Supporting Mental Health Awareness - Avenues Group
30 - 1993-2023

Supporting Mental Health Awareness

Monday 13th of May 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week highlights the importance of maintaining our mental health just as much as we look after our physical health. Avenues supports Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19 May) this year and all year round; viewing it as a reminder that we must all do everything we can to learn about each other’s experiences of mental health, to support each other, and to encourage making mental wellbeing as important as physical wellbeing.

At Avenues, we know that well supported people support people well, and so we are wholeheartedly committed to aiding mental health support and wellbeing wherever we can. Any employee of Avenues can access free and confidential counselling through our Employee Assistance Programme, as well as our Wellbeing Hub on the intranet that has been created by, and for employees. Our goal is to support our employees to understand how to look after their mental health, how to spot signs of issues such as burnout and stress, and what to do when things become difficult. We also offer a 6 week Mindfulness Course, which gives our employees the opportunity to learn important skills using breathing, being present and feeling different sensations in the body. This has been proven to make managing mental distress a more autonomous and personal task, and ultimately supports our employees to feel more present in the day to day.

We have also recently introduced Mental Health Champions across the organisation that have been trained by Mental Health First Aid England.

Our Champions are able to offer confidential one-to-one support to anyone who is going through a difficult time, aiming to make talking about mental health an easier and less daunting task. The team raise awareness and encourage conversations across the organisation, and often have their own lived experiences that make them able to truly empathise with the people that need support.

One of our Champions, Emily Quinn, says:

Woman with shoulder length brown hair and blue dress. Emily Quinn, Mental Health Champion

Mental Health Champion Emily

“I’m a big believer that mental health should be an open conversation, especially at work. We spend so much of our time working, and if we’re not feeling great it has a huge impact. I’ve become a Mental Health Champion because I know how it feels to struggle, and I want to provide a safe space and support for anyone that needs it.”

Across our services, we consistently put the mental health and wellbeing of the people we support first, and we support them to discover and develop healthy and fulfilling lifestyles that work for them and that they enjoy. We champion independence and wellbeing by feeling capable of achieving things on their own.

To mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme of Movement, we have been collecting employee stories about what movement means to them and their mental health. We’ve also been encouraging both our employees and the people we support to take part in activities such as park runs. Check out this video of Tori and Emily who regularly attend their local parkrun.

We are also holding live mindful movement sessions that anyone at Avenues can take part in, and are there to help everyone to find some calm in their day. Keep your eyes peeled on the Avenues and Autism Hampshire social media channels to see what we get up to over the week!