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2014 / May

Mental Health Awareness Week - 12-18th May 2014

Anxiety is the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, one of the leading causes of mental ill-health worldwide.

The aim of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is to address anxiety as a public health issue, and promote ways to reduce anxiety in everyday life. 


The Start2 resource offers over a hundred expertly developed creative activities that have been proven to benefit mental and physical wellbeing. These activities are designed to maintain and improve mood, provide self-care and self-management tools, build emotional resilience and alleviate stress. 


Did you know?

Taking part in creative activity is a known stress-buster. It can slow heartbeat and reduce blood pressure. This may be due to the fact that expressive artistic activity releases neuro-chemicals, including endorphins, into the brain. These neuro-chemicals assist deep concentration, slow down pulse and breathing, and boost the immune system through what is termed ‘The Relaxation Response.'
(Benson, H. and Klipper, M. Z. The Relaxation Response. 2000)


Why not try these short stress-busting activities over the next couple of days and make a note of the benefits to your wellbeing?


Send an E-card

Brighten a friend’s day by sending a seasonal e-card. Why not suggest a Start2 activity you think they’d enjoy, or one you can do together?


30 Second Smile

There are 86400 seconds in a day, take 30 seconds out with this stress busting and mood boosting activity.


Ten-minute Walk

Take a stroll and top up on your Vitamin D levels with this beautiful noticing activity.


Use Your Head

We all need to get away from it all from time to time... But how do we do that during a busy day, or at times when we simply can’t get out into nature? Try this positive thinking activity to escape to the country.


“You were right about a creative activity being able to reduce feelings of anxiety. I’ve spent all afternoon creating collages and I was able to focus and concentrate on what I was doing, rather than what I was feeling. It really helped me to relax.” (Start2 on the Road Workshop Participant)


Know your stress triggers

Want to better understand how you can maintain positive wellbeing? Start2’s ‘Wellbeing Thermometer’ is an effective online tool that logs, measures and helps build an insight into stress triggers and things that help boost and maintain positive mental health. The Start2 mentor guides you to Start2 activities to best suit your wellbeing needs.

By regularly taking your ‘Wellbeing Temperature’ you can see which Start2 activities work for you and build a range of activities to use to keep those old enemies stress and anxiety at bay. These are stored in your own private Ownzone and can be printed off too if desired.

With space to add comments about things that may be affecting your wellbeing temperature and a ‘Wellbeing Temperature Map’ you can easily keep track and understand your patterns of wellbeing over time. 


You will need to be registered and logged in to use the ‘Wellbeing Thermometer.’ Both registration and the ‘Wellbeing Thermometer’ are quick, easy and completely private.


“The 'Wellbeing Thermometer' is a beautiful idea and works very well, and the mentor recommendations are great way to recommend things to do that can help. The fact that you can keep an archive of scores and can measure progress is truly brilliant.” (Start2 user)


Take your Wellbeing Temperature today and start to top up on your wellbeing. 


We hope you’re enjoying using the Start2 resource. If it’s helped you to manage stress do let us know which Start2 activities you’ve used either via our feedback form or share during Mental Health Awareness Week on twitter to give helpful suggestions to others What I do to manage anxiety #anxiety #Start2 


You can find more information about Mental Health Foundation, the charity behind Mental Health Awareness Week campaign here and download a supporter’s pack here.


Start2 host We Nurses twitter chat 

Start2 is taking part in WeNurses Twitter Chat on Thursday 5th June 2014 at 8pm about the benefits of creativity on positive mental health.


About WeNurses 

@WeNurses is a weekly Twitter chat predominately aimed at nurses and takes place every Thursday at 8pm on Twitter using #WeNurses.
Twitter chats are regular chats that take place at a specific time around a predetermined subject and use a hashtag (#) as a flag that binds a conversation they are an excellent way to use the Twitter professionally to discuss topics with peers.

Join us and WeNurses on twitter and use the tweet tag #WeNurses


Special notice

Due to financial constraints the Start2 project management will staffed functions will be significantly restricted in the future. Start2 will still be available to use online for the present.


If you have any feedback or comments about Start2 these can be sent (anonymously if desired) via our feedback form 
or via Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust contact form.



Best wishes


The Start2 team