The Well-brahams is a mental health and well-being initiative in Great and Little Wilbraham. A group of people with different experiences and qualifications have come together to organise activities and provide information and help on mental health issues for local residents.
A group of villagers in Great Wilbraham were interested in mental health and this led to a Mental Health First Aid training course being in the village over a weekend.
In the words of the MHFA Centre, mental health education "empowers people to care for themselves and others, and by reducing the stigma through understanding, breaks down barriers to the support that people that people may need to stay well, recover, or manage their symptoms – to thrive in learning, work and life".
The course was very popular and led to creating the group, the Well-Brahams.
So far, the group has created an online directory with information on where to get help for mental health issues and organised speaker events on Adolescent Mental Health, Dementia and Anti-depressants.
They have also held a painting workshop and set up a walking group.
The parish council provided £200 for the costs of the initial training. This covered hiring the meeting room, refreshments and providing each course member with the official MHFA book which the course is base on. The training itself was provided at no charge by a local resident trained in delivering MHFA.
Subsequent expenses have been minimal – just meeting room hire and printing of publicity. Members donate refreshments and their time, for example to develop the website. Speakers have not charged for talks.
Summer garden parties held by a local benefactor have raised sufficient funds to cover all costs allowing the surplus to be donated to two local mental health charities.
The Well-brahams has not needed external advice and guidance. They have been able to find help and skills within the group, such as website design, advertising, event organising and more.
It is not a formally constituted organisation – expenses are minimal and it has been possible to keep everything informal.
For Mental Health First Aid courses in Cambridgeshire, call the ChangePoint Team at Everyone Health on 0333 005 0093.
They may be able to run a course free of charge as part of their contract with Cambridgeshire County Council. Courses usually have up to 12 places. It’s good to have a mix of gender and background and a range of ages on the course.
Otherwise, Mental Health First Aid England can put you in contact with a local trainer.
A two day course normally costs around £750.00.
More information can be found on The Well-brahams website. They also have a Facebook page “The Well-brahams” and are on Twitter @Wellbrahams
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