Abbey Centre is helping more people in Newtownabbey to access mental health support through a new partnership with mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma.
Staff members from Abbey Centre have been trained as ‘Ambassadors of Hope’, a mental health training programme that equips them to look after and speak more confidently about their own mental health, know how to respond to someone experiencing a mental health crisis, and identify visitors who may be struggling and signpost them effectively to help and support, using mental health support app, the Hub of Hope.
The Abbey Centre team is also helping to raise awareness of the app throughout the centre through posters and digital advertising containing QR codes that take you directly to the app when scanned, as well as on social media, through its website and when speaking to customers.
By helping the team to look after and talk about their own mental health through the ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ training, the centre is aiming to provide a safe and supportive environment for colleagues, retailers, and local people alike.
Centre Manager, Mark Stewart said:
“We are really pleased to be able to support Chasing the Stigma and to help raise awareness of mental health. Our staff members are now proud ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ and feel much more empowered to have conversations about mental health.”
Marketing Manager and Ambassador of Hope trained team member, Clare Beswick said:
“The free Hub of Hope app has more than 9,000 services across the UK listed, allowing users to find help available locally and nationally to address a range of mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, trauma or PTSD and their causes, such as loneliness, financial concerns, abuse, gambling, or addiction. The app has directed more than 350,000 people to life changing and lifesaving help since it was established, and more than 17,000 people have been trained as ‘Ambassadors of Hope’.
As well as Abbey Centre, Chasing the Stigma has trained 130 staff across parent company NewRiver’s 26 community shopping centres, and its head office in London as ‘Ambassadors of Hope’.”
The partnership comes as the cost of living crisis continues to impact the nation’s mental health, with around 1 in 4 (24%) of those who reported difficulty paying their energy bills experiencing moderate to severe depressive symptoms, and 1 in 6 people – approximately 45.8 million adults – report experiencing symptoms for common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression.
Jake Mills, CEO and Founder of Chasing the Stigma, said:
“Shopping centres like Abbey Centre are central to the communities they serve. The teams working there know and recognise their customers and take time to acknowledge and speak with them, creating connections and a sense of belonging. By empowering its team to look after their own mental health and giving them the tools to help others Abbey Centre is playing a vital role in spreading the message that there is always hope and always help available, when so many people need it the most.”
The Hub of Hope can be accessed through QR codes on posters/digital advertising boards in Abbey Centre, at www.hubofhope.co.uk or the app can be downloaded from the App Store (iPhone) or Play Store (Android). The Hub of Hope also has a ‘Need Help Now?’ button that connects users directly to Samaritans helpline or SHOUT’s messaging service.
As well as being free to use it is also free for local services to register to be listed and local community groups, charities and support services are encouraged to add their service by completing an online form: https://hubofhope.co.uk/register-your-service
About Chasing the Stigma
Chasing the Stigma is a multi award-winning national charity that is committed to normalising mental health. We make it easy to find help through the Hub of Hope support app, we create an environment of understanding through our Ambassador of Hope training, and we campaign for change, every day.
Chasing the Stigma was set up in 2016 by Liverpool comedian, Jake Mills, following his own suicide attempt in October 2013. Jake realised when talking through his own personal experience that many people didn’t know where to turn for help with their own mental health issues, so he and his team created the Hub of Hope – an app to bring together all the mental health support available to someone in any given area, creating a clear pathway to support.
About the Hub of Hope
The Hub of Hope is the UK’s most comprehensive mental health support signposting tool, with more than 9,000 services across the nation listed. It allows users to find help available locally and nationally to address a range of mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, trauma or PTSD and their causes, such as loneliness, financial concerns, abuse, gambling, or addiction.
The Hub of Hope can be downloaded from the App Store (iPhone) or Play Store (Android) or accessed via www.hubofhope.co.uk. For those who need immediate assistance, it has a ‘Need Help Now?’ button that connects users directly to Samaritans helpline, or SHOUT’s messaging service.
As well as being free to use the Hub of Hope is also free for local services to register to be listed and local community groups, charities and support services are encouraged to add their service by completing an online form: https://hubofhope.co.uk/register-your-service
Since its launch in 2017, the Hub of Hope has directed more than 350,000 people to life changing and lifesaving help and this number continues to grow through our extensive partnerships, like the one we are proud to have developed with Abbey Centre and NewRiver. The app is used as a signposting tool by NHS Trusts across the country, nhs.co.uk, HM Government, Network Rail, the Association of Mental Health Providers, Centre for Mental Health and many more.
About the ‘Ambassadors of Hope’ Training
More than 17,000 people across the UK are now trained as ‘Ambassadors of Hope’, including staff members at Abbey Centre – part of the 130 staff members from across NewRiver’s community shopping centres and head office in London to be trained in March 2023. The ‘Ambassador of Hope’s’ concise 45-minute sessions empower people to look after and speak more confidently about their own mental health, teach them how to respond to someone experiencing a mental health crisis, help them identify those who may be struggling, and signpost people effectively to help and support, using the Hub of Hope app. The training aims to foster a true environment of understanding around mental health, in the workplace and beyond.
Find out more: www.chasingthestigma.co.uk