The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24th May) has been ‘Kindness.’
At Petrus, we provide a range of support to homeless people around mental health, addiction and isolation. We want to make sure that everyone knows how committed we are to supporting them to stay safe and well both physically and mentally.
The reduction in face to face support has been difficult but throughout the week we’ve been working to ensure everyone still feels connected and cared about.
Here’s just some of the things we got up to this Mental Health Awareness Week!
Sharing self-care tips and activities
We shared several resources and activities with our residents around kindness to promote how important it is to help self-care, reduce loneliness and improve confidence.
Deb from our team also put together a ‘Kindness Matters’ booklet which talks about what it means to be kind not only to others but to yourself. It outlines how small acts like just a smile or making someone a brew can really make a big difference to a person’s mental health.
Housing First team surprise people we support
It has been very challenging for everyone recently but we have been very aware that many of the people we have supported as part of the Housing First project to move into a home of their own are struggling with social distancing and isolation at such a critical time in their journey.
So the Housing First team have been busy distributing wellbeing packs to everyone we support!
The packs provided by Greater Manchester Housing First, which included mindful art activities, took into account common themes around social isolation, reduced contact with others and distraction techniques.
One of the ladies we support said this about her pack: “It was brilliant to get a surprise visit from my worker and to get this pack. It really means a lot and has helped me to relax and distract myself when I’ve felt down. It’s been hard for everyone lately, but it was so nice to know my worker was thinking about me and is trying to help me keep things together.”
Board of Kindness
At the Hub we created a ‘Board of Kindness’ with the aim of our service users and staff contributing positive messages and quotes to every day.
It was unexpected but amazing to see people in the community on social media and business partners also share lovely thoughts for our board.
The board has been a great tool to promote kindness and show appreciation for others and things we enjoy.
Here you can see it on day 1 and fill up by day 5.
Staying sweet with treats
When preparing meals, we’ve also been giving out ‘Kindness Cakes’ to service users baked by staff at the Hub or at home, and some which have been donated to us by people in the community.
Each cake had a kindness themed motto. These were baked by our lifeskills tutor Jeannie and all that were left after a busy breakfast service on Monday!
This batch was prepared by Hub Service Manager Edmund with the help of his children to top up supplies on Friday.
Carried out welfare checks
As usual, we have continued to carry out welfare checks with our service users for anyone who wants to chat and help eliminate loneliness (while adhering to social distancing guidance). Our team at the Hub have also been offering support over the phone.