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Outlook Care puts mental health firmly in the spotlight

Good mental health is being put firmly in the spotlight thanks to customers and staff at an East London care service.

Not-for-profit health and social care provider, Outlook Care, based in Essex, held a barbecue at its Waterside Lodge Recovery Centre, in Leytonstone, Waltham Forest, on Tuesday 9 May.

The mental health registered care service, housing up to 16 people, offers a varied in-house activity programme of social, recreational and daily living skills to help adults take more control of their lives. The culture at Waterside Lodge is to offer people the opportunity to explore their capabilities and try new things in a spacious and supportive environment.

The event was held to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week, which takes place from 8-14 May. Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, the focus of week this year –  ‘Thriving or Surviving?’ – is to ask why too few people are thriving with good mental health.

The barbecue also gave the service the chance to show off its beautiful garden, which was revamped last month thanks to some help from NatWest Bank.

Volunteers from NatWest, along with staff from the service, tidied the garden and created a carnival of colour by painting structures including a shelter and benches, and planting hanging baskets and flowers.

Waterside Charitable Day with Natwest 260417 (6)  Waterside Charitable Day with Natwest 260417 (3)

Waterside Lodge activity and recovery co-ordinator, Margaret McGrath, said: “Good mental health is so important to each and every one of us, but often it doesn’t get talked about openly, which is why things like Mental Health Awareness Week are so important.

“Within our service, we see people from all walks of life who often have very different reasons for needing to be here. They have often lived very good lives but for their own personal reasons have ended up needing help and support to do even the basic things that people often take for granted.

“Through tailored personal plans, which we call our Journey to Success, we find out what it is people want to achieve and we then encourage them to start taking steps towards reaching their goals, whether it is being able to choose their own food and clothes again or relearn or acquire a new skill.

“The barbecue was a fantastic way of bringing together customers, friends, family and staff to celebrate positive mental health in our beautiful revamped garden, which is already being well used.”