Blog

World Statistic Day – Ethnicity Recording

In the Community Development Service here at Touchstone we aim to achieve a greater understanding and ownership of mental health issues facing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in Leeds. For World Statistics Day on 20th October, John Halsall, Community Health Development Analyst,  has written the first in a series of data blogs. Please take a few minutes…

Coming Out

“I’m going to talk to you tonight about coming out of the closet, and not in the traditional sense, not just the gay closet. I think we all have closets. Your closet may be telling someone you love her for the first time, or telling someone that you’re pregnant, or telling someone you have cancer,…

Black History Month – a LGBT perspective

As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, Touchstone is committed to improving the lives of LGBT people both in the workplace and wider community. Which is why we want to pass on these practical tips about how best to celebrate Black History Month from Stonewall’s Josh Willacy. Black History Month has been celebrated every October in the UK…

World Alzheimer’s Day – case study

To mark World Alzheimer’s Day (21st September), Ripaljeet Kaur has provided this case study of one of the clients supported by Touchstone’s BME Dementia Service Mrs B was referred into the service by another organisation. She lives with her daughter-in-law, who is her full time carer, as well as her son and grandson. She was…

Bi-Visibility Day – 23rd September

Here at Touchstone, we like to eat cake! So celebrating Bi-Visibility Day on 23rd September will be a great opportunity to also eat our favourite food. Another reason to support Bi-Visibility Day is that whilst the profile of Gay, Lesbian and Trans people is at last on the up, the visibility of the Bi community…

Migrant Access Point project in 4 minutes

Touchstone’s Community Development Service has produced this video to explain the work of the Migrant Access Point project, empowering community members to improve access for their communities to services in Leeds. Migrant Access Point Project in 4 minutes from Touchstone on Vimeo.

Induction: A Function of HR or a Masterclass in Leadership?

Touchstone’s Alison Lowe will be the keynote speaker at the Employer Engagement conference in London on 10th September. Here she talks about how much difference an effective staff induction can make to the relationship between staff members and the organisation they work for.   At Touchstone, a West Yorkshire mental health charity, staff numbers have steadily doubled…

Leeds Pride – celebrating diversity and acceptance

The 9th Leeds Pride takes place this Sunday (2nd August 2015) – a celebration of diversity and acceptance. Kimberley Saggu and Stephanie Lewis from the Community Development Service reflect here on how acceptance and non-acceptance are learned at different stages of life and how we can choose to make a difference.   We both have…

Friends for Life: International Friendship Day

Vanysha Sahota from Touchstone’s Community Development Service wrote this article to mark International Friendship Day – and to talk about the role of friendship in personal and family life.   When I think about the word ‘friend’, images of certain people take over my mind along with memories of good and bad times. Many people…

Living well with Dementia in Leeds

This video from Leeds Involving People features June from Rothwell talking about her life with dementia, with illustrations of how groups in Leeds, including Touchstone,  are working to become dementia friendly.

School’s out – getting through the Summer holidays intact

This piece was originally published as a guest blog on the Bayford Foundation‘s website in July 2014. However the tips from our Positive Care Programme staff are just as relevant this year. The schools are breaking up and children’s excitement is mounting at having 6 whole weeks without school. But what about the parents? For…

WY-FI BME TalkShop

On Monday 8th June, a BME Talkshop event was held at Touchstone House, organised by the West Yorkshire – Finding Independence (WY-FI). The West Yorkshire – Finding Independence (WY-FI) project is one of the 12 Big Lottery funded Fulfilling lives projects working with people with entrenched multiple and complex needs to engage and access appropriate…

Depression: tips to fight back.

