To mark the culmination of the Building Mental Health Resilience project over the past year, a celebration event was held at St James’ Priory in the centre of Bristol.
Older people who had taken part in this collaborative project were invited in recognition of their valuable contribution to the positive outcomes of this initiative.
Funded by St Monica Trust, the project aimed to improve older people’s awareness of their mental health and equip them with everyday tools to manage and improve this as a means of enhancing individual well-being. Working alongside different communities of older adults across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, the project explored the different mental health and emotional well-being needs of individuals experiencing a broad range of challenges in their lives.
This included the needs of older carers supporting those living with dementia, members of Bristol’s black and minority ethnic elders’ groups, as well as asylum seekers and refugees seeking sanctuary in the city. The project also reached out to older individuals accessing their local social prescribing service through Mendip Vale Medical Group which offers support to those living within both urban and rural areas.
Using a blend of creative expression workshops and training programmes, focusing on increasing emotional awareness and promoting the use of self-help techniques, participants were invited to share their personal and collective experiences during the project.
Based on the collective learnings from these groups, this has led to the co-production of a set of Well-being Cards. With the aim of reaching a far wider audience, these cards offer a variety of tools and techniques to promote positive well-being and resilience as well as encouraging older adults to think and talk about their mental health. The cards have been designed to be interactive and have space for personal reflections. Those who attended the celebration event received a complimentary set of these Well-being Cards as a thank you for their valuable contribution to the project.
It was wonderful to bring together some of the amazing elders who have shared their valuable words of wisdom which helped to inform the Well-being Cards. Hopefully, the wider use of these cards will support many more people to feel comfortable talking about their emotional health in the future.
My thanks goes to all those involved in this project.Julie Drew – Project Manager