The theme of World Mental Health Day 2020 is ‘mental health for all’ – a phrase chosen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to draw attention to the fact that greater investment is needed in mental health services to ensure people experiencing difficulty have access to the help they need. To mark the day, we’re sharing some fantastic organisations – all Triodos Bank customers – which are currently operating in the UK, and offer support and resources to help people all across the country look after their mental health.

Proactive care

Many of us are aware that to take care of our bodies we need to eat healthily and exercise, but it’s also important to spend time investing in our mental wellbeing. The Osho Leela centrein Dorset offers a range of meditation and personal growth workshops to help people who are looking to spend a bit more time nurturing their spiritual and mental health. Although currently not hosting in-person events, it is looking to continue supporting its community by offering workshops online. Similarly, London Buddhist Centreis offering online classes, including yoga and meditation, many of which are in the morning or at lunchtime for those that need to balance a busy schedule. At time of publishing, London Buddhist Centre is also offering socially-distant classes in person.

The importance of community

Loneliness is an area of mental health which has been gaining attention in the media in recent years, particularly amongst elderly people. The Estuary League of Friends, a charity based in Topsham, Devon, provides tailored services such as shopping, medication collection, and social company for people who need a little bit of extra help to stay independent in their own homes. Its community hub, Nancy Potter House, includes a café and library where locals can meet to socialise, currently open by appointment only. The Age Exchange Theatre Trust works to combat loneliness and isolation amongst older people, specialising in supporting those with, or caring for people with, dementia. The charity draws heavily on art - including clay, music, drawing and painting - as a medium to help people explore and reconnect with their memories.

Mental health vs Mental Illness

Mental Health: A broad term referring to the social, psychological and emotional wellbeing of individuals.

Mental Illness: A clinically diagnosable illness affecting how a person thinks and feels, behaves and interacts with other people and this can range from anxiety or depression, to eating disorders, bipolar or schizophrenia.

Definitions from the Samaritans

We all need to ask for help sometimes

Whilst proactive care with tools such as meditation and regular exercise can be effective at warding off the onset of more serious mental health challenges, sometimes a bit of extra support and guidance may be needed to get us back on track. Guideposts Trust  can help with specialised phone support to equip people with the skills to manage stressful situations. Particularly relevant at this time, they’re available to talk to anyone experiencing loneliness or anxiety. Network Counselling and Training, based in Bristol and Bath, provides professional counselling services on an affordable basis, aiming to help people in a whole range of difficult circumstances, including bereavement, facing a difficult decision or change, or struggling with low self-confidence.

For more serious intervention

Some people struggle with difficulties, such as drug and alcohol problems, homelessness and sexual abuse, which may or may not be associated with mental health issues. Developing Health & Independence turns lives around by combatting the cycle of substance use and homelessness through a combination of drug and alcohol support services, affordable housing and other initiatives designed to combat social exclusion. The Green House in Bristol provides therapy for children and adults who’ve experienced sexual abuse. The therapy is free to access and can offer an important space for people to heal their past traumas.

Further resources

The WHO recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. You can find a number of resources, including videos, articles and illustrated guides, which aim to help with a number of different mental health challenges, on its website.

Triodos Bank and mental health

We’re proud to support all of these organisations working to help people keep on top of their mental health or support them through mental illnesses. The physical and mental health of our co-workers is hugely important to us at Triodos. 15% of co-workers at Triodos Bank UK are trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) and the bank runs programmes throughout the year to raise awareness of mental health.