May 2015 - Headgym

Time to Change

I have been working with Unison local branch secretary Laney Walsh and Redditch Borough Councils Time to Change working group for a while now. Both Redditch and Bromsgrove have signed the pledge with a solid commitment to implement some very proactive and forward thinking strategies.

Bromsgrove council representatives holding the official pledge
Bromsgrove council representatives holding the official pledge
A little fun at the event!
A little fun at the event!

We have had drop in days at Bromsgrove and Redditch with some great support agencies attending incorporating fun into the days as well. My friend Fay from Yum Tum Club, did some healthy food options with the delicious and now famous kale crisps. Another friend Fiona, from innerspiritualjourney, did some holistic taster sessions with a healing crystal up for grabs in the prize draw.

Not only have we held these events but we are also taking the drop-ins out to council depots. We understand that not everybody can just pop in to the council buildings so we are going out to them. HeadGym are there to give people the option to talk if they want, ask questions or just join us for a coffee and cakes!

Fay from yum tum club getting a health check (physical and mental health are both as important as each other)
Fay from yum tum club getting a health check (physical and mental health are both as important as each other)
That’s me on the left, Laney on the right & somebody important in the middle!
That’s me on the left, Laney on the right & somebody important in the middle!

We did our first session last week at Bromsgrove depot; next we are doing a drop in day at Redditch council houses and Redditch depot the following day. Both Laney and I are determined to make sure that the pledge is a working pledge and that changes begin to happen in both attitudes and approach to mental health.

Updates on the “Time to change” activities will follow shortly.

Neil

MHAG AGM

Last night I attended Redditch MHAG (Mental Health Action Group) AGM, held at Redditch Borough Council.

There was a good turnout, too many MHAG Members to mention, but it was good to see so much activity going on in the community. It was also good to see some supporters of MHAG attending including Brandon Clayton, Bill Hartnett, and Pat Witherspoon – a big thank you was given to Pat for her donation to MHAG.

There was the formal appointments of roles and Rebecca Blake became the new chair with all in agreement.

One of the projects I am excited about is the signposting service I talked about in my last blog. This really seems to be taking pace and is a great example of how MHAG works; “power to the people”. There are also some innovative projects on the go run by Jest a minute using their creative skills in theatre and acting to work with mental health. MHAG is a great group of people that really support each other and work together.

MHAG AGM
Jan- Jestaminute, Blakey!, Andrea- Mentor Link

HeadGym will be putting a proposal for funding to MHAG members to start our expansion training program for mentors/coaches and aim to get this going in July.

Watch this space!

Neil

Bromsgrove CCG

Today I attended a local CCG public meeting in Bromsgrove.  The CCG are the people responsible for our health and wellbeing; they make the decisions on spending money and our healthcare.  Once again it was not what I expected, set in the council chamber which is like a mini UN room using individual microphones sat around a huge group of tables with around 10 people from the general public on the sidelines.

Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG
Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG

A very formal meeting with a rigid agenda and allocated times for questions from the general public, there was a lot of self praise for how well they are doing and how the budget had been managed. Mental health came up as a “key area of focus” with a commitment to redesign primary care mental health services and “increasing focus and investment in mental health and well being services”.

We will see, I heard a lot of promise and commitment I am just keen to see the action (at the moment there doesn’t seem to be any!). Later I will be going to the Redditch Mental Health Action Group (Redditch MHAG) so hopefully there will be some action. There was an interesting presentation on public health in the local area by Liz Altay highlighting some pretty shocking health statistics relating to specific areas in Bromsgrove and Redditch.

I grabbed the opportunity to speak with her afterwards discussing all things “mental health”. Liz was aware of HeadGym and Redditch MHAG and helped us out when we started, it’s good to see that people like Liz support our cause.

