Spotlight on Local Mental Health Organisations – Uppertunity
Mental Health Awareness week this year is taking place between 18th and 24th of May and this year the theme is Kindness. There are lots of brilliant organisations in Dundee who provide support for mental health, and we have reached out to some of these organisations to ask them about their work.
Today we find out about Uppertunity.
Can you tell us about what your organisation does?
Uppertunity is a social enterprise based in Dundee working with adults (15 years and over) with additional needs, learning disabilities, autism and mental health barriers, providing personal development, confidence building and social inclusive activities. We focus on an individual’s strengths and aspirations, working with them to realise their potential, leading to self-worth and independence. We do this by offering weekly community groups, meaningful volunteer roles, skill programmes, mentoring and social events. Magic is happening here at all hours.
We also run an inclusive training café in Dundee city centre called Serendipities. Serendipities is a social enterprise in the form of a cosy, quirky cafe, dedicated to creating and inspiring social change. Serendipities is a positive, alternative way of thinking, where people develop confidence to be the change. This space is a story: a story of strength, a story of community, a story of growth. It demonstrates how to work inclusively, raising awareness of people’s roles in this world and showing that anyone can achieve incredible things. The café is Uppertunity’s safe training space for adults with additional needs.
How has your organisation adapted due to Covid-19?
We have had to unfortunately close both our physical spaces. Instead we have been making videos of activities that we would normally be doing such as art activities, cooking and gardening. We have also been offering telephone support for our clients, their carers and other individuals with additional needs. We have also been developing a new personal development programme for adults with additional needs, which will be based within our café: Energising the Everyday. We have also been working on a few other projects which is top secret for the time being.
Uppertunity is all about working together as a community and networking, we believe it leads to a sustainable future and sustainable communities. We have been continuing our usual support with other organisation in need, such as phone befriending for Dial-Op and scrub making for the NHS.
We have also been running a virtual mental health exhibition for the month of May in collaboration with How It Felt called “A Brush Dipped Into Our Souls”. Individuals from all backgrounds have been submitting creative pieces on what mental health means to them. We were meant to have a physical exhibition in the café, but that of course has been put back. Individuals can still submit creative pieces if they wish to take part. Follow our Facebook pages for more information.
Why is mental health awareness important to your organisation?
Mental health is essential for flourishing and sustainable communities. If community members don’t feel good about themselves or struggle with poor mental health, then they will most likely not engage with their community, and their physical health can deteriorate. This can cause further isolation to themselves and other people, with a breakdown of relationships and connections. This creates a vicious circle, which is ultimately detrimental to the entire community. By having good mental health, individuals have a better chance of responding and dealing with crises. By having good mental health, individuals have a better chance of supporting others who may be struggling with poor mental health.
No matter who an individual is, their presence in a community can be a positive one or a negative one. This is all dependant on their mental wellbeing. It is up to organisations like us to make sure it’s a positive one. People tend to fear things when they don’t understand them. Fear then leads to hatred, insecurity, and separation, leading to community breakdown. By raising awareness, we develop knowledge which leads to developing community support and positive attitudes. Knowledge and awareness makes us open minded and empowers us. We should see the person for who they are and the support they need, and not any labels. Uppertunity is here to raise awareness, provide positive ways of thinking and empower individuals.
Do you have a favourite quote that relates to mental health and positive mental wellbeing?
“She is beautiful piece of broken pottery, put back together by her own hands. And a critical world judges her cracks while missing the beauty of how she made herself whole again.” – J.M. Storm
You can contact Uppertunity in the following ways
Facebook – Uppertunity
Instagram – Uppertunity_
Website – Uppertunity.org.uk
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel – 07931 560936