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The Mental Health Benefits of Poetry

Why do we read and write poetry? This is an interesting question with an infinite number of possible answers, all truly individual. I know why I read and write poetry: to help clarify my sometimes irrational thoughts and feelings in, I hope, a constructive and positive way.I have battled mental health difficulties, principally depression, since I was seventeen years old. Now, at fifty four, I have been diagnosed with dysthymia: a chronic low mood disorder. Needless to say, this affects all aspects of my mental life, and the way I respond to the...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:43:36

SpeakUpCIC Report on Secondary Mental Health Services in Kent and Medway.

During March and April of 2017, SpeakUpCIC circulated a survey that we had created to capture the feedback of people using, or having experience of the statutory mental health services in Kent and Medway. We had a good response to the survey and these are our findings.  

Access to services:
We asked if the person had accessed mental health services and, if they had not, what the reason for this was. Of the 10% of people who had not accessed mental health services, 43% of those said that they had not acc...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:18:27

East Kent Patient Consultative Committee

The East Kent PCC is a meeting that takes place at St. Martin’s every 2 months. Held at St. Martin’s in Canterbury, the PCC is a great chance to meet with KMPT themselves and feedback your views on the services. The meeting invites service users to come and talk to the KMPT staff, including operational directors, to fight for the changes that they need in their services. It’s a great opportunity to raise your issues and concerns. If you would like to attend, speak to one of the SpeakUpCIC staff and we’re happy to support you in a...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:16:05

Moving On Group

Moving on after a stay in hospital can be challenging even if you only have a short stay. Many people find themselves without any support networks that they can lean on when they are back out in the community, this can lead to a decrease in mental wellbeing. To help combat this, KMPT is running a weekly group for the inpatients at St. Martin’s Hospital in Canterbury. This Moving On Group will run every Wednesday at the Hospital and will feature speakers every week on a variety of different topics that are commonly troubling people when...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:15:47

Our primary role at SpeakUpCIC

Our primary role, here at SpeakUpCIC, is to deliver your views and fight for changes to your local mental health services. We thought that we’d let you all know a little bit more about we do that and what happens to your complaint once you raise it.   CCG—There are three different Clinical Commissioning Groups—Ashford, South Kent Coast and Thanet – that we work with. We are in regular communication with the three teams to raise your issues with them directly. On top of this, we have attend...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:15:13

The Sandwich Support Group

I am Fred Collins and I became ill twenty years ago due to many factors including running an old family business in the Covent Garden/Soho area of London, with all its associated stress and strains. Plus, the changing world of London which was all about money and not people and communities, which jarred my senses. Also, the losses of my father, mother and father in Law all took its toll. Well after five years of illness and very little support outside my family I was very fortunate to be referred to the group which, at that time, had bee...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:14:29

Margate Women’s Group

This lovely group which meets on a Thursday morning 10-11.30am at the Media Centre welcomes you! For a long time we have supported each other through thick and thin. We are starting to look at consolidating the skills and expertise that we have developed whilst managing our mental illnesses. We are starting with anxiety and exploring how we cope. The plan is we will produce the information in some format to disseminate to others. Future aspects to look at could include depression, tips on daily living and managing money. We are a...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:13:57

Cliftonville Walk & Talk.

Our Walk and Talk is now a part of our Cliftonville Project, funded by the People’s Health Trust. The Cliftonville area is one of the most deprived in the country, with high rates of poverty and mental illness. As such, there is a great deal of social isolation amongst the most vulnerable in the area. It has been well established that exercise is not just great for physical health, but mental health as well. Our Walk and Talk takes the participants for a stroll along the idyllic coastline of Margate, with each person going at their...

Posted 05/07/2017 13:13:22

Online Forum

Our Online Forum is designed to be used by anyone in our region who has lived experience of mental ill health.  It is particularly useful to those service users who are unable to attend a Forum or Group in person. We believe that this new service is a real step forward for inclusion in our area and for anyone who might live with the isolation of mental ill health.  It's a great opportunity to get online- get connected and have a say about the things that really matter to you. We will be using the Online Forum to solicit views, opin...

Posted 05/07/2017 11:24:18

Buddy

The Police Service have granted SpeakUpCIC £500 to run a buddy service. We will run a network of buddies who we will provide with a phone. Our members will be able to contact these buddies when they need someone to talk to, and it will allow the buddies to check up on our members if they drop off the radar for a time. The hope is that this project will help to reduce social isolation as well as help safeguard those that are most vulnerable. If you would like to become a buddy, or have any suggestions for the project, contact us on admin@speaku...

Posted 04/07/2017 14:14:49

Thanet Update

Thanet continues to grow and develop as a service. We’re also on the lookout for people to suggest changes and improvements to the service that we provide. We’re a service user led organisation at our core and we do what we can to provide the services that you want. Recently, some of our members started talking about board groups and their desire to have a group centred around that, specifically chess. Games of strategy, like chess, are proven to aid in brain power and improve cognitive functions. Especially in old age, it’s important to ...

