A Broken Heart

Now I’m really fond of TED talks. I find them short and informative and thought provoking, so over the next few weeks I’ll share a few videos with you that have made me think and you can see if they spark anything for you.

The first one is from a man called Guy Winch about mending a broken heart. 

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Suicide Minister?

10th September

Will a new minister for Suicide help prevent deaths?

This article discusses the Prime Ministers hopes for mental health and suicide prevention. It also contains some really helpful links to get information and support.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Burn Out

Have you ever just felt its all too much, you’re just too exhausted to care about anything? Could you be experiencing burn out?  Not everyone has the same levels of coping and there are no correct levels, we all experience things in different ways, what would overwhelm some is barely noticeable for others. What we need is to find our own limits and our own self care.

The Counsellors Cafe have published a lovely article on burnout that may interest you if you feel you are suffering from burn out – they list the signs to look out for as follows – 

  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of interest in work
  • Loss of optimism
  • Feeling resentful
  • Hostility to people around you 
  • Nothing left to give
  • Dreading going to work

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds on laura@wrightminds.co.uk or 07598810304

Heads Together

Heads Together asked on their Facebook page if we knew :

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Can you remember the first time you experienced a difficulty in your mental health? How old were you? Would you know where to turn?

Heads Together have a wonderful website for you to explore. This link explores what mental health is.

If you’d like some face to face counselling in the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme or Staffordshire area please do contact Wright Minds laura@wrightminds.co.uk 07598810304

If you are Alone this festive season

This information is taken from the local government website that is freely available to everyone, I have copied it here to make it easier for you but the original site is here

National Energy Action Warm and safe homes campaign – top 10 coping strategies

Living in a warm and safe home should be everyone’s right, yet this winter over 4 million households will find themselves adopting dangerous and potentially fatal coping strategies to do just that.

An NEA survey of frontline workers and wider feedback from our stakeholders highlighted some of the common coping strategies encountered last winter.
Click here to see the top ten coping strategies.

We ask everyone to look out for vulnerable people and offer help and advice on how to stay warm and safe this winter.

You can also download the warm and safe homes action guide from www.nea.org.uk/action-guide

Free Christmas day meals
Will you be alone this Christmas?

Do you know someone who will be spending Christmas alone? Volunteers in the north and south of Stoke-on-Trent will be preparing Christmas day meals for people who would otherwise be spending the day alone.  Swann Bank Church, Swan Square, Burslem ST6 2AA. Coffee available from 10am and Christmas lunch from 1pm. To book a place or for more information call 01782 545129 or email: admin@swanbank.org.uk

Longton Central Hall, The Strand, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 2JH. Doors open 12pm.To book a place or for further information call 01782 313427 (leave a message with your contact details if no-one is available to take your call). Affordable Food Stoke, 77-81 Meaford Drive, Blurton ST3 2BB.Doors open at 11.30am. To book a place or for further information, call 07748 009253 or email: affordablefoodstoke@outlook.com

Christmas lunch with RVS 

The cost is just £14.99 per person and bookings are being taken now. The lunch will take place at RVS, 29 Charles Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 3JP on Friday 14 December at 1pm. 

To find out more details and to book a place, email helen.podmore@royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk
or telephone 01782 213489.

Lunch Club
Invitation to Lunch Club – Benefits update and networking session on Wednesday 19 December, from 1pm to 2pm at Advice House, Cheapside, Hanley, ST1 1HL.

Lunch Club is for front-line staff and volunteers working with people affected by Welfare Reform. FREE for everyone but if demand is high priority will be given to statutory and voluntary sector organisations in North Staffordshire.

Dance, drama and performing arts
With Denise Moores – sessions start on Monday 7 January from 10.00am to 12.00pm at the Grocott Centre, Sanderson House, Clarence Street, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2LA. (£7.50 per session).

You can also stay for lunch if you wish – 2 courses cost £5.00 per person.

