Mindful Towns initiative enters next stage

Mindful district

A Broadland District Council initiative has entered a new phase, bringing training to Aylsham throughout February to support people suffering with mental health issues.

The Mindful Towns and Villages (MTV) project is providing free mental health training and support to local community groups and small local businesses to create a network of trained Wellbeing Champions throughout the district.

The Council, alongside the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s Wellbeing Service and Thriving Workplaces, will run a series of four training sessions for the communities involved, with funding from the Department of Health’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

Broadland District Council’s Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Cllr Fran Whymark, said:

“Since the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic, the NHS has experienced record demand for mental health services. This project not only raises awareness of mental health issues and challenges the associated stigma, but will also help to ensure that immediate support is available in the community and in the workplace. With one in four adults and one in ten children experiencing mental illness, there has never been a greater need for such a service. By creating these Wellbeing Champions we are throwing a lifeline to those suffering from mental illness and also to their families and friends who may need support too.” 

The Council’s Help Hub will be on-hand to support all of the newly created Wellbeing Champions. They are even working with Evolve to provide a dedicated Mental Health Support Worker to talk through people’s concerns and provide advice on next steps and the different services available.

Cllr Whymark added: 

“We know we have an amazing community spirit in Broadland. We saw communities pulling together throughout the pandemic, going out of the way to help and support each other through difficult times. Many of the groups that were created during this period are still going, still supporting our district’s most vulnerable. We would like to encourage them to take on this training and to continue their amazing work. Also it’s been reported that 1 in 6 workers will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time, so if you are an employer, this training could really benefit you, your staff and your customers. So whether you’re an opticians, pub or hairdressers, please consider signing up.”

All organisations that take part in The Mindful Towns and Villages Project will receive branding to recognise their commitment and training.

The scheme is being launched in Aylsham before rolling it out to the rest of the district. If you are a community group, or an organisation in Broadland that would like to have free mental health training, find out more.

Published: 26 January 2023