HEART is a Mindful Employer and cares deeply about the mental health of our staff, volunteers and centre users. This year in particular, it is important to shed light on issues surrounding mental wellbeing and come together in solidarity and support for one and other. We think this page will be a great tool for sharing resources and information that could help someone in their time of need.

Useful Information

Every Mind Matters

Public Health England are launching the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support the nation’s mental wellbeing with the encouragement that “When things aren’t so good out there, make inside feel better”. Please see the below graphics for a few tips on dealing with a few issues surrounding mental health. We are also encouraging people to create a free NHS-approved Mind Plan’ if you think this would help you, give it a go!

Handy Hints From HEART

We thought it would also be nice for some of our staff and volunteers to share a few of their coping mechanisms or ‘Handy Hints‘! If you want to submit some hints of you own… just email us at [email protected]. Here’s a couple of our Deputy Manager, Leann’s:

  • Low mood buster. If I’m feeling glum, I head out on a familiar route around my local park (run or walk, it doesn’t matter). I make a point of giving a cheery hello or compliment (‘great shoes’, ‘lovely dog’)  to everyone that I pass. The friendly replies cheer me up and remind me that we are all connected even if we have to keep physically distant.
  • Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service delivers Omnitherapy online video courses, with sessions that deal with a wide range of feelings/symptoms from panic attacks to bereavement. These can be accessed here.
  • Remote hugs? Mime the hug you would give your friend or family member if you could and have one of their bubble give the hug, keeping as close to your mime as possible (head on shoulder, big bear hug, rocking back and forth, goes on for far too long… they have to copy!) Maybe best done over the internet as could be embarrassing in the middle of a park!

Escaping the Lockdown

Film, books and music can be a great way to keep occupied throughout lockdown. During periods of isolation, these things can offer an escape or distraction from what can be a difficult time. We’ve just added to our wellbeing page with some words from Bill, Rosie and Owen.

Bill – “Freaky Friday, Friday the 13th or The Long Good Friday? During the pandemic our regular Friday LOCKDOWN FILM CLUB get togethers have added significantly to my quality of life. While Zoom has its limitations we are self-selected for our commitment to gazing at screens for hours at a time. Unsurprisingly our cinematic interests are wide ranging but becoming easier to predict. What we share is openness, kindness, respect, and some connection with Headingley and Heart. The Zoom meetings have been open to relatives of our regulars as well their cats and dogs. But there is still a lot to find out about other people’s off-Zoom lives!”

Rosie – “I love reading, it takes me out of my mind and is wonderful escapism. I’ve read a variety of books over the past 11 months and am reading “The Girl with the Louding Voice” by Abi Daré at the moment. It’s a novel about a 14 year old girl, growing up in a Nigerian village who’s forced into an arranged marriage. Other books I’ve enjoyed during lockdowns in 2020 are One Day by David Nicholls, The Falconer by Dana Czapnik, The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri and (probably my favourite) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.”

Owen“In October, me and my good friend, Tom, set up ‘alto radio’ with the aim to provide DJs, artists and creatives the platform to showcase their sounds and thoughts over the digital airwaves.  This has been challenging at times but very rewarding and I hope it has brought joy to people’s lives at this time, or at least a distraction for a short period of time. When you’re listening to music, you can choose to be alone with your thoughts but you can also block them out. You can put on a playlist that suits your current mood – you can stick on some disco if you’re cleaning the house, or you can listen to something more ambient if you’re feeling melancholic. When you listen to the radio, it’s the DJs decision and the emotions you are about to experience are totally out of your control. I find this such a useful tool in relating to people and realising that we are all in the same boat right now, however lonely it feels at times.”