Words by Smiley Team
Just like physical health, our mental health is vital for us to function.
Sometimes, we can take care of ourselves. Other times, we just need a helping hand to pull us back up on our feet again. Over the last couple of years, Smiley News has encountered an abundance of positive initiatives offering that helping hand.
To give a flavour of the kind of initiatives out there, here are some of the stories we’ve published about projects offering support and guidance.
The NHS, Samaritans, Mind and more than 3,000 other mental health organisations united to create the Hub of Hope app. Users can search the app for services, support and advice near them. In August 2021 it had already helped 40,000 people. So just imagine how much good it must have done since then. Read more.
In April last year, a team of kindly mental health advocates from the Heart Based Living Initiative were adding the final touches to their bright yellow Heart Bus. Packed with comforting and mindfulness resources, the bus was set to travel the UK supporting people’s wellbeing. Read more.
After experiencing his own mental health struggles, teacher Adrien Bethune introduced a wellbeing-orientated curriculum to schools in 2016. Seeds of Happiness is a child-facing mini-course of seven lessons involving materials to teach pupils about wellbeing. Read more.
Another wellbeing bus took to the roads in September 2021 carrying an exciting assortment of art supplies. With patrons including Grayson Perry, the bus offered workshops in which children could transform everyday objects into extraordinary things while gaining the therapeutic benefits of arts and crafts. Read more.
During the pandemic, Stroke Association worker Rebecca Broad wanted to do something to give back to health workers and support their wellbeing. So she reached out to a huge range of companies to ask if they would donate products for her to distribute. To her amazement they replied with great enthusiasm, allowing her to supply all kinds of goodies to those working at the frontline of COVID-19. Read more.
Tackling overwhelming feelings of exhaustion and demotivation, the Anti-Burnout Club took form in February 2022. It aimed to teach useful mindfulness skills such as yoga, Pilates, meditation, breathwork, productivity, motivation, focus and much more. Read more.
In January 2021, former England rugby league captain Jamie Peacock drew on his own experiences to launch a free well-being programme. It included a presentation delivered to 3,000 students, each of whom received a book about good well-being habits. The rugby star ran sessions, once a month, during the lockdown to encourage good sleep, eating, exercise routines and positive mindsets. Read more.
An exciting initiative is aiming to set up staffed, 24/7 crisis centres across the UK to help people overcome mental health challenges. Its founder, Joanne Kitching, said: “We want to be able to plug that gap in the system and be able to offer a safe place with access to professional help there and then when someone is in crisis regardless of the time of day.” Read more.