Friday, 15 July 2011

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The life you want

Are you worried about the future; times are hard money is short. This film may help you. It is not just about positive thinking and goal setting it's about how to manifest the life your truly desire. Some pay to watch it but today though the miracle of cross cultural relationships and the internet this film is brought to you for free. Just click the link and watch.


Tell me your thoughts and opinions about this here.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Soothing Relaxation

Forget your worries, kiss good bye to stress.

Listen to a soothing relaxing session of systematic relaxation techniques with visualisations. Click the link below. You are welcome to down load, copy and share this. Or you can just listen now and relax.

Made for you to relax and rejuvenate body and soul.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Why Mental Health First Aid

Comments about the two day mental health first aid course

Thanks for course Ian (& Jane). It was great.
I found myself quoting facts and guidance to a surprising number of friends and familyover the Easter Holidays!
Having been on a recognised course and being able to say that I had done it and *****was suggested guidance eg 'Listening non judgementally' to a friend who's daughter is having big ongoing anxiety issues .
ALGEE is a good acronym.

Empathy and distress

Understanding how others are feeling can bring great rewards and great influence. Empathy is powerful.

A few years ago I was sitting comfortable in front of the TV with my wife, we lived in a quiet cul-de-sac with only 3 houses, so I was surprised to hear the noise of a lot of people shouting out side my house. It was not angry shouting but it was shouting nonetheless. I opened my front door surprised to see a crowed of about 40 to 50 people all in a large circle, in the center were 2 men about 4 meters apart one had a large bread knife raised in front of him the other man was swinging a heavy looking leather jacket around as though he was going to use it as a weapon.

I recognized many of the people in the crowd they all lived in the near by houses. All of them were looking at the man with the knife and were shouting things like ‘just put it down’ or ‘just go back inside’ some others were calling out helpful things like ‘it’s not worth going to prison for’ well they were trying! Some were even calling him by name. His house was behind him he could have turned and walked away. But neither man was moving both were staring straight into the eyes of the other.

I thought what ever had happened between them it was clear to me that neither of them wanted to do anymore. Neither of them was talking or moving forward, they were almost like statues. I could feel that there were so many people there that neither man would back down as this would be like loosing face or pride in front of their whole community. They might be branded as cowardly.

How can I change this? I asked my self, every ones attention was on the man with the knife, I mean every one, well apart form me. I looked at the man with the jacket. No one was talking to him; no one was even looking at him. I thought if these people keep on doing what they are doing nothing would change. So I did something different.

I slowly approached the man with the jacket. Not straight on this might look threatening and he had 2 very big friends behind him, and not from the side as he might not see me and be startled. I approached at a sort of 45-degree angle. I stood by him for a few seconds and then slowly reached out and gently put my hand on his shoulder and quietly, so quiet no one else could hear I said ‘please would you go home now, please’ (a simple, gentle, non threatening request that gave him a reason to leave) half a second passed and I felt his shoulders relax. He turned and walked away. A few seconds later the man with the knife lowered it and then every one in the crowed turned to see what had happened. The other man had gone! I’m not sure if anyone even saw him leave. But certainly they wouldn’t have known why he left. Perhaps he just needed and excuse, or some permission, or even to feel like he was doing some thing good i.e. helping me. What ever it was I often wonder what would have happened if it weren’t for a few calm words in the right ear.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Understanding Mental Health

Self help groups local to Hampshire

Meets first Thursday in each month, 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm
Please call or email for venue and more information
Frances 01264 333833

Andover (at)
Elvetham Heath (Sunshine & Showers)
Meets weekly Tuesdays 7.30pm to 9.00pm
Gillian Hart, Voluntary Action 01252 815652

Farnborough (Sunshine & Showers)
Meets every Monday 7pm - 8.30pm
Gillian, Hart Voluntary Action, 01252 815652

Fleet (Sunshine & Showers)
Meets every Wednesday 1pm - 2.30pm
Gilian, Hart Voluntary Action, 01252 815652

