Our club theme this year is to promote awareness of mental health issues for women. We had an inspiring talk and discussion about the services offered by local mum’s charity Motherwell in Cheshire at our dinner meeting in September. Motherwell Cheshire has been empowering women on their mothering journey since 2015. Led by Kate Blakemore, a passionate women’s health advocate and counsellor, Motherwell is run by women, for women. We were also delighted to make a contribution to the Mental Health Conference organised by Motherwell to mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October. This was an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues faced by women and what we are doing locally to address these.
World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, is a day for us to unite in our efforts to improve the mental health of people around the world. As a club, we have had a theme of promoting mental wellbeing this year through our speakers, charities and communications – it is an issue dear to our hearts. This also supports the Soroptimists International great Britain and Northern Ireland (SIGBI) Federation theme – our Federation President Sue Williams said
“At the beginning of the Soroptimist year, I asked you to ‘Think On It.’ I asked you to join with me to raise awareness of our own wellbeing. I asked that we talked about mental health and the importance of advocating for the good mental health for others by speaking out and raising awareness. By doing so, we are educating, enabling and empowering ourselves and others. And you did so in many, many ways! Thank you.
We haven’t finished our work on this yet, but today gives us pause for thought.
The theme selected for this year’s Day is suicide prevention.
we are encouraging you to prepare to take “40 seconds of action” on 10 October to help us: improve awareness of the significance of suicide as a global public health problem; improve knowledge of what can be done to prevent suicide; reduce the stigma associated with suicide; and let people who are struggling know that they are not alone. Put simply, this is an opportunity to show you care. Everyone can take part in whichever way makes most sense. Your activity may be private, for example, initiating a conversation with someone you are worried about or sharing a message of hope with someone who is struggling; or it may be public, for example posting a video message for local or national authorities about action you would like them to take on this issue.
We are also delighted to be making a contribution to the Mental Health Conference organised by local mum’s charity Motherwell. Kate Blakemore, CEO of Motherwell says
“Since doing the topic of “Let’s Talk More” on my radio show, it made me realise how important it is to talk about such issues, so I decided to bring everyone together and open the topic up.”
Our Club President, Helen Piddock-Jones is talking about the how women experience mental health issues, and why it is such an issue for us to tackle.
One of the issues we are supporting locally is to make Nantwich a dementia friendly town, recognising that dementia affects more women than men, and many carers are also women. Dementia is a devasting condition, robbing people of their personalities and abilities but we know that people with dementia can still lead a good life, and we are committed to supporting this. Watch out for more on this as we work with the group to Turn the Town Blue next May!
We also had another inspiring evening with Tracy and Gillian from Crewe YMCA at our November meeting updating us on how their support to children and families has grown since we last met. We heard how mental health issues are affecting children and young people, and we were shocked to learn how children’s self-harm has become almost normalised with little help available to them. This makes services from the YMCA especially important and offering a real lifeline to vulnerable children and their families. It was good to hear that a great deal of fun is had with the children through their work,