Every year on 10 October, World Mental Health Day is celebrated across the globe by raising awareness and encouraging us all to talk about mental health and how important it is to get help if you are struggling.
This year’s theme is “Mental Health is a universal human right” and the focus is on supporting families, young people, people with long term health conditions, refugees and asylum seekers. At Shaw Trust, our work supports and has a positive impact on people within our communities in these four categories of greatest risk.
We know when it comes to the relationship between unemployment and mental health, it can be a vicious cycle. Good mental health is vital to get and stay in work and work is a key driver for good health and wellbeing. Understanding this helps us enable people to take control of their overall wellbeing. And we do this through programmes supporting employees and unemployed people in London, the Midlands and across the southeast.
One recent programme, the Refugee Employability Programme (REP), is supporting refugees – who have a 20% lower employment rate compared with the general UK population. We help refugees living in several London boroughs who have arrived in the UK through safe and legal channels, to find and retain work.
Our young people
With 1 in 3 mental health problems in adulthood being directly connected to an adverse childhood experience, it is incredibly important to ensure the young people we work with have access to help and support whenever they need it.
Optimus Education, part of Shaw Trust, works with over 5000 schools in 53 countries raising standards in education with online CPD training, conferences, awards and guidance based around mental health and wellbeing. An evaluation of the 1,000+ schools that were enrolled on the Wellbeing Award in 2022 revealed that 93% agreed it had improved staff wellbeing and 93% agreed it had a large or medium impact on parent wellbeing.
Shaw Trust is also very proud of our work providing homes for children, such as Homes and Horizons, where we provide 10 family-sized homes for children as part of a new model of care for Somerset’s most vulnerable young people. This innovative partnership will increase young people’s life chances through better educational results and improved mental health and wellbeing. Putting the voice of the children at the centre of everything reflects Shaw Trust’s ethos of co-production.
In 2022 we grew our wellbeing support and mental health services launching five new and expanding three existing services. During the year we supported 13,884 people through this work.
But the care doesn’t stop there. Looking after ourselves is also vital and our Health and Wellbeing teams supported 521 Shaw Trust colleagues last year. Being open about mental ill health, making it easy for colleagues to access support and taking time to look after ourselves is important for everyone this World Mental Health Day, but it is also important every day.