Mental Health Champions

Becoming a Champion

Through our network of Mental Health Champions, we’re changing people’s minds about mental health and reducing stigma. We are recruiting volunteer Mental Health Champions to champion positive mental wellbeing in our local community for colleagues, clients, patients or people they encounter on a daily basis.

Champions are people who live or work in Islington and are provided with training and support to:
• Promote positive mental and emotional wellbeing;
• Help their organisation or community to respond to people who may be showing early signs of anxiety or depression;
• Be able to recognise signs of other mental illness and what to do in a crisis situation;
• Help people understand and to tackle the common myths, stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues.
• Signpost and support people to access mental health services/activities through our Wellbeing Service.

Every Champion is provided with free training and are then part of a network of Champions with ongoing support, training events and information to help people in Islington develop and maintain good mental wellbeing. We may ask you to assist us with events and activities, such as helping with a stall or a promotional event.

There are four types of Champions:

Work-based Champions
Champions will look out for people who could benefit from their support at work, and promote a positive atmosphere around mental health. Each work-based champion will carry out one of the following tasks at a minimum of once every three months:
• Put on a talk, event or quiz in the workplace to educate about, and break down the stigma surrounding, mental health
• Meet with senior members of staff to try to influence work place policy around mental health, suggesting good practice changes to staff training, company policy and procedures
• Display mental health champion and wellbeing service leaflets/posters at work (you can pop by our office any time to pick up materials or we can deliver to you)
• Put up posters and circulating information around national mental health awareness days such as World Mental Health Day, Time to Talk Day etc.
• Set up a monthly lunch time support session or other wellbeing activity.

Outreach Champions
Individuals who put on special awareness-raising events, go out and give talks to lunch clubs, in sheltered housing, at mothers and toddlers groups, at places of worship, at fitness clubs, and in libraries. They will be supported by staff and provided with materials, for example, we can provide session materials and help you to book a venue.  We can also help you to plan the event and/or run it with you or attend as a participant.  Each outreach champion will commit to one of the following tasks at a minimum of once every three months:
• Put on an awareness-raising event, talk or myth-busting quiz
• Put on an event specifically for a national awareness day
• Run a wellbeing activity session, for example a walking group or mindfulness colouring.  (Which could lead to it being an established, regular session)
• Support a new champion to put on one of the above
• Attend an outreach event with one of the Wellbeing staff members (we go to lots of these and it is always good to have extra help!).

Community Champions
Individuals who spread the word about mental wellbeing and signpost people to appropriate services or Manor Gardens staff. You will use your MHFA training to help spot people who could benefit from talking about mental health, for example, the owner of the local Turkish greengrocer, the Afro-Caribbean barber or the bartender at your local pub. In addition this we would also like you to frequent cafes, community groups, hairdressers, stations, cinemas etc. and leave leaflets and posters.

Support Champions
These tasks will be allocated on a case by case basis and may therefore be sporadic, so you may wish to also fall into another champion category. These champions will be prepared to assist people with mental health needs to make and attend appointments, check up on their progress and offer a supporting hand through any treatment. You may also choose to support someone with translation if you speak any additional languages. We will be here to offer you support and guidance through this process.

Read our latest Champions’ Newsletter  March 2017

If you are interested contact lauren@manorgardenscentre.orgor ring her on 020 7561 5299.

Volunteer with us


Find out more about Manor Gardens Welfare Trust