Frimley (Sunshine & Showers)
Meets every Monday 11.45am - 1.15pm
Gillian, Hart Voluntary Action, 01252 815652

Hook (Sunshine & Showers)
Meets every Tuesday 2:15pm - 3.45pm
Gillian, Hart Voluntary Action, 01252 815652

Yateley (Sunshine & Showers)
Meets every Thursday 1pm - 2.20pm
Gillian, Hart Voluntary Action, 01252 815652
The group is open to anyone with an interest in mental health issues.
2 Courtenay Road
GU21 5HQ
Tel: 01932 848825

Basingstoke and District Counselling Service
Provides responsive, professional, and affordable counselling and counsellor training to people in the Basingstoke area.
London Road
RG21 4AN
Tel: 01256 843125

Carers Eating Disorder Support Group
For carers of people with eating disorders.
2 Courtenay Road
GU21 5HQ
Tel: 01483 757461

Cornerstone Counselling
Counselling service based at St. Peter's Church, Yateley.
St Peter's Church
Chaddisbrook House
Reading Road
GU46 7LR
Tel: 01252 873647

Connect Christian Counselling Service
Offering counselling to anyone, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic origin.
8 Portesbery Road
GU15 3TA
Tel: 01276 24210
Website Email

DASH (Disabled Action Self Help)
Charity working with disabled people. Provides day services and respite for their carers.
Hawley Green
GU17 9BW
Tel: 01276 38395
Website Email

Dementia Support Network
Drop-in sessions for people with a learning disability who are affected by dementia, their families, support workers and direct carers.
Mytchett Community Centre
140 Mytchett Road
GU16 3AA
Tel: 01252 373073

Disability Access Surrey Heath (DASH)
General help with facilitation of safe access and passage.
c/o Disability Initiative - The Resource Centre
Knoll Road
GU15 3SY
Tel: 01276 676302
Website Email

Depression Support Group - Woking
Provides a forum where people who are affected by depression can meet to share experiences.
2 Courtenay Road
GU21 5HQ
Tel: 01483 757461
Website Email

Eating Disorder Support Group (Woking)
Providing support to those experiencing an eating disorder.
2 Courtenay Road
GU21 5HQ
Tel: 01483 757461
Website Email

Old Dean Network
Local Group offering advice and activities for local people.
The Old Dean Advice Centre
199 Upper College Ride
GU15 4HE
Tel: 01276 675882
Website Email

Manic Depression Self Help Group - Staines
For people affected by manic depression. Helping them to take control of their lives.
Tel: 08456 340 540
Website Email

Open House Counselling
Offers counselling for young people up to the age of 30.
Guildford YMCA
Bridge Street
Tel: 01483 532555
Website Email

Rape & amp; Sexual Abuse Crisis Centre - Basingstoke
Voluntary agency offering confidential help for anyone (male or female) who has been affected by rape or sexual abuse.
Tel: 01256 840224
Website Email

Relate (Aldershot, Farnborough and Fleet)
Provides relationship counselling and sex therapy.
12 Arthur Street
GU11 1HL
Tel: 01252 324679
Website Email

Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre - Guildford
Voluntary agency offering confidential help for anyone (male or female) who has been affected by rape or sexual abuse.
Tel: 01483 546400
Website Email

RELATE West Surrey
A charity supporting relationships and providing general family counselling.
Provincial House
26 Commercial Way
GU21 6EN
Tel: 01483 715285
Website Email

Rethink (Basingstoke)
Supports service users to have their views heard, understood and acted upon by medical professionals and other authorities.
Tel: 01256 463834
Website Email

Rethink Advocacy Service (Guildford)
Inpatient advocacy service.
28 Commercial Road
Tel: 01483 451010

Rethink (SW Surrey Mental Health Resource Centre)
Support for sufferers and carers.
9 Queen Street
Tel: 01483 415950
Website Email

Rethink Advocacy Service (Camberley)
Inpatient advocacy service.
Wingfield Ward - The Ridgewood Centre
Old Bisley Road
GU16 5QE
Tel: 01252 692919
Website Email

