Mental Health Awareness Week – starting Monday 10th May 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week – 10-16 May 2021

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and throughout the week we’ll be working our way through the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Pop back to this page each day for a week full of wellbeing…



Monday – Connect

Join us for our Social cafe on Zoom 10.30-11am, all are welcome! This is a no-pressure drop in on Zoom where everyone from across our communities is welcome to come on for a chat. We talk about all sorts from what we’ve been watching on TV to craft projects! You can come on and listen to us or take part in the conversations, we’d love to see you there.

Meeting ID: 848 3983 3060  Password: Café

If you’ve not used Zoom before, please contact Alice and she can help get you set up on 07766 140 904.

I live by myself so this is a great way to break my day up and have a chat, good way to lift my mood

  • – Social Cafe Member

Tuesday – Take notice

Sit down with a cup of tea and read through Myra’s Art blog, who is one of our volunteers… 

What first got me interested in art?

I was always colouring and drawing as a child, I was the youngest and my siblings were a bit older than myself. I guess I was a bit like an only child as I didn’t have to share my pencils, crayons and toys with anyone! My favourite medium to create with was plasticine, I loved Morph, the little clay man character from the Tony Hart shows on TV. If you’re a child of the Seventies, you will know what I am talking about! I really enjoyed my early years at school, we got the opportunity to make and create.

What has your relationship with art and mental health been?

Art has been crucial for me during difficult times, during mental ill health and subsequent recovery. I used to get frustrated if my creative impulses seemed to ‘fail’ and motivation was a struggle. Art isn’t automatic for me, it doesn’t always flow and cascade from our imagination like a waterfall, sometimes there is a drought and creativity dries up. During these times I look to other forms of inspiration, I enjoy reading, walking, and swimming. I have recently been enjoying YouTube videos, there is so much creativity, skill, and shared knowledge. Seeing other people sharing their artistic ability really appeals to me. Inspiration comes from many sources. 

Over the years I have experimented with several ways of creating. Craft can be rewarding, I have tried knitting (not very successful!) and making animals out of felt (slightly better than my knitting!)


When was this period in your life?

I left hospital in 2002, since then I have been in recovery. Early on, art was significant in getting me through difficult times. I found night time tricky, trying to sleep when my anxiety was in full flow was tough. I found that if I got out of bed, sat at my desk, and did some drawing for an hour or so I could relax. It was a peaceful time, I could concentrate and connect with a piece of work. For those few hours, I had the power and control that I believed was missing from other aspects of my life during that period.


Why are you still interested in art today?

During the times when I may not be producing art work, I like to observe, learn and listen. Other people and their work inspire me, their techniques, passion, and new ideas. I believe that art and creativity is for everyone. I don’t see myself as a lonely artist, locked away in a studio by myself. I prefer to exchange ideas and enjoy the company of other people, the collective element.

I spent years participating in various art and craft classes, I eventually enrolled onto a foundation course, then before I knew it I was applying for university! I was overjoyed to attend the University of Bolton, I made some great friends and learned much more about myself. I received my degree in Fine Art in 2013.

What do you do now?

During the pandemic, life has changed for all of us. Previous to lockdown I was facilitating the Art 4 Wellbeing sessions for Rochdale and District Mind at the Wellbeing Centre. I have been volunteering through out lockdown over zoom facilitating the art and social cafe group. I look forward to seeing you face to face in July when restrictions change.  


Wednesday – Give

Self-care is important, treat yourself to a 5-minute breathing exercise from our yoga teacher.



Thursday – Keep learning

Tempt your tastebuds with a Chicken Tikka Masala recipe video.

Friday – Be active

Complete the week by watching a video from our Growth Project.


A bit more about our Growth Allotment Project… 

Our award-winning Growth Project works in partnership with Hourglass to provide a safe and supportive haven at our allotment. The project aims to promote good mental and physical wellbeing through outdoor activity in a green environment.

On your first visit to the project, our Wellbeing Co-ordinator will meet you and spend some time during the day to find out the best ways in which we can support you personally. You will also be given a full induction by our on-site horticultural expert.

People who are engaged in the project will have a safe and supportive haven to come to, but most of all we have lots of fun while we work! For many people, their mental and physical health has improved and a number of these have returned to mainstream housing and regular employment.

If you are interested in getting involved please contact us on our Infoline on 01706 752 338, we can post out a referral form to you or complete it over the phone if that is easier for you. Alternatively, you can complete our referral form online here

Referral Form

Our allotments are based at the following location:
The Growth Project
Kellett Street
OL16 2JU

The project is open on Wednesday’s and Thursday’s from 10:00 until 16:00

Posted on: 5th May 2021

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