In early September the hashtag of #WorldSuicidePreventionDay was trending, what does that mean? It means that organisations were trying to remind the casual scrollers and maybe the occasional troller that suicide is sadly not going away.
The theme this year was ‘Creating Hope Through Action’. This is an important reminder that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. An organisation that does exactly that is West Kent Mind, who on the very same day were recognised at the Kent Charity Awards for their outstanding work.
CommunityAd had the absolute pleasure of a chat with Louise who joined Mind’s team in September of 2020 and has only recently met her own colleagues in the flesh, which she said was ‘lovely’.
Louise tells CommunityAd “It’s wonderful to work for a charity making a real difference to people experiencing mental ill health in my local community, and I’m passionate about raising awareness of the services we offer and helping to promote a positive approach to mental health”.
It must have been nice to be recognised with an award? How was the evening?
It was a really wonderful evening in the magnificent setting of Rochester Cathedral. It was a real honour to be a finalist alongside such outstanding charities, all making a difference in communities across Kent and we were really thrilled to win Disability and Mental Health Charity of the Year. Winning this award is a real testament to the energy, drive and ambition of all the staff, volunteers and the trustees who work for West Kent Mind. It is also an award for those people we work with who have chosen to share their stories, sought out our support and made us a part of their mental health journey.
Why is it so important that we keep talking about mental health especially as we enter darker seasons of autumn and winter?
We all need to look after our mental health in the same way as we do with our physical health. Even a small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference. This World Mental Health Day, on 10th October, ‘Do One Thing’ – ask a friend how they really are, take a break and get outside, do some exercise, try to have a good sleep routine and find time to do the things you enjoy. Be kind to yourself, check in with how you are feeling and do reach out for support if you need it.
Fundraising is crucial for organisations such as your own, isn’t it? And what a champion fundraiser Chris Zachwiej is!
It certainly is, mental health support required in our community has increased by around 30% due to the effects of the pandemic, and resources are scarcer than before. We know that demand for our services will continue to increase in the weeks, months and years ahead and as an independent charity we rely on the support of our local community to help us to provide these vital services.
We are very grateful to have some incredible fundraising heroes who support us, undertaking amazing personal challenges, organising fundraising events and involving their families, friends, schools and communities. Chris recently completed an epic solo swim from Jersey to France, raising an incredible £1,725 for West Kent Mind. Such is his determination he is already planning his next marathon swim!
We are always keen to hear from the fantastic people who raise money to support our cause, so if you’ve got a great fundraising idea please do get in touch with our Fundraising Manager Kate Barnes [email protected].
Anything else you’d like our readers to be aware of?
We are here to make sure that no one faces a mental health problem alone. We are here to support you, your friends, family and community, please do reach out to get the support you need. We believe with the right support, everyone can get well, stay well and thrive with better mental health. Visit our website.