What is the Rural Network trying to do?
We want to give people throughout Uttlesford the message that we all have mental health, just like we have physical health. At any given time some people will have better mental health than others and almost everyone will have better mental health at one time than at another.
We also want to give the message that there are ways to look after your mental health and ways to cope with and survive mental health problems.
The people who help us with sharing that message might be mental health professionals but they can also be volunteers or in fact, anyone who has a desire to improve the experience of those people in Uttlesford's rural communities who are living with mental health problems.
The Rural Network Project has been developing a directory of services and support that is now available within this website. Click here to visit the Mental Health Directory page.
Mental wellbeing can be supported by friendship, neighbourly contact and social inclusion. It can be destroyed by ignorance, prejudice and stigma. Village communities can be lonely places to live…………… but they can also be welcoming and supportive. This project is committed to trying to share this message.
The Rural Network Project came into being as a result of a study undertaken by Anglia University and Mind. The findings of the study formed the basis of the project. The projects main aim is to reach out to Uttlesford's rural communities. In these areas it is often difficult for people to access the information and services that can support and help people, carers, friends and family who are affected by mental health issues so we are working to find ways of making that information and support more accessible.
We are also working to reduce the stigma and ignorance that surround mental health issues as each in itself increases feelings of isolation for those affected.
A part of the project has been focusing on providing Community Information Packs for our rurally isolated areas. These packs contain information about West Essex Mind services, useful helpline numbers and large number of booklets about a wide range of mental health related topics. Currently there are several volunteers who support this project by holding the information packs, keeping them up to date and in making the packs available to the community.
If you or some one you know would be interested in supporting your community in this way please contact Sarah Mason on: 07837 094853 or email: email@example.com
Another way that the Rural Network sets out to improve access to information and services to people living in Uttlesford's more isolated communities is through facilitating a networking opportunity every 2 months.
The aim of these events is to bring together individuals, organisations and businesses with a view to improving our understanding of what each has to offer and what the needs of each are.
The events are open to anyone who is interested in improving the way we work together, whether you are an individual who is looking to see what is out there or whether you are an organisation who would like to think about ways of making your service more accessible to people who live in our rural areas.
If you are interested in attending these events you are welcome to bring along any leaflets, displays, photos etc. Feedback from the events has indicated that people make invaluable contacts. Past attendees have given very positive feedback about opportunities that have been created and more effective working partnerships that have resulted.
For more information about these events please contact Sarah Mason on:07837 094853 or email her at : firstname.lastname@example.org