The isolated, uncertain times we are currently living in will be challenging in all kinds of ways. Relationships, community and mental health will all undergo strain as we adjust to a temporarily physically disconnected lifestyle. However, there are coping strategies and activities which can help us through this period, keep our heads healthy and our households harmonious.

Our friends at mental health charity The Open Door Centre -ordinarily based in the Bloom Building, Birkenhead- are adapting their approach to introduce as many people as possible to the benefits of a range of activities which can be accessed from their home.

The Horizons programme is a three-pronged offer of therapies, counselling and creative challenges to encourage mental health during these tough times.

As of Thursday 26 March, The ODC are making 50 licences to their excellent Bazaar: A Marketplace For The Mind programme available to applicants for free. Using a mixture of cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness meditation, the programme helps equip 15-30 year olds with workable skills for life, to maintain feeling good for the present and future. Ideal at a time when all kind of unhelpful thoughts will be found racing through one’s mind.

Another fantastic provision is the Unity Matters programme in which the ODC’s Empowerment and Wellbeing team provide brief family coaching with a focus on improving resilience, mental health and emotional wellbeing. The team at the Bloom Building have rightly identified the importance of community, connection and conversations in these times and these 30 minute remote sessions are designed to encourage vital skills in these areas.

Thirdly, in collaboration with Convenience Gallery, the Horizons Community Arts Project is looking to encourage creativity to keep minds active and healthy and also bring households together. Each week the ODC will be putting out tutorials, challenges and call outs with an open call for artists of every level to submit their efforts. These can be collaborative pieces or solo The Bloom Building will be displaying some of the work produced in a special exhibition when the centre is back up and running later in the year. The team at Bido Lito! will be taking part and sharing our attempts via Instagram stories each week.

If you are interested finding out more about Unity Matters contact Zoe – zoe@theopendoorcentre.org.

To access Bazaar: A Marketplace For The Mind email adele@theopendoorcentre.org with your name, date of birth and contact telephone number.

And to submit work to the Horizons Community Art project email conveniencegallery@outlook.com.

For full details on the Horizons programme and how to access the provision follow these links:

theopendoorcentre.org

bazaarmindmarket.co.uk

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