We are launching a ‘Health and Homeless’ Week: 4th October – 11th October 2014.
Focusing on encouraging people to not only think about the difficulties that homeless people have with their physical and mental health but to take the time to consider their own, or a friend’s, well being.
On Tuesday 7th October there will be the annual quiz at Aston University in aid of SIFA Fireside. A fun evening supported by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce with a terrific raffle alongside. Staff and Trustees will be competing against each other this year!
Throughout the week we are encouraging supporters to host office bake sales, evening bake offs and break time breathers. Hoping that clients, volunteers, staff, partners and the community will take 5 minutes off to self-indulge, reflect and breathe deeply in an attempt to encourage wellbeing and self-care. As the stress levels in the Great British Bake Off’s tent reach an all time high this is a timely reminder that baking can in fact be good for one’s mental health. As can taking the time to sit down with a friend or colleague over tea and cake and ask them how they really are. We have created a fantastic fundraising pack complete with top tips about having this conversation and looking after your own well being. There is also an easy and tricky recipe to try out and details of the impact dealing with mental health issues can have on homeless people.
The Health and Homelessness week will end with Birmingham Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust hosting a lunch at SIFA Fireside to celebrate National Mental Health Day and National Homeless Day which both fall on Friday 10th October. Members of the Trust will chat with members of Birmingham’s homeless community and share a lunch.
It is not only the National days that come together but the problems themselves do as well;
• 73% report a significant physical health problem (rising to 88% of people in squats & 83% for rough sleepers [‘The Unhealthy State of Homelessness’; Homeless Link July 2014]
• 80% report a mental health issue (with 45% formally diagnosed) [Ref as above]
• 35% had attended A & E in the past 6 months while 26% had had a hospital admission [Ref as above]
Clearly this situation is made worse by barriers to accessing primary and secondary care and lifestyle services.
So please join us in some way during our Health and Homelessness Week wither by attending an event or baking some cup cakes. It all helps to raise awareness of this central part of the work we do here.