May is a busy month! Mental Health Awareness Week and Dementia Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, 8th – 14th May

This year the focus is on good mental health and questioning whether people are surviving or thriving when it comes to their mental wellbeing.  Instead of just getting by and ‘surviving’ with a mental health condition, this week is about empowering individuals to take steps forward, however small they seem,  to actively work towards personal goals across all areas of their lives.mental health

The 2017 awareness campaign encourages us to strive to thrive in relation to mental health as well as raising awareness, combatting stigma and promoting social justice.

Books play a big role in increasing knowledge and for many are a source of support, encouragement and advice. This is why Brighton and Hove libraries have a wide range of books covering all types of mental health issues, with both fiction and non-fiction titles available for children, teenagers and adults.  These books raise awareness, knowledge and also act as self-help guides, supporting the self-management approach to mental health that is so often championed.  Pop in to your local library and check out the books we have to offer. You can browse our catalogue here: https://brighton-hove.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/MSGTRN/OPAC/HOME

While you are in, you can also ask us about our Reading Well Books on Prescription collection. This is a select group of titles officially recommended by health professionals to assist in the treatment of different mental health conditions. Click this link to have a look at the online Reading Well catalogue and suggested reading lists; http://reading-well.org.uk/books.

In our health sections we also keep a variety of leaflets and information guides to keep you informed of relevant local support groups and events. Come to visit and have a browse!

You can also get involved in a national conversation by visiting the Mental Health Foundation website https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week.

Look out for ideas and information on how to encourage a lasting change in how people think about mental health!20170504_102835-1

Dementia Awareness Week 2017, 14th – 20th May

Another campaign Brighton and Hove libraries are promoting this month is Dementia Awareness Week.  1 in 14 people over 65 have dementia at any one time. Despite it being so common, awareness and understanding of the disease is low, meaning many families face it alone.

The campaign, supported by the Alzheimer’s Society, is encouraging everyone to unite against dementia, to raise awareness and take any positive action they can. This action could be being patient and supportive if you come across someone that might be struggling, ringing a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while or even simply making an effort to find out more about the disease. Did you know, for example, that there are about 100 different types of dementia? Alzheimer’s disease is just one of them. It is only through awareness and action that the disease can be better understood, care can be improved and the search for a cure can progress further.dementia

A reoccurring theme for Dementia Awareness Week is ‘remember the person’. This reinforces the fact that a person with dementia is more than just that, there is a person behind the disease and they deserve to be seen. Ensuring the person is viewed and valued fully and respectfully is essential in working towards eradicating stigma and improving care. The importance of friendship and kindness cannot be understated in combatting the loneliness which often surrounds the disease.

We have a variety of resources covering dementia throughout our 14 libraries across Brighton and Hove, providing information and supporting those living with dementia as well as their friends and families. Here a few local activities in Brighton and Hove for those facing dementia and their families:

The Alzheimer’s Society website is also a great resource for advice and support: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20167/dementia_awareness_week  and you can find your nearest local support groups through this link: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20001/get_support

Get involved and raise awareness for both of these campaigns. It’s so important in helping and supporting those with mental health issues or those living with dementia, as well as their families and friends.

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