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The Kaleidoscope Plus Group are launching a national Suicide Prevention SMS Line.

The SMS Line will give people who are feeling vulnerable or who are at risk of taking their own life a safe and confidential place to contact us by text so that they can seek the support that they need to help keep them safe and well.

The service will operate outside of traditional office hours and will be managed by both staff and trained volunteers. Information events are being held to recruit volunteers for the service. Training and mentoring will be provided to all those successfully recruited.

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group will be hosting two presentation days on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 6th December, 1:00pm – 2:00pm and 3:00pm – 4:00pm giving attendees the opportunity to find out more about the Crisis Line service.

For further information and to attend, please contact us on 0121 565 5605 or alternately by email at


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The basic IT workshop is there to provide people with the confidence and knowledge of using computers using the learn my way programme.

When: Wednesday’s

Time: 1pm –2pm

Where: George Road Community Centre, B68 9LN

Cost: Free

Contact: Lisa – 0121 565 7818


IAPT’s (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) Rebecca Clark has been successful in passing her postgraduate certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions in Primary Care – obtaining a distinction in the process!

The certificate in Low Intensity Interventions is a nationally designed, BPS accredited qualification for workers providing low intensity interventions as part of the “Talking Therapies” development plan for the NHS. The Certificate also supports the IAPT Programme.

Rebecca was pleased to have completed the course and achieve such a high grade.

She said: “I was quietly confident I was going to pass the course due to all the hard work I have put in over the last 12 months however I was pleasantly surprised to hear I had achieved a distinction.“

Rebecca was presented with her certificate at an awards ceremony at the University of Birmingham which was attended by our Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Jamie Crew.

Jamie was full of pride when he heard of Rebecca’s fantastic achievement.

He said: “I’m very proud of Rebecca and what she has accomplished over the last year.

“Working with her every day I have witnessed first-hand her growth and I’m certain she will go on to be an excellent practitioner.”

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group would like to congratulate Rebecca Clark on completing her postgraduate certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions in Primary Care.



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Fancy a game of Badminton? Want to do more exercise? Why not join our ‘Badminton for Wellbeing’ group!

This group is aimed at anyone who wants to give Badminton a go wants to get more fit and be part of a group for support, motivation and Fun.

When: Monday’s 12:30-1:30

Where: Harry Mitchell Leisure Centre, Smethwick

Cost: Free

Contact: Lisa Round – 0121 565 7818


On the 6th and 7th of November, we hosted the “Working Together: ASIST Trainers’ Conference,” at our conferencing facilities, Hawthorns House.

The two day conference united many trainers from across the globe whilst teaching them new techniques to help them to become better facilitators.

ASIST is an interactive accredited workshop that prepares caregivers to provide suicide first aid interventions and is approved by the World Health Organisation.

Our ASIST trainer, Sue Vincent attended the conference and feels it will help her to improve her facilitation of the course.

She said: “The skills I’ve picked up from the conference will allow me to deliver ASIST at a higher standard going forward which will only be beneficial for participants.”

She added: “I personally feel very proud that the charity held the conference at Hawthorns House as this is where we deliver the majority of ASIST.”

The Kaleidoscope Plus offers a variety of conferencing facilities and training packages including ASIST. For further information please contact us on 0121 565 5605 or alternatively, click here to visit our Training web page or click here to visit our Conferencing web page.


• Qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner – (£22,220 – £26,646) per annum

We are currently seeking a Qualified PWP, either with a Graduate or Post-graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions in Primary Care.

You will have experience of working in the local community assessing clients and delivering low intensity CBT interventions across a wide range of mental health issues.

To apply please send your CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for the role to:

For more information and the full job description and person specification please click here

Closing date for all applications is Friday 10th November 2017.


In the past week, mental health in the workplace has been a strong talking point amongst mainstream media.

This is no surprise, especially with these alarming statistics:

• 1 in 6.8 people are experience mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%)

• Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men (19.8% vs 10.9%)

• Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions

• 3 in 5 employees have talked to their manager about a mental health condition

• It is estimated the cost of mental ill-health to UK employers is £30 billion each year

• At any one time, one sixth of the working age population of Great Britain experience symptoms associated with mental ill health

• 57% of people who have a common mental disorder are currently working

• About 11 million people of working age in Great Britain experience mental health problems and about 5.5 million have a common mental disorder. However, only about 1.3 million of these people are being treated

Why employers might discriminate against people with mental ill health?

Employers shouldn’t discriminate against people who suffer with mental ill health but unfortunately it still happens. Some of reasons why include:

• £2.4 billion is lost replacing staff that leave work because of mental ill health

• Mental illness is accountable for 40% of all days lost through sickness absent

• Gaps in CVs


Economic recession appears to have a telling effect on people with mental health problems.

It would seem that in times of recession or when businesses aren’t thriving, they are forced to make cut backs meaning people who suffer from mental ill health don’t always receive adequate support from their employers.

Chronic Stress

Stress and anxiety can develop when people feel under pressure at work. Prolonged periods of stress can become serious and make existing mental health problems worse.

Chronic stress is the biological response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period where the individual perceives they have no control. Long-term exposure to stress can lead to high blood pressure, suppression of the immune system, and damage to mental health. Other symptoms of chronic stress can vary from anxiety, depression, social isolation, headache, abdominal pain, lack of sleep and difficulty concentrating. It is clear to see how such symptoms would intensify any pre-existing mental health problems.

It is in the best interests of employers and employees to avoid this situation, and create mentally healthy workplaces that are free from discrimination where well-being is a priority.

