Highlighting support to help Newham residents with mental illness thrive

28 April 2017 in Health and Young Mayor
A wide range of advice, support and awareness raising sessions are being held during Mental Health Awareness Week next month to highlight the services available to Newham residents affected by mental health conditions.
At least one in four people will experience a mental health problem during their lives, and one in six adults will have a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression. This means at any given time around 47,000 people in Newham will have a common mental health illness.

Nationally the week, organised by the Mental Health Foundation, has a theme of Survive or Thrive. During the week, between Monday 8 May to Sunday 14 May, Newham Council and other partners will be raising awareness of the support available for residents with problems such as stress, depression, loneliness or anxiety.

Among the events being held are:
  • Wednesday 10 May, 10.30am-12.30pm, Plaistow Library, North Street. Residents will be able to find out more about mental illness from a range of organisations including mental health charity MIND and Newham Talking Therapies.
  • Thursday 11 May, 2pm-5pm, Stratford Advice Centre, The Grove. The Newham ASK forum, supported by the council’s co-production service, will be hosting one of its monthly meetings for people who have experienced mental health issues and their carers. They will be able to discuss issues affecting them and find out more about the support services available to them. More information on the council’s co-production service can be found here 
  • Thursday 11 May, 10.45am-2pm, the Greenway Orchard. The Green Gym will be holding one of its weekly sessions for residents at risk of developing a mental health condition. The project focuses on promoting individual resilience and wellbeing through taking part in a range of activities from planting trees and wildflowers to building nesting boxes for local wildlife. New visitors to the park need to register at the Boundary Lane entrance to the Greenway at 10am
  • Thursday 11 May, 10am-noon, Newham Child and Family Consultation Service, York House, Barking Road. Newham Child and Family Consultation Service, a team supporting children and young people experiencing mental health difficulties and their families and carers, will be holding a coffee morning. This will provide an opportunity for people to learn more about the service
  • Friday 12 May, 2pm-4pm, The Gate Library, Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate. A free support and advice event entitled ‘Are you surviving or thriving? which will include a talk by the Alzheimer’s Society as well as head and shoulder massages and craft activities
Details of other events happening during and around Mental Health Week can be found

During the week, the Young Mayor of Newham, Khadija Sethi, will also be raising awareness of mental health issues affecting young people through a social media campaign #MindMatters.

She will also be supporting a range of fun activities to promote positive mental well-being for young people across the borough’s Youth Zones. More information on these will be posted on the Young Mayor’s Instagram @ymnewham, Twitter @ym_newham and Facebook at  Young-Mayor Newham.

Throughout the year a range of support services are available for those affected by mental health conditions including Newham Talking Therapies, run by the East London NHS Foundation Trust, which can help people deal with specific problems such as how to cope with a crisis, improve relationships, or develop better ways of living). More information on the service is available from GPs or Newham Talking Therapies on 020 8475 8080.

The council is also leading on the Big Lottery Fund funded pioneering HeadStart project to build the mental resilience of the borough’s young people. It is designed to ensure those aged between 10 and 16 at risk of developing mental health problems are provided with effective support from their school, teachers, parents and peers. This could be through volunteering, mentoring, taking part in sports or other creative activities.

The project, which received £10 million funding from the Big Lottery Fund last year, is backed by schools, local voluntary groups, child and adolescent mental health services providers and the NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group. Any member of the public wanting more information on HeadStart should email​

Councillor Clive Furness, Newham Council’s mayoral advisor for adults and health, said: “Mental health problems are something that can affect anyone. It can impact on how we feel about ourselves and others and how we deal with difficult and stressful situations.

“Our mental resilience is what helps us cope with the pressures of our daily lives, both at work and at home. It is important we help people develop the ability to manage the challenges life throws at them and where they can turn for help and support.

“This support is available throughout the year, but Mental Health Awareness Week provides the perfect opportunity for us to highlight the vast array of support on offer for any resident affected by mental illness.”