This afternoon, our Marketing and Comms Lead, Kate, chatted to Gary Philipson from BBC Radio Tees to raise awareness for our #Take10ForMentalHealth campaign, in celebration of World Mental Health Day!
Click to find to the full programme on the BBC website (the interview starts at 3:42:00), or listen below:
Now I’m acutely aware that tomorrow is World Mental Health Day, and one mental health charity in our neck of the woods is encouraging people to share what makes them happy. You know, from watching the sunrise to watching the sunset, to just getting a smile from a total stranger.
Now, Mental Health Concern all this month are asking for 10-second video clips of what keeps you positive. I love this, I think this is an amazing idea. So, let’s speak to Kate now from the charity, a very good afternoon to you Kate.
Hi Gary, thanks for having me on!
Absolute pleasure, no problem whatsoever. I love this idea! Where did it come from?
So, it’s called the Take 10 Challenge – we launched it, as you said, in celebration of World Mental Health Day which is tomorrow, and really we wanted to lift people’s spirits, to raise awareness of the importance of caring for our mental health, particularly at the moment, and also to raise funds for our services, which have been continuing to support people throughout the pandemic.
So really, we wanted to create a wealth of inspiring and uplifting ideas for people to help to look after themselves in the week and months to come.
Absolutely, because it’s the strangest things that make us smile isn’t it? It could be anything, you know, from just watching someone from out the window, from having a cup of tea, getting the right channel on the telly for the first time, those little things that just make us tick. And you’re going to put them all together, I think it’s absolutely fantastic. Tell me a little bit about your charity, how did it start off?
So, as you mentioned, we’re called Mental Health Concern and we’re based in the North East. We have been going for over 30 years and we provide specialist mental health services – everything from dementia care, to supported housing, to community wellbeing groups.
And obviously the pandemic has been a real mixed experience for us, because the pandemic and lockdown has had a really big impact on our collective mental health – and as a charity we’ve had to adapt really quickly the way we deliver some of our services, because of social distancing and not being able to see people in person like we used to.
So, it’s been a challenge but its also been incredibly inspiring. We’ve had an army of volunteers join us to help people who are vulnerable or shielding! They have done everything from doing people’s weekly shops, delivering prescriptions, making wellbeing boxes for older people, weekly phone calls to people who are isolating and don’t have family nearby.
So really, despite everything that’s happened, I think my abiding memory of this year will be how inspiring it’s been to see how keen and how quickly people were stepping up to help others in the community. It’s been amazing to see.
Amen. I’m with you 100%, you’re pushing an open door here, because I get to sit here and listen to people like you who are doing amazing stuff in the local area. And it’s just lovely and refreshing to hear, because we can get bogged down can’t we?
There’s so much information, there’s so much concern. There’s so much worry, you know – there’s jobs being lost, there’s people losing their lives through this virus. But there is a lot of support out there, there’s a lot of love, there’s a lot of kindness out there. Is it important that we talk about that more often?
Ah, absolutely, absolutely! You’re right, we’re kind of on information overload at the moment. We’ve got news popping up all the time giving us updates about coronavirus, and you’re right there’s been a lot of difficulty and pain happening over the last few months, and this isn’t to detract from that. But I think you’re right, we really also need to focus on the good that’s out there.
So that’s really why we launched this particular campaign, because it is important to see the good and to take time to care for our mental health. We’re so focused on our physical health at the moment, of course, but it’s so important to also look after how we’re feeling and our wellbeing.
So it has, like you say, been really interesting to see the videos that have been shared with us so far – we’ve had all sorts of things, from walks on the beach, playing with the dog, singing, feeding the ducks, making origami paper cranes!
You know what gets me, when I open a packet of paracetamol and I get the end that hasn’t got the folded over piece of paper, and I go “YES, YES!” that is a life win, and I beam and I do a little dance, and Emily will go, my other half, “What are you doing?” and I say, “I’ve opened the packet of tablets and it’s not the end where the folded paper is, WIN!”
Make sure you record that!
I will, but you know I’ll have to get it right, it doesn’t happen all the time! How can we upload our videos to you Kate?
So if you share them on social media – Twitter, Facebook – and use the hashtags #Take10Challenge or #Take10ForMentalHealth and then donate whatever you can, if anything, to Mental Health Concern on JustGiving. And then nominate your friends to pass it on!
You are brilliant I love your work, I love what you’re doing. What I’ll do is, I’ll go home, and I’ll find a packet of tablets and see if I can video it. If I get it wrong, I’ll try again! Well it’s only a 50% chance isn’t it! Have a lovely weekend Kate!
#Take10ForMentalHealth is running throughout October. Please click here to find out more.