Latest News Mental Health Matters We are passionate about looking after our mental health in bemix. We know our mental health benefits when we have our voices heard and understood, we are seen and valued as equal, and have a sense of belonging, purpose and connection. We work hard to create a society where everyone can be seen, be heard and belong. It's not all about changing society though. In bemix, we aim to create a mini version of the society we would like to live in. To support our usual workforce supervision and holistic support approach, we have been giving people the chance to check in with how they are feeling through weekly wellbeing email check ins. We have also set up Peer Support Groups for people to come together online using video conferencing to talk about how they are finding things, and support others. These are open to everyone in bemix. In our projects In our Supported Internships project, people have formed a weekly Wellbeing Group which enables people to find ways to keep a healthy and happy mind. The group has been looking at breathing techniques to manage stress and anxiety. Not everyone in bemix is able to connect online. We have been putting together "Isolation Packs" which include workshops on wellbeing, Easy Read exercises to keep physically active, recipes, adult colouring and more. No one is left out in bemix - we work creatively and flexibly to ensure everyone belongs. Download and print our well-being worksheets here: The Stress Bucket Drawing Your Feelings Ways to Relax Counselling For some time, we have been aware of the need to make counselling more accessible to people with learning difficulties. We are delighted to be able to pilot a counselling provision for people with learning difficulties and/or autism within bemix thanks to funding from the KCF Coronavirus Emergency Fund. Now, more than ever, people are coping with increased anxiety, stress, depression, grief and suicidal feelings. People are additionally isolated and cut off from their usual support networks. We are all finding our own way with the uncertain situation and change to our usual routines and this is impacting people in different ways. The opportunity to have free, ongoing counselling will enable people to explore their thoughts and feelings and find ways to cope and improve their mental health. Preparing for difficult conversations around death and dying One of the few things we know for certain in life is that one day we are going to die. For most of us, our death will be a long time into the future. It is not something most of us talk about a lot. We know lots of people do want to talk about their thoughts and feelings about death. We also know that for some people it can be a difficult and upsetting thing to think or talk about. This might mean people feel scared to talk about death and dying. We might be scared to upset someone, we might be scared of the sad feelings and we might not know how to start a conversation. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has meant that there is a higher possibility of someone in bemix dying or becoming seriously ill. We need to be ready to respond practically and emotionally if it happens. We believe it is important that we are prepared to have important conversations about death and dying so that we can support people in the event of someone’s death or serious illness at bemix. We will be supporting groups to talk about these topics if they want to. We are running Death Cafes for people in bemix to have informal and relaxed conversations about death and dying. Talking about death doesn't make it any less sad, but it often helps us feel more connected and less scared of the conversation. Our friends at Books Beyond Words have created a series of great books that can help people talk about mental health, illness (including Coronavirus) and death/dying.