people feel guilty for spending time on themselves, however, this is a key element to becoming more resilient. Why not try mindfulness and become more aware of yourself and the environment around you?

Do something you enjoy – This could be anything from exercising to spending time with friends, however, it is a vital part to feeling more positive. You could even try some relaxation techniques such as listening to music or taking a long bath.

Learn something new – This doesn’t need to be something big and can help you gain a sense of achievement whatever it may be. This new found confidence can help alleviate low self-esteem and improve resilience levels.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness Week visit their website