Healthy Minds is the working name of Calderdale Wellbeing, a mental health charity based in Halifax, West Yorkshire – visit website here. Here’s the introduction to their latest newsletter, with a link to downloading the full document at the end.
We hope everyone is doing as well as they can with the ongoing weirdness of living through a global pandemic. It is clear that there is still some way to go before things start to feel anything like ‘normal’ again and we, like everyone else, are still making sense of how this affects what we do. Many people feel anxious about changes to lockdown restrictions and continued uncertainty about what the future looks like. Covid-19 is a life-changing event that affects everyone, and we all have questions to which there aren’t necessarily answers.
The main question we’re being asked is When will Healthy Minds’ services re-open? Our services are still running as much as possible, with staff continuing to work from home for the time being. Whilst there has been some easing of lockdown restrictions in many aspects, the priority for us is to consider what is safe and responsible for people who come to us for support, as well as staff and volunteers. Our premises remain closed for now but the team has been as busy as ever.
We are looking at some outdoor activities, like our allotments and walking groups, becoming available during August / September, when we are confident that this can be done safely. There will have to be restrictions on numbers and people will need to book places on these activities. We’ll announce arrangements once the details are worked out. We are not yet considering indoor activities, like drop-ins, support groups and visitors to our premises, including Safespace. These will continue to be available by telephone, text and online for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, our teams have been developing new workshops that will be delivered online. Safespace is available every evening and the Time Out team has opened text / telephone support for children and young people. Volunteers have been offering telephone befriending, and this is developing into a new peer support service that will be up and running soon. A new text messaging service is about to be launched, giving another way to get in touch – particularly important for people who don’t have internet access. We are continuing to find new ways to extend support for the people of Calderdale, and welcome ideas and feedback about this.
My thanks go to the Healthy Minds team for keeping going in tough circumstances: staff, volunteers and trustees have been pouring time and energy into doing as much as we can rather than brooding over what we can’t. This goes for the other local organisations with which we work, including Calderdale Council, Clinical Commissioning Group and VSI Alliance. Thanks too to people and groups who have given their support to Healthy Minds: Hebden WI, staff at Covea Insurance, and individuals have been raising funds in all sorts of ways, for which we are always honoured and grateful. It’s working together – protecting and supporting each other – that will get us through this and, as I hope the above shows, there is plenty of that about in Calderdale.
Jonny Richardson Glenn, Chief Officer