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Mind in Somerset on BBC Somerset

On Wednesday Karen Davis, from our Burnham and Highbridge peer support group, spoke passionately to BBC Somerset’s Charlie Taylor about the benefits of peer support.

Listen by clicking the link below and forwarding to 22mins in.

BBC Somerset: Connected with Charlie Tayor

The Burnham & Highbridge Peer Support Group takes place alternate Wednesday mornings, 10am-12.30pm at  The Princess Theatre & Arts Centre, Princess Street, Burnham on Sea, TA81EH

For more information email us on [email protected]   

Or phone: 01823 334906

Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 8th December 2019

Rescheduled: Book launch in association with Mind in Somerset and Waterstones in Yeovil

Paul Williams is a wildlife photographer different to any other. His new book is described by Chris Packham as ‘a brutally honest visual journey … uplifting and beautiful’ and Paul will be showing his photos and talking about the book at Waterstones, Yeovil from 7pm on Wednesday 5th February.

Waterstones are kindly hosting the evening in association with Mind in Somerset and 10 per cent of the sales of the book at the event, Veloce, the publisher is generously donating to the mental health charity. 

Wildlife Photography: saving my life one frame at a time, explores the links between wellbeing and wildlife photography and charts Paul’s own journey, which has seen his passion for photography and nature help to heal the mental wounds that left him hopeless and suicidal.

Demonstrating how wildlife photography has the power to improve physical and mental wellbeing, the book is designed to appeal to a wide range of individuals, from beginners with very little photographic experience through to those further along on their photographic journey, as well as those interested in Paul’s odyssey from rock bottom to rediscovery of a life worth living.

TV presenter, conservationist and nature photographer Chris Packham commented after reading the book, “Photography has the power to change people’s minds; here, it’s a means of mending a mind, illustrating a brutally honest visual journey through Paul’s account of his breakdown and recovery. Uplifting and beautiful in its simplicity, this is a heartening tale of how a closer bond with nature can heal the human mind.”

Throughout the book we learn how wildlife photography pulled Paul back from the brink after his very challenging careers took their toll on his mental state. A career soldier, he went on to become a highly qualified physical training instructor before shattering both ankles in a climbing accident.

After leaving the military Paul gained a First Class honours degree in Clinical Mental Health nursing, and worked as a senior mental health specialist in Assertive Outreach. At the age of 40 he decided on a complete career change and joined the police. In 2010 he developed PTSD after defending four people against a mentally ill, samurai sword-wielding woman, and became very unwell very quickly, attempting suicide three times before experiencing a significant breakthrough with a new psychotherapy treatment. 

Already an amateur photographer with some 20 years’ experience, Paul picked up his camera to give him an incentive to get out, as he had become far too reclusive. He discovered great satisfaction from sitting in still, quiet spaces waiting for wildlife to appear (or not, as was often the case).

What makes the book so unique is how Paul can combine practical help on photography alongside an insightful commentary on his mental well-being. For example:  “All three of these images were shot in my garden on a bright, sunny day that gave me plenty of light to help keep the shutter speed high – essential if you want to keep fast-moving subjects sharp, and you don’t have, or want to use, flash.

“Knowing I had only to go into my garden to take these images meant a lot of the stress I associated with going out amongst people was significantly reduced. Looking back, I now know that finding the motivation to take these images when I was so unwell were important first steps on the road to my recovery.”

The book of 200 original colour images has general tips and points about equipment, fieldcraft and techniques.

It also seamlessly aligns photography with creative suggestions around mindfulness, well-being and holism to create a blueprint for all, and especially anyone experiencing poor mental or physical health, who would like to express themselves creatively in the natural world.

Wildlife Photography, saving my life one frame at a time is published by Hubble & Hattie, an imprint of Veloce Publishing Ltd, RRP: £29.99.

For any queries on this release please call Paul Nathanson 0771 0088437.

Tickets on the door, £3, to include a glass of wine or soft drink at Waterstones Yeovil, 37a Middle Street, Yeovil BA20 1LG.

Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 19th November 2019

Time to Change Somerset – Champions Fund Launch


Time to Change Somerset is pleased to announce the launch of its Champions Fund – a £10,000 pot of money to help people with lived experience of poor mental health in Somerset to challenge mental health stigma in their local area.

Each applicant must be a registered Time to Change Champion and can apply for up to £500. The funding will support Champions in sparking conversations in their community between people who have lived experienced and those who have not, helping to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems. Activities can range from stalls in shopping centres or festivals to free haircuts by bantering barbers and even ‘walk and talk’ dog walks! The more creative, the better!


To apply for funding, applicants need to be a registered Time to Change Champion, be at least 18 years old, have lived experience of a mental health problem and hold their event in Somerset.

To apply for the Champions Fund go to https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/become-time-change-hub/champions-fund/information-applicants.


For more information contact Will at [email protected]

Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 10th November 2019

Quiet Places for Unquiet Minds Exhibition


Artist printmaker Simon Ripley was appointed by Somerset Art Works to run a programme of printmaking workshops with the Bridgwater Mind Art Group during the autumn of 2019. The objectives were to focus on teaching new skills, encouraging participants to explore their creativity, build confidence and foster wellbeing. Art activities of any sort are great for developing self esteem and for maintaining wellbeing in turbulent times – the chance to reflect upon one’s circumstances and express oneself are invaluable.

