Free Suicide Awareness Training – With Us

With almost daily headlines focusing on suicide rates and the rise in mental ill health, thanks in part to the Covid19 lockdown, we are planning to offer free suicide awareness training to all.

On Thursday 10th September 2020, World Suicide Prevention Day, we are hosting an online training session to help people gain a better understanding of mental ill health and equip them with the knowledge, skills and empathy needed to feel confident in offering support to someone in need, or in a mental health crisis.

Su Hallam, Charity Manager at Shawmind, said: “Having a basic knowledge of mental ill health and awareness of the support systems available to people who are experiencing mental ill health or suicidal thoughts can make a real difference in a mental health crisis situation.

“How many times do you hear ‘I wish I knew they were feeling that way, they could have talked to me’ when someone has died by suicide?

“Spotting the signs early on and having the confidence to approach someone (as long as it’s safe to do so), to start a conversation can be all it takes to enable someone with the help they need.

“We want to reassure people that they won’t make things worse by listening to someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts. But by taking the time to listen to them, you might pick up on something that could offer them hope – hope is a very powerful thing, hope can save lives.”

Death by suicide claimed the lives of 6,507 people in the UK in 2018, the majority of whom were men –  who are three time as likely to die by suicide than women. Men in their late 40s still have the highest rate of suicides, but alarmingly under 25s accounted for a startling 23.7 per cent of suicides in 2018.

Mental ill health affects one in four people each year – around 792 million people worldwide. In England, mental illnesses are more common, long-lasting and impactful than other health conditions.

Su added: “Our volunteers have been even busier than usual during lockdown, with more and more people from all corners of the UK approaching us for support.

“I’m hopeful that if we’re able to equip more people with a basic understanding of mental health disorders then the whole of society will benefit in the long-term as we learn to help each other.”

Hosted on our YouTube channel,, the suicide awareness training will be delivered by Su Hallam live at 10am and 2pm. It will then be made available to stream at any time for those who cannot make the daytime sessions.

If you subscribe to our channel then you will be able to find us more easily on the day.

If anyone has a question about the training or would like to get access to a dedicated Shawmind support volunteer, get in touch by email to 


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Introducing Our Mindful Meander Group

We are delighted to invite you to join our Mindful Meander walking group.

The group has been established thanks to funding from The National Lottery and Sport England, delivered through an active partnership with Active Notts.

The first bi-weekly group will meet by the back of the registry office in the Newark Castle Grounds at 10am on Tuesday 8th September.

The walk will begin at ten past the hour and will take in the Castle, Riverside Park, Trent Locks and Millgate before returning to our starting point. We estimate the walk will take no more than an hour.

Together, we will enjoy some exercise, share our lockdown stories, and perhaps lean on each other for some peer support.

There will be a trained Shawmind Mental Health Champion on hand if you want to make use of the opportunity to talk.

Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear and bring along your hand sanitiser, sunscreen, a bottle of water and a snack, as appropriate.

If you need any further information please call us on 01636 600830.

We look forward to seeing you there!



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Free Mental Health Taster for Families this Summer

Teenagers and their parents are set to benefit from free mental health and wellbeing taster courses thanks to a partnership between Shawmind and Newark & Sherwood District Council.

The East Midlands mental health and wellbeing charity and its associate trainer, Tana Macpherson-Smith from Clearminds Education, are offering one-hour taster sessions of their Monkey Wisdom courses to teens and their parents over the next two weeks, as the summer holidays begin.

Awareness of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing had been on the rise even before Covid-19 struck, but the pandemic has pulled the looming crisis into sharp focus, particularly in young people.

Research by MHFA England suggests that half of mental ill health starts by the age of 15 and 75% develops by the age of 18.

To address this and to help reassure pupils and parents ahead of the planned return to school in September, Shawmind has partnered with Newark & Sherwood District Council to deliver two free  live sessions for parents and their children on YouTube.

The first Monkey Wisdom session, for teenagers, will be streamed live on Shawmind’s YouTube channel on Thursday 30th July, 6pm-7pm. Parents will have access to their own dedicated session a week later, on Friday 7th  August, 6pm-7pm.

Anyone who is concerned about their teenager’s emotional and mental health or who would simply benefit from some pointers on how to start conversations about mental health with their children, should join the free session. 

