Focus on: Mind in Mid Herts

We’re so proud to have Mind in Mid Herts as one of our charity partners at Todd in the Hole 2018. They offer a brilliant service out of four centres in St. Albans, Stevenage, Hertford and Welwyn Garden City and work to support everyone in our community who needs their help – whether that’s a one off consultation or somewhere to go more regularly.

We’ll be raising money for this worthy cause on our Village Green on Sunday 22nd July where we’ve got plenty lined up from egg and spoon races, three legged races and much more! Plus the Mind in Mid Herts team will have a stand with lots of useful information to take away and we’ll be giving you the chance to have a photo with Elvis and the Todd in the Hole Cadillac (part of the Great British Elvis Off) all for a £10 donation which will go straight to the charity!

In the meantime, we had a chat with Sharn Tomlinson, CEO, about the wonderful work they do, as well as breaking down those barriers to get people to go and see them even before they become unwell.

Getting creative

Alongside the traditional counselling and mental health awareness work, Mind in Mid Herts offers a range of fun group activities from yoga and meditation, to art and crafts, drama and music. We like to think we’re a creative bunch here at Todd in the Hole (who else would bring you welly wanging on a weekend?!) so we were keen to find out from Sharn how these sorts of activities can make a difference.

“It could be that a one-to-one counselling session is too much for someone at the time, but they are happy to join a yoga class, for example. It’s about doing what’s best for them. The activities offer a stepping stone into the service where they can get more support if they need it, but they’re also there as ongoing support for long term conditions or to build confidence back up after someone has been unwell.

“We have just been awarded funding to add a female yoga class to the already running mixed group yoga class. We’re also showing the World Cup matches at our centres. People can just come in and watch the football, perhaps if they want company, but don’t want to be in a pub or elsewhere.”

Five of your five-a-day

Sharn told us that the Mental Health Foundation has done some fantastic research on what people need to stay mentally well. Did you know about the Five Ways to Wellbeing, which we can all do everyday?

  • Connect – talk to the people around you
  • Be active – go for a walk at lunchtime or take the stairs
  • Take notice – of things around you, such as the birds singing
  • Keep learning – something new every day, however small
  • Give – do something nice for someone else

“Mental health is equal to physical health and so prevention should be the same. These five things are actually really easy to do everyday,” said Sharn. (By the way, you’re doing one just by reading this blog!)

The Mind in Mid Herts team will have postcards on their stand at Todd in the Hole with the ‘Five Ways’ printed on, so make sure you head over and get your copy. Why not stick it on the fridge and see how easy it can be? We think possibly even easier than getting your five fruit and veg a day!

Community spirit

Finally, we asked Sharn what a difference it makes having a presence in the community at events such as Todd in the Hole.

“These events are so important for breaking down that barrier. We want people to come and see us and to stay well.

“We’re also hoping to meet lots of young people at Todd in the Hole and help give them a healthy coping mechanism. Sadly North Herts is the highest region in the county for self harm in young people and we would love to be able to support more young people, but also talk to them about how we can make the service we offer better for them.”

What it’s all about

Sharn has worked with the charity for 10 years and became CEO three years ago. She is also a practising family therapist.

“I spend most of my time finding funding and thinking strategically about the direction of the charity, so sometimes I do have to sit back and remember why I’m actually here. My practice as a family therapist helps me to put things in focus, but so does seeing people who come to our centres. I saw someone the other day laughing while playing table tennis; I hadn’t seen him laugh before. That’s when you remember what it’s all about.”

Mind in Mid Herts couldn’t continue its good work without the support of its 80 or so volunteers and vital funding. Don’t forget to head over to the Village Green on the Sunday and offer them your support in any way you can. If you’ve still not yet got your tickets online, you can get them here