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2014 / November

Like most people we can’t believe that it’s November already and are quite happy that we’ve still been able to sit out in the garden in the sunshine. We’ve had a busy time presenting to HSJ judges for the forthcoming HSJ Innovation in Mental Health awards, going to an award ceremony and preparing for an exciting new arm of our service to be offered in 2015. More on that nearer the time…right now we’d like to tell you a little more about what we’ve been up to and share some activities to boost and maintain positive mental health.

 

National Stress Awareness Day - Wednesday 5th November

This year’s Stress Awareness Day theme is ‘Stress: The balancing act.’

Whatever our situation in life we are all susceptible to stress and whilst a little bit of stress can be beneficial for us, too much stress significantly reduces our quality of life, health and wellbeing.

Studies suggest that psychological stress can be a trigger or important factor in producing a variety of physical symptoms, lowering our immunity and accounting for up to 90 percent of all illness and disease!

In the workplace there has been a 24% increase in the number of working days lost to stress, depression and anxiety since 2009. 

There are many factors that can contribute to stress, but what can we do to get the balance right between work, play and anything else in between?

 

Start2’s specially designed Stress Busting section offers tools to build our skills and to help us to be more aware of and to manage stress. It provides a variety of mindfulness exercises, simple mood boosting activities and imaginative ways to build enjoyable physical activity into daily life. Perfect for keeping stress at bay.

 

Winners of the Digital Entrepreneur Awards 2014

We’re very pleased to announce that Start2 recently won a Digital Entrepreneur Award  for Technical Innovation Within the Public Sector. We were up against other great services who all deserve an award for the work they do and the services they provide.

We’re very proud too as the award also recognizes the hard work that Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust staff and Start service users have put into making the Start2 health and wellbeing online service the success that it is.

We were especially thrilled to win a digital award as it recognizes Start2 as an innovative solution to increased pressures on mental health services. As a traditionally face-to-face service being online means we’ve been able to cost effectively offer our award-winning model to benefit thousands and thousands more people.
 

“Innovation. The exact word to describe my experience of Start2. I came to the service with a lot of experience of counselling. I had insight in to issues that have been problematic to me over a long period of time & was of the mindset that it was just a matter of further counselling to refresh my mind as to how I've dealt with those issues in the past. However, Start2 proved to be something fresh & very different. Hence, it added another mindset to facing these issues.

I particularly like the use of the suggested stress busting techniques, the use of differing materials & appreciating nature to bring down stress levels. As we know, less stress means more tools available to tackle issues affecting wellbeing.

So, I think the Technical Innovation award has been won by a deserving service. Keep up the good work.”

Pam Wilby - Start2 user

 

(Thank you Pam!)

 

Manchester Metropolitan students and staff top up on their wellbeing

World Mental Health Day saw Start2 running a relaxing, mood boosting collage activity with staff and students at Manchester Metropolitan University. We didn’t really want it to end and could have stayed there all day.

 

“I found the found the session very relaxing. I liked how it built up step-by-step to a final outcome. It created a great sense of achievement.”

 

“The workshop left me feeling relaxed. Highly recommended and so much fun. I’m going to the craft shop tonight to buy some coloured paper!”

 

“Thank you for sharing with us this enjoyable, relaxing way of creating artwork. Excellent memorable experience!”

 

The link between creativity and wellbeing

Start2 was pleased to write an article on the creativity and the benefit to wellbeing for Student Mind’s ReCover Magazine. Student Minds is the UK's student mental health charity that works with and for students. ReCover is their magazine that shares news, developments and articles in the field of mental health.

Read Start2’s Creativity and wellbeing article

 

World Kindness Day – Thursday 13th November

In its 16th year World Kindness Day promotes the idea that we can make change in the world through acts of kindness. Indeed studies show that giving and connecting to others can bring mutual feelings of warmth, joy and appreciation. Giving can encompass many things, from volunteering to going shopping for a friend.

Preserve happy memories using the Start2 Media Album. Upload photos to create a slideshow, add sound effects, sound tracks, text & messages & share with others. 

Or why not create a special Can you bottle happiness bottle? for a friend with messages to make them smile, with jokes, inspirational quotes, compliments, their strengths and qualities, etc. You could even decorate the ‘bottle’ for or with them for extra cheer. 

 

Don’t forget to share your creations, and experiences of using Start2 with us and other Start2 users. We love seeing and hearing what you’ve been up to.

Start2 Galleries – Lifestyle CoachingStress Busting, Brain Boosting.

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Best wishes

 

The Start2 team

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