Tana Macpherson-Smith, Founder of Clearminds Education, said: “At a time when we are experiencing health concerns and conditions previously unknown to most of us, the anticipated return to school in September has caused many children and parents to become understandably anxious about the possible impact of the new-look school system under the Covid19 regime.

“This one-hour training will address the key areas of concern for both teenagers and parents; explore the prevalent emotions at this difficult time and provide seven simple steps to help support your child as they prepare for their return to school.” 

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shawmind, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tana and Newark & Sherwood District Council to offer these free sessions to teenagers and parents.

“We are aware that anxiety can have a lasting impact on an individual’s mental health and long-term wellbeing, so by equipping teenagers and their parents with the tools to acknowledge, address and resolve anxiety, we’re hoping that young people will return to school in September feeling much more reassured.

“The Monkey Wisdom courses have been proving popular with children, teenagers and parents across the country, but thanks to our partnership with the council, we’re excited to be able to offer these taster sessions to our community.”

Anyone interested in watching the free sessions should tune into the Shawmind YouTube channel from 6pm on either Thursday 30th July or Friday 7th August to watch the live stream, here:

For more information about Shawmind’s extensive training courses for children visit the website

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Small Change Funds Big Change

In these challenging times, extra pennies can have a big impact and therefore Shawmind is proud to be available on Pledjar – a new and innovative mobile app. Through Pledjar you can securely connect your bank account and round-up your transactions and pass on your ‘spare change’ to benefit our charity.

Shawmind aims to provide resources and support to those experiencing poor mental health and their families. As well as our popular text and telephone support service, we are making mental health training available to everyone from children, their parents and teachers to employees, HR staff and business owners. We believe that everyone should have a better understanding of the different mental health disorders, in order to help themselves and others when a crisis looms.

With Pledjar you can follow our recent campaigns and give one-off donations with a tap, without changing how you spend. Please download the app and use code SMF001 when asked during sign up, so you can select Shawmind as your charity of choice.

Signing up is simple, and only takes a few minutes:

Sign up today



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Bring a Bro to Our Next ManCave Group

Our ManCave group was developed to encourage guys to open up, talk to and support one another.

The next group meets this Wednesday, come along and talk or bring along a friend who needs to.

The guest speaker this month is Fabian Devlin.

Fabian Devlin biography

Communications Consultant & Co-author of ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry?’

Fabian has worked in communications for nearly 20 years, publicising major organisations like Sky, ITN and The National Lottery, heading up the comms team for national children’s charity Chance to Shine and, most recently, setting up his own freelance consultancy, Devlin Communications.

Fabian is passionate about mental health and, following his own experience of anxiety and depression, he has co-curated a men’s mental health book, ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry?’. The collection of 60 stories from men from different backgrounds with lived experience of a range of mental illnesses, was launched in May 2020 (

Fabian lives with his wife and daughter in South West London and enjoys mindful meditation, playing cricket and walking his King Charles Cavalier Spaniel Star.

When: 15th July, from 5.30pm
Where: Via Zoom

Please register for your free place here:

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Men Open Up About Their Mental Health Thanks to Charity

Men’s mental health was high on the agenda during Men’s Health Week (15th – 21st June) for mental health and wellbeing charity, Shawmind.

Shawmind, which is based in Newark, Nottinghamshire, kicked off a week focusing on men’s mental health by hosting its first virtual men only ManCave group, via Zoom, on Monday 15th June.

The charity, which had been hosting bi-weekly ManCave meetings at a local Newark venue before lockdown rules kicked in, was pleased to see men from as far away as London, Grimsby and Manchester join the hour-long interactive meeting.

On Monday, 10 men from across the country joined the group and heard from guest speaker Dave Cottrell from Mindset by Dave.

Dave, a long-standing supporter of Shawmind, is a mindset coach and host of the mental health podcast Master the Mind Master Anything.

After his talk, the “room” was opened up and participants asked questions, listened to one another’s stories and offered advice and support.

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shawmind, said: “Our ManCave meetings have proven popular from the start and before lockdown we were regularly welcoming around 15 men from as far away as Lincoln, Hull and Nottingham.

“The statistics around men’s mental health are truly shocking; one in eight men have a common mental health problem, but men are often more reluctant than their female counterparts to ask for help or disclose their concerns to loved ones.

