Mental Health Awareness Week at Future Directions

14th May 2018 |

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week which is an annual event, organised by the Mental Health Foundation

At Future Directions CIC we take the mental health of all who are part of our organisation very seriously and it is something we promote on a daily basis. For this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week we decided to produce a film focusing on the positive mental health of the people we support. 

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week has its focus on stress. “Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year,” explains the MHF, “and stress is a key factor in this.” Stress can lead to poor mental health without a person even realising. 

At Future Directions we take time to understand each individual and know what makes a situation stressful for them, we find ways to reduce these stressful situations and equip them with coping strategies to manage the impact stress can have on their mental health. Our person centred planning enables us to work with each individual by putting them first to ensure we know what they like to do now and what they want to do in the future. This knowledge enables us to support an individual to achieve their goals and increase the positive experiences a person engages in, which brings about feelings of happiness, control and well-being. It makes our job much more focused and fulfilling. 

Sometimes stress in people with learning disabilities can come about from a feeling of not being heard, feelings or wants being overlooked, at Future Directions, we pride ourselves on having that ear and supporting individuals to be fully involved in how we develop a support plan and ensure it is acted upon properly.



Our commitment to the people we support is evident in all of our planning to meet the health and support needs of each individual. For people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, it is imperative that all needs are met and are done so in a manner which fully involves the person we support, giving control and the ability to make choices about their lives. We work alongside many other organisations in order to access the full range of services available to each individual whether that be volunteering their time, accessing gym classes, dog walking, the list is endless. Our support plans offer a unique insight into how small changes to a person’s daily life can impact positively on their overall mental health and well being. 

Each individual we support has different wants and needs, our specific pairing of support staff to suit the needs and wants of people helps to allow certain activities to happen easily. We also have invested hugely in our Positive Behavioural Support programme which lessens stressful situations by supporting staff to recognise key behaviours before or when they are taking place and changing the situation prior to negative behaviour taking place. 

MIND talk about the necessity for a person to connect with others, speak to a member of staff, speak to family, be open and honest. Being active is also a huge part of daily life and all of the people we support are encouraged to be active and have a healthy lifestyle. Being aware of how they are feeling, asking for help, understanding when something is not as it should be, our Getting It Right Audit Team support for this kind of conversation to happen, looking at what the individual wants and is actually getting from our service from a more neutral and critical point of view. All individuals in our care have the opportunity to learn something new, whether it be making a cake, learning to play an instrument, attend college, attend hobbies, or just doing something which is a challenge, it heightens a person’s own perception of themselves and the feeling of achieving is excellent in maintaining a positive outlook. All at Future Directions are an integral part of what we do, we are a family and a community, we also want individuals to go out into their wider communities and realise what they can get out of it and also what they can personally offer the community in which they live.

All of what Future Directions do is putting a person first, their hopes, their needs and their desires. By giving somebody confidence in knowing their life is one which matters, we are helping them to have positive mental health, to be proactive in their own lives.








For more information about our work and organisation please visit our website.

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