The BMHF prides itself on being a grassroots organisation that aims to raise awareness of mental health and support people on a localised level. Our current work involves organising local mental health awareness raising event/workshops and supporting people by organising local activities (social/educational) and one to one support.
Mental Wellbeing Workshops
The BMHF facilitates language appropriate (in Bengali) mental wellbeing workshops that is undertaken in the various community settings in Tower Hamlets (schools, community centres) and online. The workshops topics are varied and focus on specific issues that are identified as basic intervention needs e.g. basic awareness of mental health, how to maintain good mental wellbeing, how to access mental health services. In addition we aim to provide cultural and religious awareness training sessions for mental health professionals (commissioned projects). For updated information on our current workshops please visit our ‘Events & News’ page.
Signposting & Information Service
The BMHF has set up a ‘signposting and information’ service which can be accessed via telephone and online consultation (Covid conditions). People accessing this service will be able to talk to someone in Bengali about their issues and will be able to get referred to relevant services for professional support or advice.
This service is expected to start from 8th February 2021. Further information will be uploaded in a new page in due course
NB: This service will be accessible in the community settings (i.e. GP practice/community centres across Tower Hamlets) once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted (hopefully April/May 2021).
Support Groups / Activities
The BMHF initiates and supports the development of support groups (men’s and women’s). These support groups aim to provide culturally and religious appropriate activities in the various settings of the borough and online. The type of groups and activities offered is organised in conjunction with residents, service user and carers. We are also happy to support and develop existing service user led networks and groups. If you are interested in setting up a group or would like assistance with an existing one please get in touch with us
Current Support Groups:
‘Lets Talk’ Wellbeing Group (Women Only)
Online forum to meet and discuss wellbeing issues with the support of a mental health professional. This group will be active online from 18th February 2021. If you are interested in being involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0771 607 8840.
Community Mental Health Champions Project
The BMHF has developed a training programme for local residents to become ‘Community Mental Health Champions’. The Community Mental Health Champions are proactive ambassadors of the BMHF (community voice) and their primary role is to raise awareness of mental health (challenge negative views/ stigma, signpost residents to services, promote positive mental wellbeing) to the Bangladeshi community in the community settings (e.g. schools, groups, mosques, community centres) via workshops, events and one to one interaction in their local area and around Tower Hamlets.
We train new champions every 4-6 months, If you are interested in becoming a ‘Community Mental Health Champion ‘ please get in touch with us. You can download a registration form from our ‘Get Involved‘ page.
For new training dates please refer to ‘Event & News‘ Page.
The BMHF organises ‘mental health awareness events’ on a regular interval (monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly depending on funding), the awareness events aims to raise awareness of mental health, tackle stigma and to promote local mental health services to the Bangladeshi community and other hard to reach communities. The events are delivered in an interactive way which will be culturally and religiously sensitive. At these awareness events the community can learn more about mental health in a creative and interactive way (e.g. drama, theatre forum), be able to speak to mental health professionals and local service providers. They will also be able to hear personal stories from service users and carers and get the chance to express their views about mental health services to commissioners and service providers. More importantly the events aim to educate that our mental wellbeing needs to be taken seriously and that we need to prioritise it in the same parity as our physical wellbeing.
Awareness Raising Campaign
The BMHF has produced two mental health awareness films (Bengal and English) with the support of University of East London, NHS East London Foundation Trust and NHS North East London Foundation Trust . These films are being used (in workshops/ events) in the community to raise awareness and discussion around mental health, tackle stigma and educate residents on how to access mental health services. The films are available to view on the ‘Awareness Materials‘ page.
The BMHF has also produced a dual language leaflet (Bengali / English). The leaflet has been produced to raise awareness and discussion around mental health, tackle stigma and educate residents on how to access mental health services and how to maintain mental wellbeing. You can view the leaflet on the ‘Awareness Material‘ page.
Consultation & Research
The BMHF undertakes consultation work (community research) to gather Bangladeshi (and other groups) service users, residents and carers feedback on key mental health issues and services, this is usually used as evidence to prioritise BMHF work and more importantly used to influence decision makers and providers to improve services or meet needs.
We are also offer a ‘research and consultancy’ service to undertake relevant research or consultation work for commissioners and providers of mental health services.
Supporting The BMHF
The BMHF currently does not have receive ongoing funding (only ad hoc) to carry out its core work and we would therefore welcome any organisations or individuals to support our work financially or by offering us free resources such as office space, meeting/events venues, printing.
We are also open to working in partnership with any organisation or individuals (joint funding application), if you have project or partnership initiative ideas then please get in touch with Shamsur Choudhury (Operations & Development Manager) on 0771 607 8840 or email email@example.com.