COME ON OUT, a new innovation project that gives lonely isolated people with mental health challenges an opportunity to exercise, socialise, get support and develop friendships over lunch.
The project has three vital elements:
Regular exercise helps both physical and mental health! When we exercise chemicals called endorphins are released which have a positive impact on our mood. Taking a walk with others reduces loneliness – we make connections, have time to talk and share whilst getting fitter. Being with others can help with self-confidence and
self-esteem. We only need 30 – 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least three times a week to help with our physical and mental wellbeing.
Sharing a meal
Sharing meals and having someone to talk to is good for our mental wellbeing. The regularity can help to evoke feelings of contentment and security. They provide a time when you can interact with others, have your say, be listened to and listen to others. Hearing other perspectives enable us to express empathy and understanding and help problem-solve.
We are combining psychological support with physical and social activities. Resilience is a fundamental aspect of recovery. Recovery is about the person taking control, coming to an understanding of their experience and taken pro-active steps to promote their wellbeing. Recovery is about hope and taking opportunities. By offering a positive social experience we will help people to bounce back when difficulties strike, making sense of the circumstances will help the person to accept and move on.
Peer support is a key element and will be provided by Peer Facilitators who have attended our development workshop. Providing a safe place to discuss issues, share experiences and help to problem solve with others is important as they can help others by sharing their own experiences. By empowering people through everyday situations will boost physical and mental wellbeing, reduce isolation and help the individual on their recovery journey (NationalVoices: Peer support – what is it and does it work 2016).
Why being social is important
The feeling of loneliness is personal, it is not always the same as being alone. Having mental health challenges can increase the risk of feeling lonely, which will have a negative impact. COME ON OUT will build community and individual resilience, using community capital to ‘bounce back’. By being active, having an opportunity to share, problem-solve and develop long term friendships and support will tackle some of the inequalities people with mental health challenges may face.
What we want to do
We want to offer up to 8 people in Welwyn Garden City area an opportunity to walk in the local area for up to 45 minutes, go to a local café/pub for lunch and to have time to get support from the group supported by two of our Peer Facilitators.
Viewpoint aims to develop innovative services that support people with a lived experience of mental health issues and/or alcohol & drug challenges. Currently working with 800 experts by experience, putting them at the centre of all we do, promoting physical and mental well-being while supporting them to be independent, have their say and influence change.
With over 18 years’ experience of delivering a needs-led, peer support service for people experiencing mental health and/or addiction challenges. All our programmes are provided by staff or members who have lived experience.
We provide an independent, recovery focussed, united voice for individuals living with mental health and/or addictions challenges to share their experiences of accessing support services to help shape future provision.
What people say about Viewpoint
'I have found being part of Viewpoint essential to my recovery and ongoing growth. This organisation has given me opportunities to: learn skills in a supportive environment, receive much-needed community through the local open sessions and to give talks on my personal journey from recovery to discovery.' Alan
'Viewpoint was my first opportunity to share views, be more involved in the wider community and give a little back to services, through insight gained from personal experiences. I was trained, supported, and coached in many areas including facilitating, presenting and planning. As well as being a great platform to promote my creativity skills to aid mine and other service users recovery.' Hollis