Rethink Carers Support Worker
Local carer support service.
28 Commercial Road
Tel: 01483 451010
Website Email

Sunshine and Showers (Farnborough)
Support Group for people experiencing depression.
Church of the Good Shepherd
Sand Hill
GU14 8EW
Tel: 01252 815652

Shifa - Asian Women's Mental Health Support Group
Aims to provide a safe and secure setting where members can socialise without feeling stigmatised.
2 Courtenay Road
GU21 5HQ
Tel: 07795 430517
Website Email

Sunshine and Showers (Fleet)
Support Group for people experiencing depression.
Room Above Living Stones Bookshop
227 Fleet Road
GU51 3BX
Tel: 01252 815652

Sunshine and Showers (Yateley)
Support Group for people experiencing depression.
Day Room - Hanover Court
Hanover Close
Reading Road
GU46 7SA
Tel: 01252 815652

Sunshine and Showers Carer Support Group (Aldershot)Support Group for people who care for someone experiencing depression.
St Joseph's Hall
Queens Road
GU11 3JB
Tel: 01252 815652

The Open Mind Club
Open to anyone, aged 18-65, who has used the psychiatric services and living in the Camberley or Farnborough areas.
Frimley Green Football Club Hall
Frimley Green Recreation Ground
Frimley Green
Tel: 01252 878205

Together (Hampshire)
Works in partnership with primary care trusts and local authorities to run a wide range of mental health services.
Tel: 07730 664472

Victim Support (Rushmoor and Hart)
Helping people cope with crime by providing confidential support and information to victims of crime and to witnesses attending local courts.
Princes Gardens
2a High Street
GU11 1BJ
Tel: 01252 342777
Website Email

Together (Surrey)
Works in partnership with primary care trusts and local authorities to run a wide range of mental health services.
Tel: 07778 659294
Website Email

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The two day mental health first aid course

Comments received about the 2 day mental health first aid course. Eliot Dales is a registered learning disabilities nurse and manager of a residential home for disabled young people.

The course was excellent it exceeded my expectations in every way. I came away more confident about the whole MH issue. It was clear that you know the subject really well. It was good to hear you talk about all of the wider issues and therapies that you obviously have an interest in. I could have stayed for another day and am hungry for more info'.
Thanks and well done.

Friday, 5 March 2010

What’s the difference?

What is the difference between a shopper and a shopper-holic. A shopper goes to the shops to buy something they want. The shopper-holic goes to the shops to see if there is anything that they can want to buy. On a biochemical level, the shopper-holic needs a dopamine fix before they get a seratonin boost. Dopamine is the wanting hormone, (the aptly named addiction hormone) seratonin is the blissed out because i got it hormone. Whoever would have thought shopping was so hormonal?

Thursday, 4 March 2010

They are all important but

I have been asked what I think are the most important skills when it comes to mental health first aid. It was tempting to say all of them but that would be a very short entry on this blog.

For me, and this is just my opinion two things that I think are essential are spotting things early on and listening skills.

Why? Because I so often see people getting this wrong or struggling with it. OK we all know that it is all too easy to try and say something helpful when you see someone is distress and then get it terribly wrong. We are all only human after all and the intention is often the more comforting part of the message. But when someone is in serious distress often the intentions of others are misread.

OK so spotting things early on, is the 'A' part of A.L.G.E.E. your knowledge of mental health and the risk factors will help you spot things that others might over look. Think of the man in the story below(I think I did OK), how many people might have walked past and not noticed? How long might he have suffered if it were not for the fact that his distress was spotted, by someone with a little know-how?

Then the listening skills, some of you will be tired of hearing this but for some it will be new. Listening is not just about sitting there and hearing what is said. Skilful listening is not a passive state. It is a dynamic expressive state, which requires considerable skill. You may have heard of reflective listening, or empathic listening and on the MHFA course we talk about non-judgemental listening. All these very skilful ways of communicating with an individual have very powerful effects. (See empathy and distress below)

The effects of skilful listening are to make the person being listened to feel understood, accepted, valued and important. Skilful listening reduces distress and brings comfort and makes recovery more likely. Skilful listening is a strangely intangible but wonderfully healing process. When you have been in the presence of a truly skilful listener even when you were not feeling bad you come away feeling better!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Your Votes

In response to the question:- should a relaxation audio track be put on this blog so any one can down load it and use it for free?

