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'Flights of Hope' archive.

Personal stories of Hope and Inspiration about mental wellness.

Click HERE to explore




'Take5' interactive resource

Explore your way... on your device!

Click HERE to explore



The Mental Health Forum fully endorse use of 'Take 5' Ways to Wellbeing.


Just as we ALL have our physicial health, we ALL have our mental health.

Both can be effected by many things including circumstances, environment, external factors, natural aging, illness, and the level to which we accept personal responsibility for doing all we can to maintain our wellbeing.


Some factors are outside of our control, yet many we actually have a lot of capacity to influence for the better. We can minimise risk facotrs and find ways to build up our existing wellbeing - sceintific evidence and life expereince teach us that the physical and mental are interwined and equally important.


The 'Take 5' approach offers an easy to follow way to consider our wellbeing as a whole, and take daily steps towards our better health, wellbeing and happiness.

Each person will express their Take 5 differently and that's how it should be.


How will you explore and express yours?



You can download this 2-sided A5 flyer in multiple languages - Click Here to access


Within the Mental Health Forum, we have 'Take 5' ambassadors who can answer questions and connect you with resources to understand and apply the message. We can also provide information sessions to groups and organisations.


Contact Elaine to enquire:    078 7626 1033

With video, local information and an easy to use self-assessment tool to help you get started on your personal wellbeing journey.

Click the image below to explore...

Once in, just hit the triangular 'play' button to get started.

No need to log-in unless you want the system to recall details of your interaction with the self-check tool.

  • Use the large circles to chosse your area of interest
  • Use the left/right arrows at the bottom to navigate slides
  • There's a lot to explore, so you can always locate HOME and BACK icons easily by hovering over the black area to right of the main image screen.
  • For more detailed instructions, start by clicking the first dark blue circle on the home page.
  • Pace yourself. Explore, learn, and share... this is a tool everyone can use to protect their health and wellbeing!



If you need help to navigate this online resource, please contact our Take5 ambassador at Mental Health Forum for guidance.



This early version will be reviewed using your feedback.

Be sure to click the bottom right small blue circle once done to let the development team know your thoughts.

All comments and suggestions welcome.

Thanks for helping to shape this resource!

    Use the links below to explore

self-care & wellbeing tools suggested by

Mental Health Forum members and clients.






And for the Kids...


Click the image above to access a video that helps describe 'Take 5' for children

So, Where did 'Take 5' come from ?


It was born out of observations in happiness research.

Yes, you read that right... that's a thing...


And happiness research all over the world kept finding that there were key themes when they listened to stories or looked at the biological, medical, psychological evidence in context with social and environment elements.


They realised that all these good parts worked best when in balance with each other, and they began to look for ways to form a simple model.


One such model came from the work of Ncik Marks and his colleagues working on 'The Happy Planet Index' which looked at human wellbeing and environment impact on a global scale.


Click the image below to hear the man himself talking about it.


Take 5 has been adopted in Northern Ireland as a public health message and Southern Health & Social Care Trust encourages its application as a framework for all areas of organisational and personal work on wellbeing.

The message is actually very easy to remember and put into practice and will work across age, culture, environment etc becasue we can each make it our own.


We all have mental health and physical health and we have the same personal capacity and responsibiltiy to be aware of them and act as best we can in our circumstances to strengthen them or to seek help when things are not going so well


If you are interested in learning more about 'Happiness Science' here are another few videos you may like to check out...

Click on the images to watch on YouTube

Other personal wellness resources


Everyday Opportunities for supporting Wellbeing

Suggestions submtted by Friends, Members & Clients of The Forum


  • Read the local paper - events, fundraisers, charity activities, organisations
  • Stop to check posters and cards on boards or in windows - something new?
  • Check the junk mail before binning it - opportunity could be there
  • Local college prospectus should have wide range of interesting /fun stuff
  • Online Forums and/or selling sites often have community sections
  • Think back to what you enjoyed as a child or a teenager - revisit?
  • Book shops often sell book & tools combo sets - try a new skill?
  • Gyms and leisure centres often run regular classes - establish routine
  • Start having more conversations - you can exchange information and ideas
  • Ever consider training to support, facilitate or teach in your area of interest?
  • Reading is great for keepin me mentally well
  • Can't concentrate too well? - The internet is full of free audio books
  • Experiment with use of colour in your clothing and surroundings - get creative
  • Join a club, society or support group - beneficial on so many levels
  • Start to keep a simple journal and you will discover new ideas
  • Start saying "yes" now and then - try something new once in a while
  • Colour in, build lego, try gaming or doing a jigsaw - it works for adults too
  • Set up a regular 'date night' or 'boys night' etc - do something other than eat/drink - try new things
  • Local charities sometimes run free/low cost courses or workshops
  • Admire a friend's skill in something? - ask them to teach you
  • Browse discount & charity shops for ideas on new things to try
  • Don't just drive past billboards - special events are often advertised this way
  • Try one new ingredient or one new dish a week - explore the world of food
  • Have an evening with no TV/Computer - think of something else to do
  • Check with Rail/Bus services for cheap fares or even organised trips away
  • Try something new/scary? - Get sponsored - they get cash - you get support
  • Talk less & Listen more - You will be amazed at the long term benefits


Self-care tools & ideas

This list has been formed from the generous contributions of members and friends of our Forum for information and inspiration.

Your own additions to this growing resource are very welcome. To share Self Care tips Please contact us.


