Spotlight on Mental Health

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May 2022: Spotlight on Mental Health

This newsletter is for everyone working with children and adults in Waltham Forest.

Please share with your colleagues and encourage them to sign up to get it regularly

Raising awareness around mental health

women hanging out

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 May. In order to mark this week, Strategic Partnerships are highlighting the impact of loneliness on mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address this in Waltham Forest.

Loneliness has a significant impact on mental health. Residents struggling with feelings of isolation are encouraged to check out the following resource:

Every Mind Matters

CREST: creating community in Waltham Forest

CREST Waltham Forest is an independent charity and runs a number of projects including the Buddying and Befriending service for 18 to 59 year-olds.

Email project coordinator or call 07919 520422 to learn more about the following services:

  • Befriending Service provides volunteers to support people under the age of  sixty
  • Time to Change Waltham Forest aims to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination
  • Waltham Forest Conscious Care Community co-ordinates a range of mental health peer support groups and activities
  • Older People's Dementia Service offers older adults a day of respite that includes community transport from home to the centre; a hot meal and lots of interactive activities

CREST Waltham Forest


Meet Eashani from Time to Change

Waltham Forest Community Hub

old people

Waltham Forest Community Hub provides several services to support residents and their mental wellbeing, such as housing advice, youth clubs and employability support. They also offer a number of befriending services to support vulnerable or isolated residents, including telephone befriending for residents aged 18-59; a lunch club for senior citizens, and a community coffee morning.

Contact or call 020 8223 0707 to learn more, including how to make a referral for yourself or a loved one.

Supporting young people's mental health


Kooth provides free online mental health and wellbeing support to young people in Waltham Forest aged between 11 and 25 years old.

Young people can register anonymously and access online counselling 365 days of the year, digital magazines, wellbeing activities, and connect with other young people. 

Professional counsellors are also available for one-to-one chat sessions from 12 to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm on weekends.


Anna Freud is a world-leading mental health charity providing specialist help, research and training for children, young people, families and schools.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, the Anna Freud Centre will be looking at how we can tackle feelings of loneliness through self-care. The Anna Freud Centre’s self-care resource, co-produced with young people, presents over 90 self-care strategies that young people said help support them to look after their mental health.

Anne Freud resources

Coping Through Football project is an initiative between NELFT and London Playing Fields Foundation (LPFF).

The project is open to all abilities and all genders - adults and young people aged between 13 and 17 experiencing emotional and mental health challenges are invited to join. For more information, email or call 07538101450.

LPFF website

Recruiting School Mental Health Ambassadors


Waltham Forest Council is currently recruiting young people aged between 18 and 25 with lived experience of mental illness (either personally or as a carer) or have used mental health services as a young person.

The School Mental Health Ambassadors will be trained to become peer support workers, and will be allocated to a secondary school. They will be required to attend the secondary school one day a week, to provide peer support to those students experiencing mild mental health issues.

They will be supervised by a suitable member of staff at the school, and will have further mentoring from a suitable member of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Sign up 

Additional mental health resources

Research shows there are five steps a person can take to boost their mental health and wellbeing:

  1. Feeling connected
  2. Keep learning
  3. Being active
  4. Taking notice
  5. Volunteering / giving back to the community

Five ways to wellbeing

Anyone in crisis and seeking support around mental health issues is encouraged to ring Mental Health Direct on 0800 995 1000, or take a look at the following webpage:

Mental Health Support

In addition to these resources, residents in need of support are also invited to contact the following mental health services:

  • Text SHOUT to 85258 for 24/7 mental health support at Shout
  • Call 116 123 for Samaritans 24/7 suicide prevention helpline
  • Call the Papyrus’s Hopeline UK 0800 068 4141, 9am-midnight every day of the year for confidential suicide prevention and mental health support for young people

Residents who feel their life is at immediate risk should call emergency services on 999.

Upcoming training

Professionals across the partnership are invited to sign up to the following FREE safeguarding training sessions:

Tuesday 24 May - 10.30am to 12.30pm: Safeguarding Adolescents Awareness Training

Thursday 26 May - 2pm to 3pm: Modern Slavery Awareness for Professionals

Tuesday 19 July - 10.30am to 12.30pm:Safeguarding Adolescents Awareness Training

FREE training on how to "Make Every Contact Count":

  • Thursday 26 May, 10:00-11.30am
  • Monday 6 June,11:00-12:30pm
  • Wednesday 22 June, 09:30-11:00am
  • Tuesday 12 July, 15:00-16:30pm
  • Thursday 28 July, 10:00-11.30am
  • Monday 8 August, 13:00-14:30pm
  • Wednesday 24 August, 09:30-11:00am

Sign up for MECC training

This newsletter is brought to you by the Strategic Partnership Boards, which is made up of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Board, Safeguarding Adults Board, Health & Wellbeing Board and SafetyNet (our Community Safety Partnership).

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