Though affiliated with national charity Mind by brand, Bath Mind itself is a separate and independently run charity, meaning that all of their funds get recirculated back into the services they provide within the local community. Set up in 1998, they now support over five thousand residents living in B&NES every year, thanks to a team of over one hundred and fifty staff and volunteers.
Providing a wide range of wellbeing support, Bath Mind is delighted to be turning twenty-five this year. From their inception in 1998, the charity has expanded on its original established services, which in the beginning were: community wellbeing groups, supported housing, providing a registered care home and mental health advocacy.
Since then, their services have grown massively, with new initiatives such as Greenlinks - an initiative offering people the opportunity to connect with nature in order to socialise and improve their general health and wellbeing - and wellbeing accommodation in Midsomer Norton at the newly opened Orchard House.
Bath Mind also offer ‘Breathing Space’, which consists of both a face-to-face and telephone service, offering calm, non-clinical support for individuals experiencing or at risk of a mental health crisis. Staffed by a team with a broad range of experience in mental health issues, the service offers a compassionate listening ear and signposting to relevant services. This service operates 365 days a year.
The charity is pleased to still be providing a variety of mental health and wellbeing support services in the local community and are hoping to continue for another twenty-five - and beyond! The continuation of their services depends on the support of the community in terms of funding.
As per data recorded in the B&NES Wellbeing & Mental Health Needs Assessment (curated June 2022), in 2017, the estimated prevalence of common mental disorders in people over sixteen years old was around one in seven (14%) in B&NES compared with one in six (17%) in England. Though less than the national average, this still equates to around twenty five thousand people with mental health needs in the community.
There are a number of ways in which you can support Bath Mind on their mission to “promote and nurture the community’s mental health through the provision of information, activities, advice and support” and World Mental Health Day is one of the upcoming opportunities to do so. The charity has come up with a ‘Wear It Blue’ campaign to raise funds and encourage conversation around the topic of mental health.
Businesses, schools and organisations can show their support by signing up to ‘Wear It Blue’ on World Mental Health Day, which takes place on Tuesday, 10th October. ‘Wearing It Blue’ can be as simple as a splash of sapphire on your socks, or a head to toe blue ensemble!
Bath Mind is asking for a donation of five pounds for each group that signs up, but have included further suggestions and information in their detailed fundraiser pack - www.bathmind.org.uk/wearblue/ is the place to go for more on getting involved. Businesses already signed up in B&NES include Specsavers in Bath, Knight Frank, and Milsom Place.
To donate to Bath Mind and help to fund their vital services, head to: www.bathmind.org.uk/support-us/donate/
Funds can also be donated via cheque, payable to Bath Mind or by calling their office on 01225 316199.
If you are need of support with your mental health, you can contact Bath Mind on: 08081 751369 seven days a week, between 9am and 5:30pm Monday to Sunday.