Experiencing  depression or low-mood is very common. The World Health Organisation estimates that in a given year, one in four of us will experience it. With such figures in mind it is becoming more and more important to know what we can do to fight back against low-mood or depression and protect our wellbeing. In…

My Volunteering Experience

Volunteers’ Week celebrates the work of volunteers across the country. To mark it, we’re publishing the stories of some of our great volunteers past and present, starting with Nafeesa who volunteers with The Kirklees Advocacy Service and Peer-Led Brokerage Service. After working in the retail sector for 13 years. I felt the need for a new…

The Pursuit of Happiness

We can all feel down and fed up from time to time, which is a normal part of life. However when this gets too much, and we notice we are falling into the trap of dwelling and worrying, it can be useful to use certain coping strategies to help pick us back up!   So…

Case study of High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at IAPT

Ever wondered about the work being completed by our High Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapists here at IAPT? Or the great achievements and milestones reached by our service users? Well wait no longer, here we have a case study of one, of the many, such success stories from a member of our IAPT team Debbie and…

Dementia and BAME(Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities

This week is Dementia Awareness Week. In the last few years, there has been significant progress in terms of raising awareness, a crucial step towards tackling stigma around dementia. And according to Alzheimer’s Society, there are approximately 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK. 25,000 of these people are from BAME (Black, Asian and…

Grief and mental health

I originally wrote this blog in November 2014, 5 months after my dad had died. I was shocked at the level of despair I was experiencing and so felt unable to share my thoughts at that time. Now, on the eve of the anniversary of my dad’s death and to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week,…

Mental health advocacy on hospital ward rounds

Part of the service offered by Kirklees Advocacy Service is to support people who are detained in hospital because of their mental health to get clear answers about their treatment and to have their own opinions and concerns heard and acknowledged. Even for those with considerable confidence, the unfamiliar environment and routines of a hospital…

Mental Illness and the Media: The Curse of Flight 4U 9525

Following the loss of Germanwings flight 4U 9525, the media once again gluttonously feasts on the alleged mental ill-health of the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, – believed to have caused the death of 150 people- so putting back the campaign against stigma and discrimination by several years. These stories can have a big influence on the…

Negative Self-talk is What Holds Women Back in Business…Is This Still the Case?

Touchstone CEO Alison Lowe, one of Forward Ladies Women in Business Award Winners in 2014, asks is negative self-talk what holds women back in business? Whilst seven  out of ten employees in the voluntary sector are women, only 43% of charities are led by female chief executives or chairs.  Why is this? Do women still struggle with…

Social Phobia and Drinking – Friends or Foes?

Drinking can often seem like a quick and easy way to address problems of stress and nervousness. To mark April’s Alcohol Awareness Month, Touchstone’s IAPT team look at why this is and how it can actually make the problem worse. The IAPT service can help people to observe and understand their own behaviour and to…

Positive Pathways: positive results

Positive Pathways

Touchstone’s Housing Service is part of the Positive Pathways partnership, which helps people, who are having difficulties connected to their mental health, to either find a place to live or to better manage their current accommodation. Ultimately, the best measure of our success is the impact we have in the lives of people who use…

Highlights of Women In Management – International Women’s Day 2015

Seven Video Productions have created a short video talking to some of the delegates and presenters from this year’s Women In Management conference for International Women’s Day. Watch the video on YouTube to hear from speakers including Charlotte Sweeney, Alison Bunn (TwelvePeaks Management) and Touchstone’s Alison Lowe. “It reminds people that, yes, we’ve come a…

International Happiness Day

International happiness day is today and Touchstone’s IAPT team want to offer you some top tips to enhance your life with a greater level of happiness. Firstly, are you happy enough? Click on the link below http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AreYouHappy2.pdf If you are, that’s great! If your not as happy as you’d like to be then look at the following list. Researchers…

International Women’s Day – 8th March 2015

International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8 to celebrate women and their global contribution. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at events on the day, highlighting their successes to illustrate how much progress has been…

Keeping the Memory Alive

Tuesday 27th January 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. The liberation of the camp has become a date in the calendars of many communities at which we stop and reflect about the death, destruction and inhumanity in our recent past.  For Julia Kinch, a member of Touchstone’s…

Reactive depression – taking back control

Touchstone’s Community Support Team (CST) works with people with severe and enduring mental health problems – many of whom have not been able to access support from other services. Using an assertive outreach approach, they meet with clients, helping them to recognise their own strengths and to use those strengths to set and achieve goals based on their own…