To book your place or for further information please contact us on 01782 324715 or email; office@thegrocottcentre.co.uk

Carers Hub
The Carers Hub exists to improve the life of carers in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent through tailored advice, training and information.

Our services are designed with the carer in mind and cover a whole range of support for carers of all ages such as carers assessments, support planning, money, social and health service to name but a few.

The Carers Hub also provides access to a wide range of activities and events. To find out more, please click here to go to the website. 

Newsletter Welcome to this month’s Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent newsletter, featuring a statement on Allied Healthcare from the Care Quality Commission and an update on tackling monkey dust in the city from North Staffordshire
Combined Healthcare Trust.

Healthwatch Stoke staff would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our work this year, from our volunteers to partner organisations. We wish you all the very best festive period and a prosperous new year. To view the latest newsletter, please click hereStaffordshire Mental Health Helpline
The helpline offers a free listening service for people who are concerned about their own mental health or that of someone they know. This FREE and confidential service is available to anyone aged 18 and over, living in Staffordshire.  

The helpline is open evenings and weekends 365 days a year, from 7pm – 2am weekdays and from 2pm – 2am at weekends. Calls are free from landlines, call boxes and mobile networks. 

Customers can contact the helpline during opening hours by phone, text, email or instant messaging through Brighter Futures website: www.brighter-futures.org.uk/
The helpline provides a listening service where people can talk through their concerns safely and confidentially, receiving emotional support and exploring the options available to them. The service can also offer guidance about where to find other locally based support services.  We are also able to offer a ring-out service by referral. Please contact Mark Lawton directly for more information e: mark.lawton@brighter-futures.org.uk telephone: 0808 800 2234, text: 07860 022821.

email: staffordshire.helpline@brighter-futures.org.uk IMS: www.brighter-futures.org.uk

Young at Heart groups Young at Heart is looking for kind-hearted people from Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle to help lonely and isolated older people.  

Operated by Father Hudson’s Care, Young at Heart runs lunch clubs, friendship groups, days out and other activities for older people in Hanley, Meir, Kidsgrove and Butt Lane.  

To find out more about how you can help, or if you’re an older person needing help, please call Mark Porter on 07387 109692 or visit the Father Hudson’s Care website.

Royal National Institute of Blind People
Resource centre

Do you have sight loss or do you know someone who is struggling to get out and about independently? Do you have problems with reading or watching TV? Are you looking for products to support you? We can help at the RNIB Resource Centre.

We give people the opportunity to view, try and buy from the RNIB’s extensive range of products, all designed to support you to live independently whether you are blind, partially sighted or live with any degree of sight loss. The centre also has a range of classes and social groups on offer; Monday – Weekly Braille Class 10am to 12 & 12.30 to 2pmThursday – Weekly Craft Class 10am to 12pm & 12.30 to 2.30pm The centre is located at 12 Albion Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1QH – the opening times are 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday. (Blue badge parking is available opposite the resource centre). Please note that the resource centre is now closed on Fridays. To find out more information call 01782 917757 or email ResourceCentre.Staffordshire@rnib.org.uk 

North Staffs Carers North Staffs Carers provide support for adult carers and young carers.

There are a range of groups for memory loss, dementia, Parkinson’s and much more. Activities include singing, arts, crafts and needlework, photography and the famous Friday fish and chips club. New activities include tai chi to support your health and wellbeing, and IT for beginners. To find out more please click here to go to the website.

Green Door
Green Door aims to help everyone to enrich their lives by getting out and enjoying activities in green space, particularly older people and people with a disability.
To find out more and to book a place, go to the website at www.green-door.org.uk.

Mental Health Support

Here are a few resources that are free at point of access.

