About the Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation campaigns for good mental health, looking to address the source of mental health problems.
Their National Lottery Funding
The Mental Health Foundation was awarded just over £290,000 for the Standing Together Project, which aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of older people.
The project runs weekly support groups for people who are in retirement or living in extra care housing, helping them build relationships, share experiences and support each other.
“I think people just aren’t used to being asked how they are”
Loneliness is one of the main problems that older people face and it can have a serious negative effect on their mental health.
Candy Worf runs groups in residential homes as part of the Standing Together Project. She often sees that these homes lack a sense of community.
“There’s a lounge area … but they’re generally not used.
“People move into a flat and there isn’t necessarily the resources to take people to visit their neighbours or to become part of any sort of lively community.”
Each group is unique – the members choose the name, shape the identity and decide what activities they’d like to do.
The groups help build a community, encouraging people to form new relationships and create a culture in which they support and look out for each other.
“One thing we do … is a string exercise. We get groups to sit down and, if people have something in common, they take a piece of string and sit in a web.
“They wouldn’t realise the connections otherwise.”
Activities like this give people tools and skills to share their feelings and look after their own mental health.
Doris Scott is a member of the Rotherhithe Babes, one of the groups run through the project.
“You need friends; it’s a lonely life without any friends. We all look out for one another.”
Find out more
Mental Health Foundation website