CASS – October 2020 E- Bulletin

Welcome to the CASS E-Bulletin!

October 10th is World Mental Health Day, and after a hugely unsettled six months, we’re joining in with Mind and encouraging people to #DoOneThing to look after their mental health and wellbeing. This could be as simple as going for a walk, calling a friend or being kind to yourself in some other way, or you could have a look at our CASS directory and find some local support if you’re struggling.

The main theme for this year’s day is #MentalHealthForAll, and we’re lucky on Bristol to have plenty of specialist services for different groups of people. You can filter our directory to find specialist mental health service for BAME people, older people, women and more, so head over now and see how much support is out there.

Covid-19 booklets and videos in community languages

CASS have been working closely with Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) and local volunteers to produce resources in community languages about Covid-19 and the lockdown. These were made to address the need for information for non-English-speaking people in the community, mainly those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic who have been disproportionately impacted, and do not have access to reliable information about the outbreak in their own languages.

Two videos are available, along with two booklets on the topics of:
 • Protecting Yourself and Others – with a number of key messages about social distancing, gatherings, where you can go and so on
• Mental health – about looking after your mental health and wellbeing at this time.

The community  languages included in the videos are English, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Pashto, Punjabi, Somali, Sorani, Turkish and Urdu, with the booklets also including Albanian and Tigrinya.

You can view the videos via this link, and view and download electronic copies of the booklets here. If you would like to request hard copies of the booklets for those who would not be able to access the videos online please complete this form.
Further resources in a range of languages can be found at the Covid-19 Infographics website. Just choose the language required and select from the subjects available to download infographics for printing or digital use. Topics include information about wellbeing, face coverings, myth-busting and more.

New 24/7 emotional and practical support helpline – 
0800 0126 549

The 24/7 Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire helpline is staffed by experienced counsellors and will offer both immediate emotional support over the phone, and help to connect you to other local organisations.

The line is open to anyone aged 18 or over and living in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Anyone 17 or under should call the Children and Young People’s helpline on 0300 303 1320.

CASS Resources

As well as our shortened Stress, Anxiety and Depression booklet for the Covid-19 outbreak, we’ve also put together a PowerPoint presentation based on this booklet, and our Grief booklet. This focuses on recognising feelings, self-care and getting extra support if needed.

Don’t forget our mindfulness audio downloads! One on sleep if you need some help switching off at night, one on managing feelings of grief and loss, and one on kindness for whenever you need to look after yourself! 

We also have two versions of a short article on Stress, Anxiety and Depression, and two versions of one on Grief – one on each topic written for the web, and one one for printed materials which contains phone numbers rather than web links. If you’d like any of these for your website, printed newsletter or anything else, get in touch via

CASS Networkers are able to deliver training sessions about mental health and emotional wellbeing remotely! If you’re interested in a session for your community, faith or equalities group, just contact to discuss.

October is Black History Month, a series of events and celebrations showcasing the past contributions and present reality for Black People in the UK. The month of celebrations has been officially recognised in the UK since the 1980s, and is usually a chance to promote Black voices and Black cultural contributions. This year, Black History Month feels more significant than ever before due to the increased global awareness of issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, uncompassionate treatment of some Black British people of the Windrush Generation and the disproportionate impact Covid-19 has had on BAME people.

In these unsettling and uncertain times it’s more important than ever to look after our mental health. Black African and Caribbean people in the UK are more likely to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, but not more likely than anyone else to suffer from mental ill-health. Bristol has some specialist services for BAME people, focussing on mental health and emotional wellbeing. These services allow a safe space for BAME people to explore their mental health in the wider context of their experiences of race. Some of these services are listed in our leaflet for BAME people, and on our directory of service changes for the Covid-19 period, and we have a dedicated page hosting resources for BAME people on our website.

CASS along with local partners have workshops coming up, specifically for BAME people, one for men, and also three sessions for BAME women following on from a workshop during the summer. If you’re interested in CASS running workshops for BAME staff, volunteers or group members, why not have a look at some of the presentations we’ve used in the past and get in touch with us by email.

To follow all the events in Bristol throughout October and sign up for your copy of the annual Black History Month magazine, follow Bristol Black History Month on Facebook.

