Welcome to the Mid Essex Cluster Group page! I’m Ivor Moody and the Chair of Essex Mind and Spirit, and am also the convenor for the local Mid Essex Cluster Group, one of five which are spread throughout the County of Essex. Our aim is to raise awareness locally of faith and spirituality issues and relationships between mental health issues and recovery.
At the moment the Mid Essex Cluster Group is in the process of being re-formed, and as a result of the Essex Mind and Spirit ‘Mapping Project’ which you can read about elsewhere on our website, some exciting new names from various sections of the local community from both the voluntary and statutory sectors have come forward expressing an interest in being part of the new group!
On 19th May the Mid Essex Branch of Essex Mind and Spirit was relaunched at a meeting focusing on mental health and well being. It coincided with the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. The meeting was attended by members of the Cathedral congregation and other parish churches whose role involved some aspect of outreach and pastoral care.
Our speaker was Sue Sullivan who is the adult services manager of Mid and North Essex Mind. Sue began by talking about stress, which was the theme of the awareness week and how this could lead onto depression. She then discussed how we might recognise changes in our own or other’s behaviour, habits and even body language that might indicate changes in mental health and well being. Sue also talked about how we think can be influenced by changes in our mental health and how, for example, simple everyday challenges which we would normally cope with can seem insurmountable when we have low mood.
Finally Sue also introduced us to the 5 ways to well being: Connect, Be Active, Learn, Give, Take Notice. She explained how we can improve our mental well being by seeking out the company of other people, keeping physically active, learning something new, giving some of our time to volunteering and finally stopping some time and just being aware of what is happening in the present moment, taking note of our surroundings and what we are experiencing through our senses, not always taken up with thoughts about what has happened or worrying about the future.
The talk was very well received and there were a lot of questions during the talk much discussion afterwards. Members of the audience thought that it had been really helpful and said what they had learnt would be useful to them and the people they came in contact with, not only family and friends, but those they encountered through their roles within their church communities. There was a lot of interest in the possibility of future talks about mental health related issues.