Here at Space2BHeard, in addition to the great work our staff and volunteers provide in and around our local area, we are also passionate about involving the community in supporting mental health and wellbeing too.
So, to be able to share this post with you means so much to us.
It truly shows the power of the community valuing our work around mental health, our vision and mission, and our aim to share mental health facilities and provisions with as many people as we can. Why does “community” matter so much?
The Impact of Community on Mental Health
We have always known and highlighted to our patients and their loved ones, just how important the sense of community is to those who are experiencing mental health challenges, and more widely in supporting mental health and wellbeing.
‘Community’ doesn’t simply mean being in the vicinity of others, the same neighbourhood, or surroundings. It means so much more to be in a community of like-minded people. Those who might have gone through similar situations, and can understand mental health issues from close, or first-hand experience.
Of course, without this sense of belonging, feelings of loneliness, isolation, and being totally unsupported can trigger conditions such as depression and anxiety, and heighten negative thoughts and feelings.
Ironically though, any one of us could be surrounded by people, colleagues, friends, or family and yet still feel unbearably lonely. There is no right or wrong as far as mental health is concerned. Each of us is different.
This is why encouraging more people, businesses, and communities to get involved in supporting mental health and wellbeing, and the challenges that go with it, is so vital.
In the run-up to Mental Health Awareness Week this year, the Mental Health Foundation highlighted that “one in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time.” And the longer we allow that loneliness to continue, the more at risk we are of developing or exacerbating mental health problems.
When was the last time you felt insufferably lonely, and that sensation continued over a long period of time? Did you reach out? Do you know of anyone near to you who might be feeling the same?
Through the amazing work our community partners are doing in conjunction with the Space2BHeard team in supporting mental health and wellbeing and raising mental health awareness, we are already seeing the benefits of creating safe spaces, without judgment or expectation, for people experiencing mental health problems.
In this example, not so much to seek treatment or professional intervention. More of an opportunity to talk openly to those you can feel connected to, in an enjoyable, stress-free, environment.
Stories such as this, show the amazing benefits of bringing together sport and mental health, and how the wider community can share so much positivity through their many channels and activities.
So, what has been going on?
Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing Through The Sporting Community
It is with huge thanks to Pat Howdle (seen here with our MD, Laura Stead, and Shelley Shanley of Space2BHeard), Beverley and East Riding Golf Club Men’s Captain 2022, that we are bringing you this great news. And that we are able to show just how powerful the community can be working together with the professional mental health and wellbeing expertise across our team.
Pat already knew Hayley, one of our previous team members, and was interested in learning more through Space2Bheard about how he could combine his passion for supporting mental health and wellbeing with his passion for sports.
It is a well-known fact that mental health and wellbeing can be improved with sports and social activities in a zero-pressure environment, through which meaningful connections and friendships can be created.
Not only is Pat keen to raise awareness around mental health within the Club, its members, and their communities. He has also chosen Space2BHeard as his Captain’s Charity, hoping to raise funds to support those who are struggling with mental health, not only for his year as Captain, but to continue from then too.
We are so proud to have been invited to collaborate with Beverley and East Riding Golf Club, as we know how daunting it can be, particularly for men, to talk openly and comfortably about their feelings and emotions.
The Space2Bheard Foundation has been established to ensure those in need of assistance are able to access mental health support and are not hindered from doing so because of their financial circumstances or lack of information.
As part of the partnership, Space2BHeard has funded the training of five members of the Golf Club as Mental Health Champions, giving them the information to signpost anyone in need of professional mental health support, along with providing resources to help the club in supporting mental health and wellbeing within their network.
For Pat though, the challenge of coping with such conditions as depression, anxiety, grief, and even the ongoing impact of Long Covid, is also about helping his members, colleagues, friends, and families improve their mental wellness through fitness and social events.
As such, the Beverley Cycle and Wellbeing Club was formed by Pat and a friend, Lee Stephenson, in the Autumn of 2021. Both men discovered the fantastic benefits of cycling as a result of Lee suffering from PTSD and Pat himself being diagnosed with depression in 2018.
In Pat’s words, “We have both benefited from the exercise and ‘feel-good factor’ cycling gives you. We also realised more people could benefit from cycling if they were lucky enough to find or get a chance to cycle regularly, so the idea of the club was born. But we wanted a club open to anyone and of any standard, which, I guess, most clubs don’t cater for.
We put the word out and got a good response and managed a few good rides with good numbers before winter set it. During the winter a committee was formed, and plans drawn out to start with regular group rides in early summer.
The club now has two ride leaders, a cycling coach, and a mechanic. And a number of the committee did the Mental Health First Aid Course, courtesy of Space2BHeard.
We have a grant bid hopefully going through and a new team kit has recently arrived!”
The first ride of this season was 29th May, and Pat’s long-term plans now are to increase the size of the cycling club, offering group and one-to-one rides to anyone who thinks they might benefit.
If you think this is for you, Pat is your man to contact at Beverley and East Riding Golf Club, where they are looking to secure a storage unit for bikes and equipment.
And there’s more!
The Walkington Pantomime Players, including a few Golf Club members, recently trod the boards in their production of “Kindly Leave the Stage.” An amazing event, with all proceeds going towards helping contribute to therapy, and support groups with long-term conditions, in conjunction with our team at Space2BHeard. We are truly grateful for such partnerships as these. And thank Pat for his continued efforts in supporting mental health and wellbeing with such a powerful message through sport in the community.
How Can I Help in Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing?
Of course, we would love to see our community partnerships and collaborations stretch as far and wide as possible!
Space2BHeard is a not-for-profit organisation, with the aim to provide help and resources, as well as counselling, psychotherapy, and mental wellbeing services in Hull and the surrounding areas.
This comes at a cost, in terms of running the services, paid staff, resources, as well as the amazing voluntary support we are fortunate to offer.
If, having read this wonderful update, you are interested in offering support to your local mental health charity as Pat has done, please contact our MD, Laura Stead on 01482 705023 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love you to get involved in spreading awareness of our cause, across your clubs, societies, and workplaces, and in supporting mental health and wellbeing in our community.