Research has suggested that the third Monday in January, commonly known as ‘Blue Monday’, is the most depressing day of the year. However, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging people to beat the winter blues and improve their wellbeing by learning something new through the WISEMINDS project.
The WISEMINDS project offers free training courses to adults aged 19 and over who may be experiencing common mental health conditions such as low mood, anxiety, and depression. Courses are also open to adults with long term physical health conditions which impact on their mental wellbeing.
As a key partner in the project, the Trust is hosting a range of courses at Kirklees Recovery College in Mirfield. A wide range of courses are on offer, including creating digital music, ceramics, Tai Chi, mindfulness, family first aid and knitting.
Carrie Hanson is a learner with the project and found that it had a hugely positive impact on her life. She said: “The project helped me with confidence issues, gave me an aim and showed me that I am able to get myself motivated to do something with my day.”
Since taking part in the project, not only has Carrie gone on to further education, she has also become a volunteer with Proper Job Theatre Company.
She continued: “Before attending these courses I felt that I had no direction and didn’t think that I had anything positive to look forward to. Now I have a future and am beginning to feel more positive and confident that I will be able to find a job and use my newly discovered skills.”
The WISEMINDS project is led by Kirklees College and its partners on behalf of the Kirklees Community Learning Trust. Plans are currently being developed to offer further courses in the wider Kirklees community.