Black Women Pause

Join CASS, Rethink, Nilaari and Bristol Women’s Voice for a series of online support sessions for women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. This sessions provide a safe space for women who feel they need support or help in the current climate. Find out more and book your place here.

BAME Men Talk Health

Join Church of God Prophecy, Nilaari, Rethink Bristol and CASS for a free, online emotional wellbeing workshop for BAME men.
Explore emotional wellbeing and distress, and how stereotypes and recent events may have had an impact on this. Find out more and book your place here.

Black History Month and AWP’s Sketchbook Project Needs Your Creations!

This collaborative magazine arts forum discusses real life issues through different mediums. The first edition invites submissions under the overall theme of ‘The Truth of Black History Past and Present’ The opportunity to submit artwork is open to AWP patients, carers and professionals around the following themes:
‘What is your dream for the future?’
‘What does community mean to you?’
‘The truth of Black History past and present.’
For more details and entry requirements email

Events and Updates

7 October – deadline to apply to join the Changes team as a Service Manager looking after peer support groups and the phone befriending service. For more information and application forms, click here.

9 October – deadline to apply to work at AWP as a Peer Support Worker in the Specialised Community Forensic Service. There are three part-time positions of between 15 and 22.5 hours. To find out more please contact Bev Woolmer, Involvement Coordinator by emailing or calling 07857 664516.

12 October – Join Healthwatch Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire for their online AGM where they will reflect on their19/20 year with updates on the latest news and project work.  They will also be voting on a formal name change to Healthwatch BNSSG. If you would like to attend, please contact to RSVP and get hold of voting papers.

19 October – Last day to share your views on how Covid-19 has been affecting bladder and bowel services. Help Healthwatch and  BABCON understand your needs, experiences and concerns. Click here to take the anonymous survey.

21st October – Deadline to apply for Thrive Bristol and Bristol City Council small grants scheme, launched to support projects and activities contributing to improving mental health and wellbeing. Applications are welcomed from small community groups, organisations and mutual aid groups in Bristol supporting people from communities that experience inequalities in mental health. Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are available. Contact for an application form and guidance.

30 October to 1 November – Good Grief Festival has moved online. This month-long programme of talks and workshops aims to help people talk, think and learn about grief. See what’s on and book tickets here.

1 November – If you’re of BAME origins and would like to come to a virtual safe space to explore your feelings, and find out how meditation based on Buddhist teachings can support your wellbeing in daily life- come to a new group offered by Bristol Buddhist Centre on Sunday 1 November 2020, from 2 to 4.30 pm. Email info@bristol- to book a place.

Independent Mental Health Network are looking for people to join a range of projects, providing the voice of lived experience in work improving and transforming mental health services and support. IMHN work to ensure that people with lived experience of mental health are involved in projects centred around mental health support, or mental health services. If you would like to become a Lived Experience Representative, click here to see the current projects you could get involved with.

Free, online mental health training is available to people working in the community in Bristol from Thrive Bristol. To see the courses on offer and book your place as an individual, click here. Groups and organisations can also access this training in closed session, just email to arrange.

WECIL is launching a new telephone Check in and Chat Service for disabled adults, or those with long-term health conditions who are feeling isolated and would like someone to talk to. Community members will be linked with a friendly volunteer for up to 6 phone calls to help to tackle the isolation that people are feeling. Call Charlotte to refer yourself on 07973686389, or click here to find out more, complete an online form, refer a client or volunteer to join the team!

Read an open letter from health and care leaders outlining some of the progress made in re-starting local services in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The letter is available in English, and Urdu, Punjabi, Somali, Polish, Cantonese, Bengali, Arabic and Easy Read here.

Would you be interested in helping to establish a community support group to help people who are experiencing loss and bereavement? STAR Bereavement Peer Support Groups are being set up in Avonmouth, Hotwells, Clifton, Southmead, Henleaze, Keynsham, Lockleaze, Eastville, Fishponds, St Annes, Brislington, Stockwood, Whitchurch, Bedminster, Barton Hill, Shirehampton, and Knowle and the organisers would welcome you to join their team of helpers.  Please contact  for more information. 

