for better mental health

2018 Marsh Award winners

Learn more about the inspiring winners from last year.

Peer support in marginalised communities

Mindful Mums

Led by two Mindful Mum volunteers, the walking group meets weekly in Crystal Palace, enabling expectant and new mothers to connect with others with similar experiences, to improve mental health, wellbeing and confidence.

"When I've been sleep deprived and have felt isolated, it can be so hard to get perspective on things, but it's genuinely helped me to stay sane through my maternity leave."

Central London OCD Support Group

Living with OCD can be profoundly isolating, so the group meets every fortnight to provide informal but structured sessions, where people can talk to others in a friendly, nonjudgmental way.

"It has helped me to move forward in my life in some very positive ways; to understand that so many wonderful people have the same condition as me and to build friendships."

Innovative peer support

Core Sport

Core Sport supports those with severe and enduring mental health needs, helping them to socialise with others through physical activities. Members can get involved in gym, swimming, dance and yoga, and 70% are from ethnic minority groups. You meet lots of friends.

"You meet lots of friends. You'll probably find out something about yourself you probably didn't know and it helps give you confidence in what you do."

Gwent Police Mental Health Support Network

For the police officers and staff of Gwent Police in Wales, this group is an off-site space offering group and one-to-one peer support, as well as informal social events, for those experiencing work related mental health problems.

"Seeing positive results when helping others gave me a sense that I was still being useful and could still make contributions, when I had begun to close down and distance myself from others to 'get by."

Doing it for ourselves

The SpeakEasy

Middlesborough has the highest suicide rate for men in England. The Speak Easy runs four groups in this the area, providing social inclusion for those who may be lonely or isolated, a free drink for those who are short of money and a space where those who are living with mental ill health are the majority, not the minority.

"No referrals needed, no need to book, no cost, no rules, just a place for men to come together over a cuppa."

SWADS (South Wales Mental Health Peer Support)

Every week the group offers social activities across public spaces, parks and leisure centres, to improve the wellbeing of those affected by depression and anxiety. From board games to lunches, quiz nights to 5-a-side football, activities are organized to minimize anxiety for members.

"What I like most is that it's informal. We meet for coffee and have a chat – nothing heavy… a safe, non-judgmental and relaxed environment."

Other ways to get involved

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