A better Medway
Published: Monday, 9th May 2022

Residents are being encouraged to find out more about the activities on offer to combat loneliness in Medway this Mental Health Awareness Week (Monday, 9 May to Sunday, 15 May).

We are supporting the national campaign which focuses on tackling loneliness and improving good mental health across the country.

Coffee mornings, craft groups, walking football and Pilates sessions are just some of the activities on offer as part of the council’s Better Connected service. Better Connected helps residents aged 65 and over, who may be socially isolated, discover local events, activities and community gatherings to suit their individual needs.

We also offer Nordic walking groups which meet at Capstone Country Park, Higham Village Hall and Lordswood Sports Centre. Nordic walking is a safe way to improve your natural walking technique and fitness levels by allowing the body to work in a balanced way. Using Nordic walking poles makes walking more efficient and increases the muscles working in the upper body. Before joining a Nordic walking group, residents must complete training. Find out more.

Men aged 25 and above who are not in work or retired can meet can share skills and try out new activities at Men in Sheds at the Sunlight Centre in Gillingham.

If residents need additional support, or are feeling distressed, anxious or down, they can call Release the Pressure on 0800 107 0160 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to speak to highly trained support workers who will provide emotional guidance and information.

Residents are also able to access the service by texting “Medway” to 85258, to start a conversation with a trained and experienced volunteer who can give support at any time, wherever you are. Texts are free on all major mobile networks.

Children and young people can also access specialist mental health and wellbeing support. Kooth, provided by Xenzone, enables young people aged 11 to 25 to chat to counsellors through their instant messaging service using their online drop-in service or during a scheduled session. Young people can also read and contribute to articles about mental health, join moderated forums and discussions enabling peer support as well as benefit from online journals and goal trackers.

The council’s Medway Youth Service offers a range of activities, opportunities and support for young people aged eight to 19, and up to 25 for those with additional needs. This includes linking young people up with youth workers and offering fun sessions. Find out more.

Medway’s fantastic youth offer supports our aspiration to make the area even more child-friendly.

It's vital that we look after our mental health

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “I am pleased that we are continuing to support Mental Health Awareness Week. It is vital that we all look after our mental health, as well as our physical health. Loneliness can affect people of all ages and I would encourage residents to find out more about wide range of activities and support that is on offer.”

We also offer a range of mental health training and support to professionals working with children and young people in Medway.

Find out more about the mental health support services available in Medway

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