Details of mental health campaigns supported by ELFT including #RainbowBedfordshire, Heads Up and See the Signs, Save Life.
Mental Health Campaigns
#RainbowBedfordshire strives to actively challenge stigma and loneliness by informing best practice through training, increasing visibility and social inclusion, and through building LGBTQ+/ally networks.
Since our first meeting in early 2019, Rainbow Bedfordshire has been a very active steering group, founded by ELFT People Participation in Bedford.
We have regular attendance from Trust service users/carers, staff, and representatives from local authority and third sector organisations. The campaign gained momentum early on.
Our original purpose was to tackle the gaps in services to increase support for LGBTQ+ people. As part of this process, we also noted the apparent absence of LGBTQ+ folk in Bedford.
In 2019, we:
- Made the Rainbow Lanyard available to our staff allies in local mental health services
- Began to address the issue of gendered toilet facilities at Trust sites
- Started co-producing a revised transgender policy for Trust inpatient settings
- Co-produced leaflets detailing support and resources available locally and nationally (continually updated)
- Looked at the general lack of visibility locally, and had rainbow flag stickers and postcards designed to identify welcoming social spaces in Bedford.
In 2020 we:
- Launched Rainbow Bedfordshire at a local café.
During the pandemic we:
- Completed the Transgender Inpatient policy
- Co-produced training workshops for Staff teams
- Collaborated with the Bedfordshire and Luton Recovery College in facilitating Being Me, an LGBTQ+ peer support and discussion group which meets on a monthly basis. The online platforms available has enabled greater inclusion across our county
- Delivered training to local authority staff.
In late 2021, we looked forward to how we could relaunch, and what we could offer our local communities.
- We have just received a grant from the ELFT Innovation fund to set up an LGBTQ+ Trans Inclusive Swimming Club
- We are organising a Pride in the Park event in Bedford, this will connect ELFT, third sector organisations, local businesses and members of local communities
- There is now an increased demand for our Trans training from within ELFT as well as external organisations.
The Trust, local councils and charities are working together through the 'See the Signs, Save a Life' campaign to help the public to recognise when people they know might be struggling with suicidal thoughts and what action to take to support them.
The initiative is running in Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton.
The campaign focuses on the signs to look out for and what you can do to help. It also encourages the community not to be afraid to ask directly about suicide.
Full details are available here.
The Trust is also an active supporter of Heads Up, a campaign to help men stay happy.
The campaign targets men aged 30-59 in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire. These men are less likely to seek help on mental health issues and tend to ‘suffer in silence’.
The campaign is designed to offer men a source of information and guidance about any mental health issues they may be facing, communicated in a style to which they can relate.
HeadsUp was created following research with men aged 30-59 years old, which led the creation of a website. The website is designed to signpost men to the resources available but written in a more informal language.
It also offers a wide range of tips and an online check- up tool to allow men to self-assess their symptoms without the involvement of other people.
Other features include a ‘hide my screen’ button to allow men to explore the site, but quickly move off the site if they are interrupted. A ‘toolbox’ offers lots of different resources to address issues that lead to feelings of low worth, anxiety and depression such as money problems, a relationship breakdown and trouble sleeping.