South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, is working with voluntary and community organisation, Healthy Minds to set up a new wellbeing centre in Halifax.
The centre will be a specialist resource for local people with mental health problems. Healthy Minds provides support for people in Calderdale who have mental health problems and is led by people who have a background of mental health problems themselves.
The wellbeing centre is a major project for Healthy Minds and is expected to open in mid 2009. It will provide a range of services for people experiencing mental ill health. For example, people will be able to use the centre to get information and advice as well as find out how to access other services. The centre will also support self-help groups, offer opportunities for volunteering within the centre, support people into employment and provide training on things such as confidence building and mental health awareness.
The Trust’s head of involvement and inclusion, Phil Walters is a member of the Healthy Minds development committee and said ‘Being a service user led initiative, Healthy Minds is all about people taking charge of their own lives and decreasing their dependence on services. The Trust knows how empowering this can be for individuals and groups which is why we are lending our support to the project.’
Phil continued, ‘Healthy Minds puts mental wellbeing right at the centre of the community and the Trust is wholeheartedly behind this philosophy. We plan to work in partnership with the Wellbeing Centre once it becomes operational and challenge the traditional ‘doctor knows best’ way of working.’
‘Although the project is still in its very early stages, plans are most definitely taking shape’ said member’s council representative Dave Rigby, who is involved in the development of the centre. ‘Over the next 6 months Healthy Minds intend to continue fund-raising for the wellbeing centre, identify suitable premises, make preparations for the opening of the centre and build partnerships with other local organisations.’