• Claire Henson

A little about me...

The last six months have been a bit of whirlwind and I've felt like I haven't had chance to sit down! But now on this quiet Saturday and before the football starts, I thought I'd share a little bit about myself and the work I do.

Not to sound too much like a dating profile, but I'm Claire and I'm 37 years old. I love football, knitting and vintage films and music. For around twenty-two of those thirty-seven years, I've lived with an anxiety condition that has impacted my life significantly. both in the way of limitations and opportunities. Over my working life, I've worn many different hats, I've worked in libraries, human resources and events management. I completed two university degrees in English Literature, with my path leaning towards teaching or journalism. But things don't always work out the way we plan. After a significant relapse between 2015-2017 in anxiety, I knew things had to change both in my working life and my personal life, which is what led me to where I am today.

In January 2019, I began two huge journeys, my training in Mental Health First Aid delivery and my participation in the entrepreneurship programme Ingenuity 19. From this moment on, I knew that working to raise awareness and support people living with mental health conditions was what I wanted to focus my work on.

MHFA Training Delivery

I qualified as a Mental Health First Aid instructor in May 2019 and deliver the adult programme to businesses, individuals and community groups across the country. The training raises awareness of mental health conditions, showcases real life experiences of living with mental ill health and trains people in how to help people both before accessing and alongside professional mental health support services.

Mind Map Nottingham

Mind Map Nottingham is an online community which looks at creating a network of venues that can provide a space for someone experiencing anxiety or panic in a public space. Network members can list facilities they can offer to support people, which may include a quiet space to sit, access to toilets, access to a mental health first aider etc. By creating this community, the overall aim is to make accessing public spaces more comfortable for people living with anxiety and panic. To find out more, visit the Mind Map Nottingham website.

The Anxious Exercise Club

The Anxious Exercise Club operates in a similar way to Mind Map Nottingham where exercise and fitness instructors are listed, giving full details of their classes and how to get in contact with instructors to find out more details, with the ultimate aim to give people more confidence to access those classes. To find out more, visit the The Anxious Exercise Club website.

Nottingham Forest Community Trust - Mental Health and Wellbeing

In 2020, I was brought in to lead on the mental health and wellbeing programmes being run at Nottingham Forest Community Trust. This includes delivering training, working with collaborative partners and delivering programmes of activities that benefit different communities throughout Nottinghamshire.

The Free Period Nottingham

I began collecting donations of period products in March 2018 and donated them to organisations across Nottinghamshire. This developed into The Free Period Nottingham project and I regularly collect donations from organisations, events and individuals to take to five donation points across the county. To get in touch, please email The Free Period Nottingham.

I am passionate about the work that I do, both in a professional capacity, but also in my personal life, as I have experienced first hand the impact living with a mental health condition can have. I am always happy to talk about the programmes I deliver and about potential collaborative programmes, so please feel free to get in touch.

I believe that the world is better when we share our experiences. By sharing our experiences of living with mental ill health, we can connect with others in ways we never thought possible.

#mentalhealth #mentalhealthfirstaid #anxiety #publicspaces #mindmapnottingham #theanxiousexerciseclub #wellbeing

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