“Tragically, men are three times more likely than women to die by suicide in the UK. And men aged 45 – 49 have the highest age-specific suicide rate.

“Having a space to talk freely about their feelings, worries and anxieties with other men in a safe environment can help guys to process what they are going through and start to see a way forward. The ManCave was set up specifically to support that first step.”

The ManCave group will now take place in the middle of each month, with the next one already in the diary for Wednesday 15th July. Those who want to attend can get the registration link for the online session from our website.  

Peter adds: “There are no expectations that those who join us for ManCave are expected to share their story unless they want to. Similarly, people regularly benefit from listening to others or offering advice to the group, so there is no pressure to speak up if guests don’t want to.

“That said, the group is a great place to share what’s on your mind. I strongly encourage all those who join to get involved and participate. That way everyone benefits.”

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Local Man Goes All Out in Support of Cricket and Mental Health

Cricket enthusiasts from across the county are being invited to bowl around the clock on Summer Solstice to raise funds for Farndon Cricket Club and leading mental health and wellbeing charity, Shawmind.

The Sunrise to Sunset Bat-a-thon has been organised by Martyn Hill (30) and is due to take place on Saturday 20th June 2020 from sun up at 4:43am until the sun sets at 9:21pm.

The challenge will call on support from local amateur cricketers of all abilities who are missing the sport, to step up and bowl against Martyn in 20-minutes slots, while adhering to social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

Participants are asked to bring their own cricket balls and to make a donation of a minimum of £20 which will be split between Farndon Cricket Club and Shawmind.

Martyn, who is a Chance to Shine Schools Officer and Junior Outlaws coach at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, has been a member of Farndon Cricket Club since he was 11 and has found solace in the game and its community during some difficult periods.

He said: “Cricket is a big part of my life; when I’m not promoting cricket in schools for Chance to Shine, I’m on the field coaching our junior team or playing for Farndon 1st team in the South Nottinghamshire Cricket League.

“Before the pandemic forced us all into lockdown, I was looking forward to this summer season where an afternoon playing on the field with my mates usually helps ease away any stresses and anxieties and reinvigorates me

“In the past I have struggled with my mental health and alongside support from family and friends, cricket has always been a major part of my recovery; it’s my happy place and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”

Martyn has set aside four one-hour sessions (8:53am, 11:58am, 2:38pm and 5:43pm) exclusively for Farndon’s junior members, which includes the club’s county age group representatives.

He added: “We have a really successful junior programme at Farndon, so I want to allow those youngsters with a real passion for the sport to be able to showcase their abilities during the challenge.”

Peter Wingrove, Operations Director at Shawmind, said: “We are delighted that Martyn is fundraising for us in addition to his beloved cricket club. Team activities, particularly sports, are a great way for people to support one another when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.

“We know that guys traditionally find it difficult to open up and talk about their feelings, so we’re pleased to see how comfortable Martyn is about talking things though with his teammates, he sets a great example.”

Newark-based Shawmind, a charity which supports those experiencing mental ill health, has adapted its weekly community outreach programme – which usually includes a men-only ManCave group, into an online, telephone, text and email support service during lockdown.

The charity has received more and more calls for support as the lockdown has continued and expects call numbers to increase even as the guidelines ease over the coming weeks and months.

Anyone wishing to take part in the Sunrise to Sunset Bat-a-thon needs to make a minimum £20 donation here:

To secure their 20-minute bowling slot participants are asked to email Slots are booked on a first come first served basis.

Donations are also welcome from those who want to support the causes but who don’t want to take part.

Anyone wanting to see how the challenge goes can view updates on Facebook via the event page Sunrise to Sunset Batathon or Shawmind’s Facebook page.

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Mental Health Training for the Nation

In 2017 our charity championed children’s mental health education by raising 103,000 signatures for the landmark Parliamentary debate which led to children’s mental health education being made mandatory in schools from September this year.

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Fundraising Update

As coronavirus arrived on our shores, we were celebrating a month of successful fundraising activities that included our Sock it to Stigma campaign which raised almost £1,000 in one day – thanks in part to the London Sock Company, who donated a £1 for every mention of our hashtag and a percentage of the sales of their socks on the day.

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Our Mental Health Heroes

In response to an increase in the number of people who are looking for mental health support during this crisis, we put out a call for volunteers – and are delighted to welcome onboard more than 20 new mental health champions!

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