Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Easing Stress in Many Languages; HEALTH Reporter HELEN RAE Takes a Look at a Pioneering CD That Has Been Launched in the North East to Help Ethnic Minorities Relax

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Easing Stress in Many Languages; HEALTH Reporter HELEN RAE Takes a Look at a Pioneering CD That Has Been Launched in the North East to Help Ethnic Minorities Relax

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

ETHNIC minorities across the region have been benefiting from relaxation CDs translated into their language.

As part of Newcastle Primary Care Mental Health Service, the community development workers recognised that when it came to encouraging relaxation among people who did not speak English, translation into their first language was much more effective.

Melinda Firth, head of clinical service, psychology in healthcare Newcastle Mental Health Services said: "The CDs are a great development in the range of help available to people in Newcastle.

"I also think that taking part in such work is a tremendous opportunity to raise the self-esteem of those taking part."

Community development worker, Anita Harkawat is part of a team which offers mental health awareness sessions to ethnic minority community groups.

The team conducts relaxation sessions using interpreters focusing on the technique known as Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) where stress or anxiety can be reduced by alternately tensing and relaxing the muscles of the body.

A person using PMR starts by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position, with their eyes closed. The muscles are tensed for 8-10 seconds and relaxed for 10-20 seconds sequentially through various parts of the body.

By practising the technique regularly the person learns to distinguish between Participating tension and relaxation, and as a result relaxes at the first signs of tension. "project minorities socially was overall Anita said: "Relaxation is a positive and practical way of coping with mild stress or anxiety and can have many beneficial effects. positive for everyone "Everyone we have worked with really enjoyed the relaxation and many of them asked for a copy of the CD in their language, but we were unable to help as we only had an English version of it. …

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