Posted 04/07/2017 13:30:13

LGBT Group

One evening last June, a multiple shooting took place in Orlando, Florida in a gay nightclub: a tragedy which reminded us all, irrespective of our sexuality, that the world is not always a safe, accepting space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, underlined by a brutal homophobic attack on-board a London-bound train in March this year and the recently awarded 16+ certificate given by Russian film censors to Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast as they view the inclusion of an openly gay character as propaganda har...

Posted 04/07/2017 13:26:09

How to get involved with SpeakUpCIC

The Mental Health Action Groups – MHAGs – are a fantastic forum for local service users, carers and service providers to have an open dialogue with each other. They run across each district in Kent, but SpeakUpCIC are involved with three of them – Thanet, Ashford and Dover, Deal and Shepway. Local voluntary sector organisations, like SpeakUpCIC, attend the meetings as well as representatives from KMPT, local councils, DWP, CCG and other commissioners. The local meetings feed up into a County Meeting where the chairs from each area attend....

Posted 04/07/2017 13:08:34

New LGBT group for Deal and Sandwich SpeakUpCIC Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender — Lunch Group

Society makes it hard for people to just be themselves...especially when they are viewed as "different" or other. To show support and to declare as well, if people wish to....Being different is great! And NO ONE should feel ashamed of who they are. This is your opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. We shall meet once a month at The cafe in the Golf Road Community Centre, in DEAL, at 12.30 on every 1st Wednesday of the month. We will start our new group from Wednesday 5th APRIL, in this warm and friendly atmosphere where we ...

Posted 04/07/2017 13:06:00

MENTAL HEALTH GROUP RE-LAUNCHES IN SANDWICH

A mental health peer support group that meets weekly at the Phoenix Community Centre in Jubilee Road was officially re-launched last week by the Deputy Mayor of Sandwich, Mrs. Veronica Liote.   The group, which was threatened with closure in April last year due to cuts in funding, was rescued by SpeakUpCIC, a Community Interest Company based in Margate.   SpeakUp have now managed to secure significant additional funding from The Big Lottery to keep the group going, and improve the range of therapeutic activities available ...

Posted 04/07/2017 13:05:15

SpeakUpCIC Receive Grant from Kent Police

SpeakUpCIC are very grateful to have a received a very generous grant from Kent Police to pilot a buddy scheme in Thanet. There are too many vulnerable people in the area, suffering with mental health difficulties that have little to no support network. Tragically, one of our members, Delyth Andrews, was murdered in her home by people that had systematically taken advantage of her before taking her life. This scheme aims to provide a network for these people to ensure that this doesn't happen to anybody else. We're looking forward to working wi...

Posted 31/05/2017 10:01:33

World Mental Health Day in Thanet

SpeakUpCIC attended a Mental Health Awareness Event at Cliftonville Community Centre on the 9th of October to commemorate World Mental Health Day. We were joined by a host of other organisations that support local people in their recovery. It was a great day for all involved and awareness was raised about local services. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped us on the day and the event organisers for making it possible.


&nbs...

Posted 10/12/2015 14:06:20

SpeakUpCIC celebrates World Mental Health Day in Canterbury

SpeakUpCIC joined up with Canterbury & Coastal Carers’ Support Group to celebrate World Mental Health The topic was- “OPEN DIALOGUE” with Dr. Russell Razzaque, MB.BS., MRCPsych., Dip.Couns: Yasmin Ishaq, Service Manager for the East Kent Early Intervention Service and Annie Jeffrey, local activist and campaigner, went very well, with approximately 80 people, including the choir, attending. It was lovely to see so many people at the event. The*Mustard Seed Singers' performance was very popular and people were amazed a...

Posted 10/12/2015 13:33:07

Folk Week 2015

The second week in August is my favourite time of the year. It is Broadstairs Folk Week. Music, dancing and happy people make the town “come alive”. And so my special week came together with my favourite group – “SpeakUpCIC”. To sit among friends and absorb the terri#ic atmosphere of this beautiful, sunny day seems special. The walk along the pier, a hot dog, a look round stalls with things to buy. A Happy time, happy friends, sunshine and music – a wonderful day. There were also stalls selling C.D’s and Joss stick...

Posted 10/12/2015 13:26:19

Day Trip to Hastings

We all set off for Hastings on a lovely sunny day in the mini-bus. We called in at Dover Resource House to pick up members on the way, we had a full compliment of people. Through beautiful countryside we arrived in Hastings about midday and went in different groups. We saw the pier which was nearing completion and the sea front was uplifting with colourful façades. Another group went to the aquarium and reported that they had a wonderful time. There was plenty of Hastings Rock, Ice Cream and trinkets bought. We dived into...

Posted 10/12/2015 13:14:35