Financial Worries

Research seems to suggest work place stress and financial worries can both worsen the symptoms of mental ill health. When people are in fear of losing their jobs, it is highly possibly that both these factors will be present at the same time, and this will intensify the situation further. What we end up with is a melting pot of factors combining. A stressful workplace could lead to a person’s mental health worsening, and then they may lose their job which will increase financial worries. As well as a worse financial situation, losing your job could be interpreted as a form of social exclusion, which again will affect mental wellbeing and make it even more difficult to get another job.

• One in two adults with debt problems have mental health problems.

• 90% of people found financial difficulties make their mental health worse.

Perceived lack of control is a symptom of both depression and chronic stress. If money worries become overwhelming and you fear for your job security it is evident how somebody could feel out of control of a situation.


There is still a stigma attached to mental ill health and the statistics below reinforce this:

• 40% of employers view workers with mental health conditions as a significant risk

• 42% of employers are still underestimating the prevalence of mental health in their workplace

• 72% of workplaces still have no formal mental health policy

• 90% of people admit they would be too scared to tell their boss if they felt unhappy and under too much pressure

People may be too scared to tell their boss as it may affect their job security. It is vital that people do not feel this way and that channels are available for people to talk about their mental health at work, as suffering in silence will only make it worse.

Often people think that employers and colleagues will react negatively if told that someone has a mental health problem. However, the law states that employers and others should not discriminate.

If people with mental ill health are to stop being stigmatised in the work place then education and understanding must be improved.

What can be done?

Our Chief Executive, Monica Shafaq firmly believes one of the solutions to this problem is to talk more about mental health, especially within the workplace.

She said: “We still need to remove the stigma attached to mental ill health by talking about it and the detrimental effects it can have.”

She added: “Whether you’re young or old, male or female mental health does not discriminate.

“It doesn’t matter where you live, how much money you earn or whether you work, mental ill health can affect anyone.”


Here at The Kaleidoscope Plus Group we deliver training sessions to a variety of organisations in the private, voluntary and statutory sector across the UK.

Our training covers a wide variety of mental health issues, health and wellbeing and related issues for both employers and their employees, as well as individuals who are interested in maintaining their own wellbeing.

We provide both accredited training packages and bespoke packages to meet individual needs.

We also cover areas specifically for people working with children and young people and we can arrange sessions in schools with staff or directly with pupils.

We have a pool of trainers who are accredited to deliver Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Mental Health First Aid Lite and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).

To find out more about all the training we provide, please call us on 0121 565 5605 or click here.


The Kaleidoscope Plus Group has raised a huge £10,000 at its 4th World Mental Health Charity Gala Ball held at West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

The vital money will help The Kaleidoscope Plus Group with every day running of many of our services as well as allowing us to invest in new equipment and materials for a host of popular workshops and sessions we run across the county. The funds raised will also help the charity fund its new national Suicide Prevention SMS Line.

Celebrities, partners, charity supporters, trustees, staff and service users were treated to an evening of fine dining and outstanding entertainment. Critically acclaimed improv-comedians The Noise Next Door had the audience in hysterics following heart-warming speeches from our Chief Executive Monica Shafaq and Vice Chair Mark Wood on how 1 person dies from suicide every 40 seconds.

English screenwriter, Mike Bullen was named our deserving winner of the Celebrity of the Year 2017 award for his work on hit ITV drama, Cold Feet. The drama was recognised for its powerful storyline around Pete Gifford (John Thomson) who was contemplating taking his own life.

The evening also featured a silent auction and prize draw, which helped to raise thousands of pounds before proceedings were bought to an end with a disco.

Chief Executive Monica Shafaq was thrilled to have raised £10,000 and thankful to all guests and sponsors for their support.

She said: “I’d like to thank our sponsors – Beaumaris Group, Bond Wolfe, The Psychotherapy Clinic, Jonathan Trace, Minuteman Press Redditch and CW Content Works as well as all the guests for their support as without them it would not have been possible to organise such an evening.”

She added: “Whilst demand for our services is increasing, local authority and NHS funding is decreasing, which affects our ability to support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“However, with the money raised from this year’s Gala Ball we will be able to continue to support our service users and create brighter futures together!”


The West Brom and West Bromwich Albion FC joined forces to raise funds for The Kaleidoscope Plus Group.

The Building Society played host to a raffle prize draw competition across their Sandwell based branches offering winners who bought a ticket, the chance to win match day tickets for West Bromwich Albion’s home game clash with table toppers, Man City at the Hawthorns.

The tickets were kindly donated by the football club and winners would also get the opportunity to meet Albion stars Matt Phillips and Jake Livermore at the West Brom’s High Street branch.

Senior Primary Mental Health Worker, Malcolm Clayton was excited to attend the occasion on behalf of the charity.

He said: “It was great to be able to see the children meet a couple of their favourite football players from a team who they support week in week out.

“The West Bromwich Albion meet and greet opportunity was a fantastic gesture by the club and a day all the lucky winners will never forget.

“The spectacle was a nice way to give back to the community whilst raising around £200 for The Kaleidoscope Plus Group.”

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group would like to say thank you the West Brom, West Bromwich Albion Football Club and all the Building Society customers who bought raffle tickets and donated to the charity.


Another 9 participants have successfully completed Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) at our head office, Hawthorns House.

The participants who completed ASIST were made up of staff from within the organisation, trustees and other external bodies from the local area.

ASIST is a two day suicide first aid interactive workshop that prepares caregivers to provide suicide first aid interventions.

The emphasis is on teaching suicide first-aid to help a person at risk stay safe.

ASIST is approved by the World Health Organisation with over 1 million people worldwide successfully completing the course.

The course was facilitated by Rachael Thompson and Sue Vincent.

To find out more about all the training we offer at The Kaleidoscope Plus Group including ASIST, please call us on 0121 565 5605.