If you are concerned about your mental health or someone you care for you can contact the Access Team directly on 0300 123 0907 (Option 1)   https://combined.nhs.uk/how-to-access-us-in-a-crisis/

Or for longer term mental health support you can contact Healthy Minds on 0300 123 0907 (Option  2)

If you have a hearing impairment and are unable to utilise the telephone, you can text the Access Team on 07739 775202 

If you are a carer and need to get some advice there is the north staffs carers hub info@thecarershub.co.uk 0330 123 1937 

If you have a relative in hospital under a section of the Mental Health Act you have a number of rights if you are the nearest relative. This includes things like appeals and requests for information.  https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/legal-rights/nearest-relative/#.W-WDZXr7QWo 

If you want bereavement or life changing illness support support for Stoke-on-Trent call The Dove Service on 01782 683155  https://www.thedoveservice.org.uk/

If you want children’s mental health support contact Younger Minds https://youngminds.org.uk   01782 618803

or Adult mental health call Mind on  01782 262100  http://nsmind.org.uk/

I hope this is useful. If you are out of Stoke then Access Teams as follows. 

South Staffordshire: 0300 555 5001
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin: 0300 124 0365
Crewe 01270 655 200


‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is a very common quote. It can, however, be very true. For those of us that are struggling with our minds due to anxiety, stress, trauma, depression, loss or any other issue, having a special image we can look at or call to mind can help us through those difficult moments.

My image varies depending on the feeling I am affected by, sometimes it is a beach, sometimes a forest, or castle, or snowy hillside or field of flowers. The trick is to create such a strong mental image that when you need to call it to mind it can overpower any other thoughts. It often works best if you practise the image when you are feeling happy and calm. Focus not only on the image but the associated senses, the smell, the feeling, the taste, the texture.

For example the wonderful smell of crisp winter mornings, the smell of holly and fir trees, the cold feeling on your skin and the taste of the cold air in your mouth or of mince pies or cinnamon hot chocolate, the feel of the soft snow or the warm log fire.

Try it for yourself, see if you relaxing/happy image can help calm you from those unwanted feelings.

Creating these images can be helped by a physical picture that you carry with you or have on your phone/tablet.

If you are around Staffordshire and would like counselling to discuss this further please do contact Wright Minds


Not just dancing but any type of exercise can be a great reward. Be it walking, running, gardening, or dancing (any type of dancing – from ballroom to nightclubs) exercise releases some wonderful chemicals into our bodies that make us feel happier and less stressed and anxious. So if it’s been a bad day for any reason, put on those party shoes and dance the night away (even if it is just in your living room).

For those of you more interested in how exercise can help the body this link is to a very talented personal trainer who knows exactly how the body and brain work together, her work is inspiring.

If you are around Staffordshire and would like counselling to discuss this further please do contact Wright Minds

Music Therapy

It really is as simple as it sounds, if you like to be creative musically then pick up your instrument and make a noise. If you can write a song or just make a sound that fits your emotion then do it. Think how you feel, let out those feelings, let yourself explore them with the music you are creating. You are not trying to create a masterpiece, just to explore what is inside yourself.

If you are not skilled enough to play an instrument and drumming on the cooking pots is not your thing then maybe explore with pre-recorded music. Is there a song that makes you feel a certain emotion? Is there a song that replays to help you feel happy or calm? Music can have a strong impact on people. Having a key song or tune that you can call up in your mind when you are stressed or anxious or depressed can be a very useful skill to help calm you down.  Have your song on your phone or tablet ready to play, have it in your mind ready to hear.

If you are around Staffordshire and would like counselling to discuss this further please do contact Wright Minds

Painting for grown ups

Yes that’s right, I want you to get messy! Get out the paints. Get out the paper.  Don’t think just paint. Enjoy yourself make a mess if you want to, finger paint, blob paint, draw like a child, there is no need to create a DaVinci if your heart tells you to create a Picasso. Be you, see what flows from you. Enjoy, have fun, be free. See what you create at the end of the day and see if you feel more relaxed and liberated by it. Paint your feelings.

Painting or drawing, or adult colouring books can also be a great way to relax and de-stress if your minds feels it can’t switch off or if you are anxious.

If you are around Staffordshire and have tried this and would like counselling to discuss it further please do contact Wright Minds.