An exhibition of prints created by the group will be on display at Bridgwater Arts Centre from 8th to 28th November, open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 3pm.

“I have loved working with a very enthusiastic group of artists at the Bridgwater Mind Art Group. The group sampled the processes of mono print, collagraph, drypoint, linocut and letterpress – all of which can be seen in the exhibition. Each week, for 2 hours, we would focus on printmaking with curiosity and energy. Everyone was keen to have a go and because it’s printmaking, everyone has come away with several copies of their work.”                       Simon Ripley – Lead Artist

Quiet Places for Unquiet Minds

A Somerset Art Works Artist Residency Project 

Working with Mind in Somerset and wellbeing groups around the county


Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 8th November 2019

Mind in Somerset opens new office in Bridgwater

We were delighted last week to open our new Bridgwater office following our Annual General Meeting at the Town Hall, where were joined by our service users, volunteers and funders. We continue to encourage wide input in shaping the direction Mind in Somerset takes, as part of our commitment to provide a comprehensive mental health service for people across Somerset.

The ribbon was cut by one of our Honorary Life Presidents, Jean Grant. Jean founded Mind in Taunton and West Somerset, a component part of Mind in Somerset. The opening of the new Bridgwater office represents another step towards supporting the 80,000 who experience poor mental health in Somerset. This follows on from the opening of a Mind charity shop on North Street in Taunton this summer, in conjunction with Time to Change, our campaign aimed at reducing mental health-related stigma and discrimination.

With mental health problems affecting one in four of us this year, it is important to seek help and not to suffer in silence. We offer groups and support from Frome to Minehead and Weston to Chard that can help you tackle any problem you may be facing. If you feel as though you are suffering from poor mental health or loneliness you can call the confidential information and support line Mindline on 01823 276892. This line is open between 8pm and 11pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Author: Alexander Priest
Posted on: 18th September 2019


Have you ever thought about doing a skydive? You can now jump for free with us! We skydive twice a year. 


Jumping for Mind in Somerset will mean you are helping to make sure no one in Somerset faces a mental health problem alone. Every penny you raise gets spent in Somerset to support people experiencing poor mental health!


By signing up to skydive you’re helping us champion a greater understanding of mental health issues in the community.

Your fundraising directly helps us fund training and services for the whole of Somerset. 


To organise your jump click here



Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 20th May 2019

SSBSS Surgeries Coming Soon

What is a Surgery?


Service provision for Somerset Suicide Bereavement Support Service (SSBSS) is expanding and we will soon be  branching out into the local community to be holding what we call, ‘surgeries’.

Our SSBSS Surgeries will be a place for you to drop in and find out what practical and emotional support is available for those bereaved by suicide for you and you community.

There will be a dedicated space for people to join in a peer group setting, as well as a safe space for 1:1 support. There will  also be the opportunity to learn about other areas which could help you for example, other charities and alternate places for support should this be what you need.

We are committing to make these spaces  non – judgmental, open and passionately aimed toward supporting all those bereaved by suicide, including professionals also seeking guidance. 


To discover more about how SSBSS can support you visit our dedicated webpage here.

You can also contact our Suicide Bereavement helpline 24 hours a day on:

0300 330 5463 

Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 20th April 2019

Time To Change Champion Induction Sessions in Wells & Taunton


Could you be a Time to Change Champion?

Would you like to help change how people think and act about mental health in your community?


Time to Change Somerset is a part of a growing social movement that is changing how we all think and act about mental health. Even today, far too many people are made to feel ashamed or isolated because they have a mental health problem. Time To Change Somerset aims to change that and to end mental health discrimination.


The training is available in both Taunton & Wells to enable people to become Champions for the Somerset Time to Change hub, which is a network of local organisations and individuals committed to ending negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems.


With the right support we believe that people can recover from a mental health issues and experience equality of opportunity in all areas of life. Encouraging people to open up to mental health – to talk and to listen – is the first step.


Time to Change Champions are people with lived experience of mental health problems and are vital campaigners for the movement as they have links to communities, come from a diverse range of backgrounds with various levels of previous experiences and skills.


If you are interested in joining the social movement to change how we think and act about mental health Issues and becoming a Time to Change Champion, sign up for one of the training sessions in Somerset:


  • 1 May 10:00am-12:00pm – Heads Up, Upper Breach Wells, BA5 3QG

Book on Eventbright at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/time-to-change-somerset-champion-induction-session-tickets-60140433656

  • 1 May 2:00pm- 4:00pm – Albemarle Centre, Albemarle Road, Taunton, TA1 1BA

Book on Eventbright at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/time-to-change-somerset-champion-induction-session-tickets-60139733562


For more information, speak to Marc on:

(01823) 334 906

[email protected]


Author: Marc Lewis
Posted on: 9th April 2019

Partnership with English Football League

We are very excited that National Mind and the EFL have announced a 2 year partnership to promote and raise awareness of mental health. At Mind in Somerset, we are working closely with our own local football heroes, Yeovil Town Football Club and also Exeter City AFC, to raise awareness locally through a variety of fundraising activities.


Author: Alexander Priest
Posted on: 11th October 2018

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