Your responses.
Number of votes cast 37 so far, that does not include those of you who voted twice. They were yes votes so thanks but in the interests of accuracy I thought I would only let you vote once

Number of Yes votes 32 = 86.5%

Number of Maybe votes 5 = 13.5%

Number of No votes 0

Thanks for your interest and support hope you had fun voting. I better get to work and figure out how to do this. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

well done you!

This lady wanted to remain anonymous but I just have to do this. I want to give her a score. A one to ten on an A.L.G.E.E . score. If you want to know what A.L.G.E.E. is then do the course.
For A. I give here 90%
For G. I give here 98%
For L. I give her 80%
For E. I give her 90%
For E. I give her 60%
Over all sore on the ALGEE scale of a possible 500 she scores 418 that’s 84%
For a first go, that is amazing, well done you!
Yes I did check if she was ok with the scoring thing 

I think I did ok

I was leaving work today and I passed a man who was very quiet and seemed to be shivering. The weather had been cold but now it was warmer. I wondered why he was shivering. I went back and talked to him. (engaged in conversation) I simply asked him if he was cold and he said no.
I thought why would someone be shaking like that and breathing how he was. I remembered the mental health first aid course and the panic attacks. He was upright and quite lucid I was sure he wasn’t having a heart attack. I talked to him some more. I noted that he was breathing too fast. He told me that he kept thinking of terrible things that might happen. I was sure he was having an anxiety/panic attack.
I reassured him I reassured him very well, I was sure what was going on, I told him about anxiety and adrenalin and how it can affect the body. We talked and talked. I asked him if he would try the breathing exercise the one armed seagull. He agreed. We did that and we did that for a long time. And we talked after 20 minutes or so of talking and trying to get his breathing normal things improved. I think the talking and distraction along with the breathing worked very well.
After half an hour of so he was much better. I told him that this was very common and that his GP could help. I said he should go and tell his GP about his.
I had to go but told someone near that he had just had a big fright and could do with a friendly ear. When I left him he was chatting to this woman. That is all I did, I think I did ok.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

One act of kindness can out weigh a thousand sorrows

I knew of a man that once felt so desperate that he fixed up a noose and stood on a stool, intent on ending his life. Just as he was about to kick the stood from under his feet and end his life, a memory came to him. A memory of when he was a little boy. A memory of his grandmother, he was at the beach, she had gone out of her way to take him there to have fun and from her limited means had bought him a lovely big ice cream. He remembered this; the memory was vivid and real, so much that he could almost taste the ice cream.
At this point he realised that some one really had loved him, that he was worth loving. That he was worth something. He took the noose from his neck and stepped off the stool.
How close was that! How important was that one act of kindness. I wonder if grandma ever knew how important she was.
That man went on to create his own charity for people who feel suicidal, and when I last saw him he was doing fine and had a strong sense of purpose and well-being.
One act of kindness can out weigh a thousand sorrows. Never under estimate the importance of the kind things do you.

Did I say the wrong thing?

Some times we are frightened to say what we are really feeling. We worry that we may say the wrong thing, or what will others think about what we said. But just read the next post, this is I think a magical moment when the feeling was true and the right thing was said.

There is a saying once something is said it can not be unsaid, but I have often heard people say when they are near the end of their lives, that they regret nothing they did only the things they did not do. What do you think?

Friday, 22 January 2010

Kind words are powerful

From a member of staff at Treloar College, thank you for all your kindness.

I helped someone this morning to get up. They said they felt depressed and they are known to be struggling at the moment. I felt this person may feel unloved. I just said that they were a lovely person and that the staff think the world of them, because we all do. There was an immediate lift in their mood; you could tell that I had reached them. I know that it was probably just temporary. Just felt inside it was the right thing to say.