Photo permission given to George Carden

A local children’s mental health organisation is hosting an online three-day event this month to provide support to young people and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

Calm Connections, which hosted their first ‘Reset’ event last year, are aiming to shine a light on the mental health services and support available around Salford and Manchester with a mixture of presentations, online workshops and even a virtual rave.

The event is running during the national lockdown between November 17 and 19.

Emma Lenihan, Founder, and Director of Calm Connections spoke to Salford Now about the event, the support available for families, and her reasons for starting the ‘Reset’ event.

She said: “This year we’re running workshops to bring families, the services and anybody really who works with young people together just to explore how we can make life a bit better for these people and the families that support them.

“Everything we did last year, we’re doing again this year. Obviously, it’s a bit harder with it being online.

“Some of the presentations are from the psychological services which are all about how to manage our wellbeing, particularly during another lockdown.”


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Going online for 2020

Last year, the event saw a wide array of activities with guest speakers, workshops, poetry, and more.

The event this year is still going ahead in an online form, with the aim to shine a light on services available to young people and their families facing challenges with mental health.

Emma Lenihan was compelled to start Calm Connections and her ‘Reset’ event due to facing experiences with mental health issues within her own family.

She continued: “My eldest son was in crisis a couple of years back, from that experience I was able to identify some of the challenges and gaps we faced as a family.

“I set up ‘Reset’ last year just to meet some of those gaps, the idea is about bringing all the services together so that everybody knows what is available for support.”

The ‘Reset’ event from 2019. (cc: Emma Lenihan)

Emma is hoping the event can give people the knowledge of where to go to if they need help and support.

She said: “The main outcome is that people know where to go for support and to offer people choice in the support that they have.

“If families find themselves on waiting lists, they know where to go for support while they’re waiting.

“It’s that knowledge and awareness really, another thing I’m hoping for is that people feel hopeful.

“We read so much in the paper about impending doom about young people’s mental health and as a family that’s been in it, that’s what it feels like.

“But we all need to have a bit of hope that there is things in place and solutions to some of the challenges that we all face whether we’re a parent, a service provider or if we’re a young person ourselves. We all need a bit of help!

The event starts at 10am on Tuesday, November 17, and finishes at 3pm on Thursday, November 19.

You can register for free by clicking here. There is no obligation to attend the event, but registering will give you access to all the presentations over the three days.


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