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A positive start for new Barnsley Co-ordinator

It’s day 12 in my new role as Mental Health Co-ordinator for Barnsley CLMHP and I have been reflecting on what I have been doing so far.

I have been familiarising myself with paperwork and I have watched a previous webinar to ensure that I understand how to use it. I found this particularly helpful as I had not previously appreciated that the learners did not need to be experiencing a particular level of difficulty to make them eligible. I noticed that this reduced anxiety levels when speaking to potential learners as they were concerned that they might not be struggling enough or that they might be deemed too unwell. They were visibly more relaxed about completing assessments. I feel that this is important as our intention is to improve their situation rather than create another hurdle and invoke further anxiety.

The Pop Up Café marketing event we organised was well attended. I must admit I was concerned beforehand that I might end up sat alone with 50 buns to eat (which would have been awful!).  I needn’t have worried, the individuals were very positive about the project and I signed up over twenty learners in one afternoon. I have had meetings with local mental health teams and representatives from the local authority. I have been pleasantly surprised by the positive responses that I have received from other organisations and their offers to promote our project. It appears that my sales pitch might be redundant for some time!

I am now focusing my efforts on our next course – a residential weekend retreat here at Northern College. All of our partner organisations are going to contribute to the delivery of this retreat which I think will be really interesting. It enables us to play to partners’ strengths to ensure a great quality and variety of content for learners. I have also linked in with the Council’s Engagement Officer and volunteered to be involved in the World Mental Health Day celebrations on Saturday 10th of October. It would be great to hear whether other projects are getting involved in their areas as I’m sure there will be some great work going on across the country!