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Community Conversations: Rainbow Mind

As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, we caught up with Mind in Salford, who run Rainbow Mind and a brilliant new programme - Radical Self Care.

Rainbow Mind is a service aiming to tackle mental health issues for individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. Rainbow Mind is a collaborative project between Mind in the City, Hackney and Waltham Forest (Mind CHWF) and Mind in Salford.

We caught up with CEO Markus Greenwood to find out more about the project and how Mind in Salford are reacting to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Markus: Rainbow Mind came about as a solution to tackling mental health challenges within the LGBTQ+ community. We wanted to create a specific intervention focussing on anxiety, depression and internalised shame and challenges from existing in a heteronormative society, and that’s where Radical Self Care comes in.

The tag line for Radical Self Care is ‘ Becoming a better friend to yourself’ and is a free, eight week course that is now being delivered online.

We’ve had to adapt both this project and our other services since lockdown, and have moved everything online.

It’s working really well online and is actually helping us to develop our course structure by making continuous improvements and adaptations. It also means we can deliver further afield and to anyone across the country.

Manchester Pride helped by offering us a stall at the Festival last year, where we met lots of people who were interested in taking part in the Radical Self Care project, and offered us great feedback on how needed it was.

There has been really positive feedback from the community and people taking part, a lot of people have said it’s changed their life. People say they become numb to daily microaggressions but that they have learned techniques to self manage and build resilience to these things.

It’s not about pushing anything away, but more about being compassionate to your own challenges.

Do you have any tips for other groups and how will you react to the lockdown situation as it continues?

Markus: We’re trying to take Radical Self Care out to the world. Right now lots of people are struggling from a lack of contact so we’re encouraging people to connect digitally. This presents new challenges and barriers too, so we’re running some of our one to one services via the phone and we’re also creating resources to post to people.

Even if lockdown ends we’ll continue to offer services digitally because it allows us a greater reach.

You can find more information about the free Radical Self Care courses on the Rainbow Mind website, these are available to anyone aged 30-50.

For Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re running a ‘Week of Self Kindness’ which you can find on our Mind in Salford website and social media channels, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram (@mind_in_salford). You’ll find tips and exercises to help you manage during lockdown, with a new one posted each day of the week until Friday.


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