Colouring book guide to mental mealth in Sheffield launched
Artist Hannah Flynn and a small group of volunteers from NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group are the creative minds behind a new Sheffield Wellbeing colouring book that is also a guide to mental health services in the city.
It’s been produced in partnership with Sheffield CCG, mental health charity, Sheffield Flourish and local people who use their services.
The aim of the guide is to close the digital divide which means that many people are missing out on the support they need because they do not have access to the internet. It has tips on improving emotional wellbeing and details of over 300 primarily Sheffield based mental health resources, plus some regional and national support organisations.
Each page has information on the left hand page and on the right hand page is a themed colouring page of Sheffield landmarks. Research has shown that colouring can reduce people’s stress and anxiety.
The book is launched this week, to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week that started yesterday.
Initially, over 5,000 copies have been printed and to ensure they reach the people that need them immediately, a drive-in collection service has been arranged for anyone who wants a copy, whether it is local organisations or individuals.
In Sheffield, every year, 1 in 4 adults experience at least one mental health problem and this can have an impact on people’s life expectancy. The average for residents is 79 and 83 years of age, for males and females respectively. However, for people with mental health problems this reduces to 68 for males and 72 for females.
Dr Terry Hudsen, Chair of NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “As a GP I know how important it is to connect people to their local community in terms of their health and wellbeing especially as we move out of lockdown. Many people may feel their mental health has been impacted by the pandemic. This mental health directory will support people who may want to re-connect with activities and find support in their local communities.
“I am proud the CCG has been able to support this venture and to respond directly to what local people and services have asked for which is a printed version of the guide that Sheffield Flourish hosts and maintains. It is testimony to working effectively and differently with the voluntary sector that this guide has been entirely developed by Sheffield people and is a true grassroots level project the CCG has been proud to resource.”
“Making a printed directory in isolation felt a little dry, almost like the Yellow Pages, so we set about thinking how we could make it a little more interesting. We decided to make a Sheffield Wellbeing colouring cook for mental health. The thought was that colouring is a form of mindfulness that supports a number of people with mental health.”
Jo Eckersley, Deputy Managing Director of Sheffield Flourish, said: “There is a lot of help available in our city, but sometimes it takes some digging to work out what’s out there and what’s the best fit. We’re here to help with that – on our website, via email, over the phone and now through this book. We know digital can be a real barrier, especially in these isolated times, and we’re so happy to share these with everyone. Now, we just want as many people as possible to get a copy and find the best help for themselves or someone they know.
“It’s also been a treat to work on this with artist, Hannah Flynn. Her intricate colouring designs are tailor made for the guides and feature Sheffield landmarks which is so nice to see.”
Hannah Flynn said: “It was lovely to be involved with such an important project during the first lockdown. I had previously donated artwork to help with Sheffield Flourish's fundraising, and it was an honour to be invited back to use my illustrations to tackle the topic of mental health and wellbeing.
“I combined illustrations based on the ways to wellbeing with images of some of the highlights of Sheffield - from key city centre features like the theatres and Peace Gardens, to the most common trees we see around the city. I hope that people get enjoyment out of the colouring activities and spot all the details within them.”
Anyone who wants to collect the guide can do so in person, from the CCG headquarters at 722 Prince of Wales Road, S9 4EU, on Monday, May 10, from 2pm to 5pm and Thursday, May 13, between 9am and 1130am.
Copies of the guide will also be available from local voluntary and community organisations across the city. To find out the nearest place to collect a free copy call Sheffield Flourish on 0114 273 7009.
The online mental health guide can be found at www.sheffieldmentalhealth.co.uk