Our Gateshead

Nurse cadets and veterans support World Mental Health Day with treetop challenge

Nurse cadets raise awareness of mental health

Local nurse cadets and military veterans joined forces this month to get active and raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing as part of World Mental Health Day.

NHS South Tyneside Nurse Cadets and veterans from Thirteen Care and Support, which offers services for vulnerable people facing a range of challenges, embarked on their Wellbeing Challenge project, run by regional charity Youth Focus: North East.

The Wellbeing Challenge included a selection of fun activities at Beamish Wild, from rope bridges and swing tyres to zip wires and archery. The group then hosted an information stall at Grey’s Monument in Newcastle city centre to help raise awareness of World Mental Health Day and promote positive messages around the theme of mental wellbeing.

Both days were a huge success with some members of the group overcoming their fears by taking part in the High Ropes activity at Beamish Wild, which covered the 'Get Active' strand of the ‘five-a-day for wellbeing’ tool. The group engaged with 142 people at the stall for World Mental Health day providing information on health and wellbeing.

The Wellbeing Challenge Day project - part of the Big Lottery Funded Wellbeing in the East: Building Resilience in the East programme being delivered by Enable East - promotes awareness of mental health among young people, local communities and military veterans using the ‘five-a-day for wellbeing’ self-help tool.

Evidence suggests there are five steps to improving our mental wellbeing, including: be active, keep learning, connect, give to others and take notice. Through the Wellbeing Challenge Days, local people are given the opportunity to plan and develop an initiative, event, activity or campaign incorporating one or more of these categories from the self-help tool. The cadets and veterans decided to focus on ‘be active’ and ‘keep learning’ for their Challenge.

Hannah Shaw, Development Worker at Youth Focus: North East, said: “The cadets and veterans really enjoyed their treetop adventure and worked together really well to make it through the course at Beamish. Combined with their effort to raise awareness of mental health on World Mental Health Day, they’re all delighted by the impact that the Wellbeing Challenge has had on their group and also the wider community.”

Youth Focus: North East is an award-winning charity based in Gateshead that works across the North East to improve the lives of young people. It delivers a number of youth-led programmes encompassing health, youth employment, education and the arts, and intergenerational work.

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