Neil

LGBT Community

Following on from my post last week, as a complete coincidence I am scheduled to meet the new deputy Mayor for Redditch (Joe) today to discuss issues around mental health and the LGBT community. It appears that there is a distinct lack of support in the Redditch area for people who are LGBT and who may have mental health issues.

I met with Joe and the task force who are gathering information with an aim to addressing this. We talked all things mental health for a while, and I just hope that I have been of some use to this group and can provide some assistance along the way.

This meeting has made me even more determined to expand the current services and get more people trained. The more people I speak with, the more need I see, and more of a gap in support. I also realised that again there is a real lack of knowledge for people in what services are available. Time and time again I hear tales of people just not knowing where to access appropriate support.

MHAG’s latest project for signposting should help address this issue. The project is aimed at providing appropriate signposting to services within Redditch and will be running from RYCE @ REDI CENTRE and drop in sessions will be available weekly.

I think this is a great idea and I am keen to see GP’s start to refer into this service, as often the GP is the first place somebody will go for help. A big part of this service will be getting information across and making sure that as many people as possible are aware of it. The LGBT community should be fully involved in this service.

Neil

Redditch New Mayor

I was asked to go to the Mayor’s cheque presentation to Redditch MHAG today. For the last 12 months our Town Mayor has been raising money for MHAG and other charities. I hadn’t realised the formality of the occasion and what was actually going on, this was a Mayor making ceremony! Effectively one Mayor out and one in. All very official and organised and the outcome being that MHAG gets a cheque for £3,000 and Redditch gets a new Mayor (Patty Hill) and deputy Mayor (Jo Baker).

Harriet Ernstons Redditch MHAG
Harriet Ernstons Redditch MHAG

Harriet was presented with the cheque from the outgoing Mayor, Pat Witherspoon and I just happened to have my camera with me. In case you’re interested the story is covered here.

This will mean MHAG can fund some projects and perhaps even help out with HeadGym’s training for coaches! We can then start to make a difference on a much larger scale.

Neil

To Blog or not to Blog?

An introduction to HeadGym

I have attempted to create blogs in the past but not on a regular basis and not with real full commitment, so today I start the blog campaign, oh and I need to start sharing more on Twitter and presence on Facebook too!

I want to start off by giving you a bit of background about me and HeadGym, for anyone who hasn’t been working with me before, or a bit more information for anyone who has.

HeadGym is just myself at the moment but with a number of great allies, supporters, organisations and influencers. I started the company around 4 years ago, mainly volunteering my services as a coach, mentor and trainer.

Very quickly I found myself working in the area of “Mental Health”, I think the main reason for this was and remains to be due to a lack of any real service structure or adequate funding.

I began putting on courses for people with low confidence, lack of self esteem, anxiety, depression and other so called “lower level mental health issues”. It appeared I had found a gap in the market and what a gap it was!

I worked intensely for the next four years developing a quality service along with Redditch Early Help, Bromford support, Mentor Link and GLOBAL HARMONY we even got in the papers! Redditch MHAG: Projects

This work taught me a huge amount; I have been so far out of my comfort zone, managed to survive and gain insight and an understanding into some of the issues people are dealing with. This experience has also helped me to develop some pretty effective ways of helping with these issues.

I now find myself working as a professional coach and trainer, supporting around 25 people at any one time and running training courses such as Personal Development and Mental Health Awareness. I also provide face to face and Skype appointments.

My point of difference is that I offer long term support, I am not providing counselling and I am progressive in my approach. I am also a consultant for well being at work and heavily involved in the “Time to Change Campaign” and Redditch Mental Health Action Group (Redditch MHAG). It’s really rewarding to hear some of the changes that people have been able to make with my help.

Neil Ordish
This is me speaking at an event raising awareness for the projects I run

So that’s a little background, there are plenty of things on the go and should be some good stories and experiences to tell.

My latest campaign is to get more coaches trained and help more people. I have a plan, I have a training schedule, I have support and people waiting for the training, I just need a little funding. Watch this space, it will happen!

Neil