These pages contain an archive of project activities up to summer 2009. Whilst this project is not currently active, we continue to circulate our food and mental health news round-up. We have also updated our databases to ensure more people recieve the round-up. For details or to sign up for this service, see: https://www.sustainweb.org/foodandmentalhealth/food_and_mental_health_roundup/
We are continuing the quarterly news round-up. Swine flu has meant that our good relationship with the Royal College of General Practitioners was put on hold, but we will continue to pursue this and also develop connections with Natural England's Natural Health Service initiative.
Jenny Sansom has now moved onto pastures beyond Sustain, though we retain links with her in her new role with a Sustain member organisation, the National Trust. In her absence, Sustain's Good Food Training project officer Pamela Brunton provided two workshops on food and mental health, in Yeovil and Birmingham, for workers in supported youth accommodation. These gave Pamela the chance to learn about training on ‘food and mood’ which, in particular, will benefit her work with Holloway Prison.
We are very grateful to a volunteer for continuing to produce the regular e-bulletin. Funding to develop this project's work is being pursued.
Jenny Sansom has now completed the Healthy Ambassadors' programme with Foyer Federation, where she ran interactive workshops on “food and mood” with 12 foyers. The project also provided support to Foyer staff who work directly with the young people, equipping them with the information and contacts to support residents in future. Feedback from the workshops was very positive and a report of the process is available. The course is due to be offered in different regions through 2009.
Together is a national Mental Health Charity with nearly 100 residential and resource centre projects and thousands of service users with low, medium and high levels of mental health needs. Jenny has consolidated a partnership with Together over the course of the last six months and contributed a food and mental health element to Together's staff induction programme.
Jenny organised a successful seminar bringing together people developing practical programmes in the food and mental health field. The seminar heard a from the new Changing Spaces funding programme “Eco-minds”, and the facilitated session which followed encouraged people to develop project ideas with constructive criticism from their peers.
Alongside keeping the network up to date with the regular e-bulletin, Jenny has been developing a project to encourage GPs to refer patients, who might benefit physically and/or mentally, to a range of community-based food projects, including cooking and growing schemes. She is exploring the various mechanisms for influencing GPs' willingness and ability to do this. It is likely to include influencing their contracts, training, professional bodies and specialist media.
Food & Mental Health: The project promotes understanding of the links between good diet and mental wellbeing, addressing the many implications of the growing evidence linking what we eat to the way we feel and behave.
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