Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 at the Forum

Graphic of the BDEF logo, an earth and a trio of mountains on a green background. The text in white reads "Step into Nature and Take a Breath" folowed by "Mental Health Awareness Week 2021".

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (10 – 16 May) and the theme is nature, highlighting the important positive connection between the natural world and mental health.

Many people have struggled with their mental health during the pandemic and for some, the easing of lockdown restrictions has created its own challenges too.

We at the Forum have various projects & ways of getting involved that link to the benefits of good mental health.

Making Change Happen

Our peer support project where Disabled people meet vurrently daily over Zoom to support one another, give each other helpful advice and have a good old natter! They will continue to meet on Zoom but will soon be meeting in person again. 

The project also offers a phone service to those who are not online and can now help those who are digitally excluded to access the internet and provide them with tablet PCs so that they can join the online discussions and be kept informed of Forum activities and information.

The MCH group are a happy band and can be a great listening ear for those who are Disabled and want to talk about anything that is troubling them. If you’re interested or you know someone who may be, contact Dan by emailing mch.bristoldef@gmail.com

Community Climate Action

As nature is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we have a project all about preserving our natural habitat in Community Climate Action. In partnership with Bristol Green Capital, the project shows that we play a leading role in shaping Bristol’s transition to a low carbon and climate resilient city.  

For this project we will work with Disabled people to:

  1. Create a climate action plan for the Disabled community in Bristol. This plan will help Disabled people in Bristol lower their use of dirty energy.
  2. Make sure that the city’s climate plans are fair and good for Disabled people.

The project will focus on making lives better at the same time as lowering our use of dirty energy.

The role of the Forum is to guide the project. We need you to bring it to life! To find out more, visit our CCA webpage on our site or contact Emma by emailing cca.bristoldef@gmail.com

Accessible Walking Group

Research shows that going for walks outside is one of our top coping strategies and 45 percent reported that being in green spaces had been vital for their mental health (according to Bristol City Council).

We at the Forum are in the process of doing the leadership training so we can begin our new walking group. This will be where we can go for walks as a group of Disabled people – the walks will be accessible.

To find out more about the group and our first walk, contact Dan by emailing mch.bristoldef@gmail.com

Volunteering Opportunities

Getting involved by doing volunteering is another great way of improving people’s mental health. We at the Forum have a range of opportunities which Disabled people can apply for.

To find out more, go to our Voulunteering page on our website.

Join Access Sport at their North and South Bristol Multi-Sport Hubs for Mencap’s Round the World Challenge

Access Sport are running new 16+ sessions as part of the Mencap Round The World Challenge.

As part of a collaborative effort, lots of fantastic deliverers have teamed up to offer multi-sport sessions in North and South Bristol. The 8 week block will then repeat in the alternate venue later in the year after a cycling and wheelchair sports block too so everyone has the opportunity to try all activities. Along the way, participants earn rewards for the hours of activity they complete.

·       South Bristol Hub (The Park Centre, Daventry Road, BS4 1DQ) –  Mondays 11am – 12pm starting 10th May

·       North Bristol Hub (Badminton School, Westbury Road, BS9 3BA) – Thursdays 12.15 – 1.15pm starting 13th May

Participants are required to fill in the below word document to register and return to Joe.Hawkins@accesssport.co.uk.

Call Out for Archival Material for Forging Our Future Research Group

Image of the inside of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

The Forging Our Future Research Group has gathered a wide range of oral history interviews from people who were active in the Disabled People’s Movement in Bristol.  We are now working in partnership with Bristol Museum Service to create an exhibition at MShed based on these interviews.  The exhibition, which will be at MShed in 2022, will tell the as-yet untold story of the Disabled people’s movement in Bristol.  It will be supported by a website that tells these stories in more detail.   

Disabled young people in the Research Group have some great material from our oral history interviews with activists, and we want to add to this with photos, archives, or objects that may once have been connected to the story of Disabled activism in Bristol. 

the Research Group want more material from Disabled people. All material can be copied and returned, or deposited with the Museum Service or Bristol Archives.   

If you would like to send any archival material, please send it to Lori through the following SurveyMonkey – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/5SMTL5G