On 1 July, Kingston Mental Well-being Festival was held at the King Charles Centre in Surbiton. I went along for a few reasons: as a user of mental health services myself, and because I have an interest in community wellbeing and wanted to identify resources that might be useful for you here.
Mental health problems are not evenly distributed across communities and the roles that social factors and trauma play are not always adequately addressed. This was not the focus of the festival, however: rather it focused on resources that individuals can use to support their wellbeing. It is not an exhaustive list, there were many organisations represented at the Festival, but these were things that caught my particular attention.
Kingston Adult Education
Kingston Adult Education offers a variety of free or relatively low cost courses to improve and maintain wellbeing including: Practical Ideas for Happier Living, Food to Boost your Mood, Chair Yoga, Community Choir, Mindfulness through Art, Relaxation and Meditation. See 2019/2020 prospectus here.
Mind in Kingston Community Allotment
This service takes place at Tolworth Main Allotments, which is near Alexandra Park in Tolworth, for residents of Kingston with mental health issues. Mind offers the opportunity to relax and connect with nature, meet new people, learn skills in gardening and growing food. Contact Mind in Kingston here.
This is a free NHS service offering a range of psychological therapies including guided self-help, digital (online) therapy and books on prescription, as well as telephone and face to face services. Full details here.
For me personally, learning new things, and connecting with people and the environment, play an important part in my own mental wellbeing. It was interesting to discover new things locally and I hope perhaps that sharing these might mean new opportunities for others too.