To stop to spread of coronavirus it is still vital that we all continue to wash hands, wear a face covering, and make space. Watch the video to see how coronavirus can spread and the ways we can prevent it.

 Useful Information

Information and guidance has changed. Keep up to date with the latest from Bristol City Council here, and see the latest guidance on face coverings here.

As cases increase nationally and locally and kids return to school, it can be a worrying time for many parents and carers. You can find information on helping your child cope with their own worries, what to expect from schools and what to do if your child develops symptoms on the BCC website.

You can keep up to date with the latest news from Bristol City Council, the government and NHS on BCC’s information page here, including updates from the Mayor, changes to council services and information on how to get help. Guidance is changing frequently and you can find regularly updated information from Public Health England here, and specific information for people in high risk groups from the NHS here.

Bristol City Council have published guidance on staying safe both while helping others and while receiving help during the coronavirus outbreak.
For information on volunteering, please see Can Do Bristol and for information on keeping volunteers, staff, service users and communities safe please see Voscur. If you’re volunteering with non-English speakers, the council have produced video guidance on volunteering safely in UrduPunjabiKurdishArabicPolishBengali and Somali.
If you are worried about a vulnerable person you can find the Bristol City Council safeguarding referral form here.
If you work with or care for people with learning disabilities, Mencap have downloadable guidance in an Easy Read format, and advice on hand washing.
For information about changes to advice services, please see here.

Other News and Updates
Look after Yourself 

Don’t forget to look after your mental health at the moment! Although life now seems to be returning to a more usual state, many people are understandably feeling anxious and stressed. This is still a very uncertain time, but there are plenty of resources available to help you manage difficult feelings.

If you have specific worries or anxieties around Covid-19, a new one-off therapy service might help. Therapists for Covid offer 20 minute phone or online appointments with UK registered psyschotherapists, psychologists and counsellors, and work over weekends and bank holidays.

Every Mind Matters – 10 Tips to Help if You’re Worried About Coronavirus – these tips are available to download in Bengali, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi. Romani, Romanian, Russian, Somali and Urdu here.

Mental Health Foundation – How to Look After Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak, including a specific section about children returning to school.

The Coronavirus Hub at Rethink Mental Illness includes tips on looking after your mental health, along with information on temporary changes to the Mental Health Act and advice for carers.

Bristol Mind‘s MindLine is running an extended service, open 7 nights a week, 7pm-11pm on 0808 808 0330, and the MindLine Trans + service is open as normal, from 8pm to Midnight Mondays and Fridays on 0300 330 5468.

Bristol Mind also have a daytime information and signposting service that can help you find support with mental health and emotional wellbeing, open between 9:30am and 3:30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Contact them on 0117 980 0370, or at
Also have a look at their new YouTube channel which has videos on how to cope during the crisis, made by staff.
The national charity have a webpage on Mind – Coronavirus and Your Wellbeing includes lots of tips and checklists around physical and mental wellbeing.

That’s it from us this month. Don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter using the links below or get in contact on info@cassbristol.or

New Covid -19 information films in multiple community languages are now available

Covid-19 information videos in community languages including English

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), with Community Access Support Service (CASS) in partnership with community groups and volunteers, has made two videos in more than ten community languages about Covid-19 and the lockdown.

These were made to address the need for information for non-English-speaking people in the community who did not have access to reliable information about the outbreak in their own languages.

The videos are:

• Protecting others – with a number of key messages about social distancing, gatherings, where you can go and so on

• Mental health – about looking after your mental health and wellbeing at this time.

The languages are:

Pashto, Kurdish Sorani, Arabic, Farsi, Albanian, Urdu, Bengali, Tigrinya, Somali, Punjabi, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Turkish [please note the videos in Albanian and Trigrinya are not available yet, so any help to find volunteers in both languages would be appreciated].

We hope these videos are helpful and that you will share them with relevant members of the community.

CASS has been working closely with @BNSSG_CCG and local volunteers to help create 2 Covid19 videos, each in Bristol’s key community languages including English. One is on Protecting Yourself, and one on Looking after Mental Health. 

Please watch and share more widely

Translated text used for the videos will be available shortly, please get in touch via to request hard copy printed materials for distribution out into the community.