Finding Your Calm on World Mental Health Day

Published: 07 October 2019

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, along with our charity, Health Stars encouraged colleagues, patients, service users and their carers and families to come together to observe a ‘moment of calm’ on World Mental Health Day (10th October) through taking part in a small craft activity.

World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October every year to raise the profile of mental health issues and help to remove the stigma that surround mental illness. This year's theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is suicide prevention.

Each of our 72 sites had been provided with kits including coloured paper and instructions on how to fold several different types of origami butterflies to take part in the event. The activity aims to encourage everyone to take a moment out of their busy day to notice their thoughts, listen to their bodies and observe how they are feeling. Butterflies created will be used to create a ‘kaleidoscope of butterflies’ display as a visual symbol of our commitment to raising opening up conversations around mental health.

The health benefits of participatory arts are increasingly recognised, with a growing evidence base. Research shows that engagement with arts and crafts may reduce anxiety and stress reactions and can be used directly to improve clinical outcomes. Butterflies were chosen for the activity as they have long been associated with recovery and more specifically with mental health with their transformation been symbolic of endurance, hope and new beginnings.

Donation boxes were placed across all locations for Trust Charity, Health Stars which raises funds to enhance community and mental health services provided to over 800,000 people across the Trust’s area. The activity also took place at Trust stands at the Health Expo, held at the Double Tree Hilton, Hull which sees health organisations from across Hull and East Yorkshire are once again joining forces to present the biggest showcase of healthcare and innovation from across the region.

Michele Moran, Chief Executive Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust said “In a digital age we want to encourage people to set aside technology and engage with something creative just for a few moments. Whether it’s in waiting rooms, tea rooms or living rooms we hope that this activity has a positive effect on anyone taking part over the day and opens up an opportunity to talk about mental health.”

Professional Lead Arts Therapies & Clinical Specialist in Art Therapy, Karl Tamminen said:

 “The idea of using creativity as a means of slowing down time, increasing focus and using your hands and mind to create something new in the world is not a new one; it’s seen throughout history and is essential for human wellbeing. We are all creative in some way or other, whether that creativity shows itself in the way we construct our own image, in the things we make and do which enhance our environment, lives and the lives of others or when we engage our imagination to re-imagine ourselves or even in the way we help others. A moment of calm every day is something that everyone needs and when we make that moment about creativity we can transform that precious moment and do something that is not only good for ourselves, but enriches the lives of those around us”.

If you would like to take part in a moment of calm, take a look at our video here where you can learn how to make an origami butterfly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfvkn9L48JQ

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