Animal care - Audio books - Achievable projects - Acting as an advocate - Art - Accepting help when needed - Aromatherapy - Have an afternoon nap -

Use affirmations


Baking - Breathing techniques - Buying a little treat - Having a Bubble bath - Bingo - Blogging - Play Boardgames - Be a tourist in own town - Bird watching


Connecting with friends - Cycling - Cinema - Crafts - Children - Coffee and chat -Church - CBT - Getting Creative - Cooking - Joining a club - Watch Cartoons -Crosswords - Stroking the cats - Burning Candles - Cloud watching - Do some Colouring in - Singing in a choir - Colouring in (its not just for kids)


Diary keeping - Daily routine - Day trips - DIY - Making a daisy chain - Having a Duvet day - Decluttering - Dog walking - Dressmaking - Dancing - Decorating -

Eat a healthy diet 


Eating a favourite meal - Exercising - Establish and maintain personal boundaries


Family - Friends - Food - Fresh air - Flower arranging - Form drawing - Fishing - Faith - Get a facial - Fresh flowers


Gardening - Gym - Gratitude - Giggles and silliness - Walking barefoot on the Grass - Groups and clubs - Guided relaxation - Grooming the dog - Genealogy -

Don't hold on to grudges - Practice gratitude


Hugs - Helping others - Holidays - Getting hair done


Browsing the Internet


Journalling - Making Jam and marmalade - Doing jigsaws


Kids - Creating a keepsake box - Knitting 


Live comedy - Listening to the rain - Learning something new -

Live within your means


Mental Health Service User Forum - Mindfulness - Music - Meditation - Massage - Mahjong - Have a Movie marathon or boxset Marathon - Getting a manicure -

Make someone smile each day - Motorcycle run


Trying something new - Getting nails done - Night out with friends - Try some new foods - Accept that its ok to say no - Nurture spiritual/religious life -

Take a night class


Online shopping - Organising and cleaning worktools - Sitting Outside - Watching an open fire burn - Don't over commit - 


Write poetry - Pets - Painting - Prayer - Read Poetry - Looking through photographs - Making a Phonecall to a friend or family member - Playing an instrument - Photography - Going on a Picnic - Powerhosing the patio - Paintballing -

Getting a pedicure - Polishing brass - Purge email folders - Play


Qi gong


Running - Relaxation techniques - Reading - Reflexology -

Revisit chiildhood book favourites


Shopping - Singing - Study - Social networking - Swimming - Getting a hot towel Shave - Sea air - Suduko - Support groups - Getting the right amount of sleep - Luxurious hot shower - Get up early and watch the sun rise - Build a snowman - Start a Scrapbook - Have a wardrobe sort out - Spinning class -

Not comparing yourself with others


TV - Tai Chi - Teaching others - Theatre - Try new things - Trail biking -

Take a Training course - Therapy - Healing Tears - Team sports -

Keep to do lists manageable


Unplug the technology for a while


Voluntary work - Keep a vegetable garden


Walking - WRAP - Work role - Washing and waxing the car - Writing -

Woodworking - Write a real handwritten letter to someone special -

Write some 'real' letters



Yoga - Watching funny Youtube videos


ZZzzzzs - Get enough sleep 

Spiritual & Religious aspects

Religion and spirituality are a matter of personal choice but both can greatly influence people's day to day wellbeing. Various means by which people manage their mental health conditions are referenced here. People anchor their lives in different ways and there should be no judgement of how a person's choice is exercised. Allow your personal belief system to work for you and find ways to integrate it into your personal wellbeing - it could be one of your greatest strengths.


If you are a person of faith and your mental or physical health issues make it difficult to attend your place of worship, then it is worth checking if CDs/DVDs/Internet & Radio broadcasts are available for those who are homebound or have similar challenges. You may consider attending a smaller meeting or one at a different time but if you can in some way maintain a connection to others who share your faith then you will have support and a sense of acceptance and belonging will boost your wellbeing.


If you describe yourself as a spiritual person but not necessarily affiliated with any particular faith, then the same principles  apply - whether you physically connect or gain support in other ways, your wellbeing will definitely benefit from nurturing your beliefs and the relationships with others around you who share them.


In all aspects of personal wellbeing, you alone can truly measure and appreciate the influence of different elements and it is perfectly OK to experiment and explore as you search for the things that work best.

You grow and change over time and that's a good thing - embrace it.

Be on the look out for new ways to support your wellbeing and use the Take 5 framework to help you find them as you hold your spirtual beliefs and your values as your personal compass.


It is your choice how you integrate elements into your overall wellbeing.

Promoting Wellbeing

Our Trust has dedicated "Promoting Wellbeing Teams" who offer information and training that empowers people to better manage their own mental health and overall wellbeing. There are also roles available for people to train in some of these areas of awareness and support, and then to take their skills and knowledge into the community to help others.


Contact your local team to enquire about what is available around Health Promotion


Armagh/Dungannon    Promoting Wellbeing Team     (028) 37412521

Craigavon/Banbridge   Promoting Wellbeing Team     (028) 38344973

Newry&Mourne           Promoting Wellbeing Team     (028) 30834325





The current PWB Training Brochure is downloadable below

PWB Training directory April Sept 2023.p[...]
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FREE TEXT PWB Training application form [...]
Microsoft Word document [34.6 KB]
PWB Training application form 2023 (3).d[...]
Microsoft Word document [1.9 MB]



Please note: Due to the high volume and rapid shifts in information, we cannot offer endorsement of all information/links shared in these sections; it is not practical to research each one individually and instead, we share trusting that you will use your own judgement and research detail if in anyway uncertain.

If you do notice an inaccuracy or are in any way concerned about the content of items shared through this portal - Please let us know and we will review its inclusion status as soon as possible.




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