Community unites to promote five ways to mental wellbeing

Connect5 2016 2

Students from across Chesterfield College were given top tips to look after their own mental wellbeing today at a special event hosted in the college’s Heartspace. The event showed how doing five things in everyday life and in the local community can support mental health and wellbeing.

Health and social care students from the college worked with Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Derbyshire County Council to design the event where healthcare professionals and local volunteer community groups came together to promote the Connect 5 approach which highlights five ways to wellbeing: being active, connecting with the people around you, noticing the positives, learning and giving.

Students had the opportunity to try a wide range of free workshops, looking at everything from creative arts to how diet can affect mood.

Karen Wheeler, Acting Divisional Lead Occupational Therapist from Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “The aim of this event was to help students understand that their mental wellbeing is as important as their physical wellbeing and consider how they can look after this at the same time as giving them a tool kit to do this.” 

“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, were a number of volunteers who have received mental health services through Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust who shared their experiences and practical tips with students.

One of these volunteers said: “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.”

Stuart Allen, Director of Learning, Health, Wellbeing and Society at Chesterfield College said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in organising the event today. It was a practical and inspiring event that has helped many people with their own mental health and wellbeing. The students involved in organising the event are the next generation of healthcare professionals who will be delivering mental health services in the future which is why it is so important to give them this type of experience to develop vital skills that they can’t learn in a classroom and they can take into their working lives.” 

Connect5 2016