Mental Health at Future Directions - 5 Steps to Mental Well Being

15th May 2019 |

Future Directions are committed to supporting people with their mental health needs by actively supporting people to reach and maintain good mental wellbeing.

As a values driven organisation we always put people first, this is very much in line with strong, evidence based research that shows that people who are felt close to and valued by others, whilst being a fundamental human need, it is also crucial for promoting good mental wellbeing and helps to prevent mental illness.

Future Directions have adopted the ‘5 Steps to Mental Well Being’ as recommended by the NHS.

These steps target the following areas: Connecting, be active, learn new skills, give to others and be mindful. (keep on reading to see how Future Directions use the ‘5 Steps to Mental Well Being’ framework).

An example of the 5 Steps to Mental Well Being is evidenced by our SPICE Group. The SPICE Group is a user led group of the people we support. Using their own experiences and first-hand knowledge they have raised awareness around issues important to them such as; gaining employment, developing skills, developing confidence, friendships and relationships, internet safety and changing society’s perception of people with mental health needs and breaking down barriers towards stereotypes and discrimination.

In our new Mental Health film John talks about the 5 steps to mental wellbeing and Maz and Roy talk about how they enjoy their work with the SPICE Group and how their work supports and maintains good mental health, how they develop their skills and how they make a real difference to people’s lives.


What are the ‘5 Steps to Mental Well Being’ and how are Future Directions implementing them?


We ensure that people connect with people around them, such as family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. We support people to develop and maintain relationships and encourage community connections.

A number of the people we support have formed a social group called ‘Friends For Life’. This is a fantastic group who arrange days out and get-togethers. The group have quickly grown in size and their events are attended by many, their latest trip Chester Zoo has over 120 people attending! So far they have visited the theatre, Blackpool and monthly cinema trips. There are many more events planned for the future including connecting with other social groups such as Meet N Match.

Be Active

Evidence shows that as well as being beneficial for your physical health, being active also does wonders for your mental health. At Future Directions, we make sure that the people we support have access to a wide range of activities that they choose and enjoy.

We also have a number of extra activities that promote being active including:

Dog Walks – staff bring their dogs to work and the people we support, staff and our four legged friends meet at Heaton Park and enjoy a walk around the park.

Walking Groups.

Free yoga sessions.

Feel Good, Feel Better 12 Month Challenge – May’s challenge is ‘Move More!’ with suggestions including: armchair exercises, walk to the shops and try some new fun games in the garden.

Learn New Skills

Future Directions recognise that learning and developing new skills increases people’s confidence and self-esteem, both of which are crucial to good mental wellbeing. We support people to attend college, gain paid employment or voluntary roles, learn a new hobby, take up driving lessons or learn a new instrument, to name but a few.

Our SPICE Group also provide training and awareness sessions around topics that are important to the people we support such as: relationships, internet safety, hate crime, SeeAbility.

Give to others

Giving to others is a great way to increase and develop social networks. We support people to access volunteering opportunities and to develop community connections. Our Feel Good Feel Better 12 Month Challenge also includes challenges around ‘giving to others’, ‘have a fun day’ and ‘make someone smile’.

Be Mindful

We are great believers in mindfulness and have seen first-hand that it has been extremely beneficial for the people we support and their mental wellbeing. Mindfulness activities can include sensory sessions, hydrotherapy, yoga and walking groups.

At Future Directions, in terms of people's mental well being, most importantly it is not about treating ill health but more about promoting positive well being.

#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2019 #MHAW19

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