Thinking outside the box gives patients a boost

When it comes to mental health support, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to helping people. That’s why University of Northampton graduate, Megan Partridge thought outside the box – then filled it with thoughtful gifts to help people in crisis.

Megan knows the complexities of life for people who are suffering with mental health conditions, something facing millions of people across the country each day. Last year she combined her knowledge from her degree in Psychology and Counselling at Northampton, with her business acumen, and a little bit of help from the University of Northampton’s Changemaker Hub team, to develop her business idea and launch a mental health gift box company, Camp Brain Box.

Camp Brain Box, offers retreats to support people’s well-being and also the opportunity to send safe boxes to people in need of a little pick-me-up. The ‘safe boxes’ are gift boxes designed to help to people prioritise their own self-care, well-being and give people a boost from receiving a nice treat, and knowing someone cares. The boxes contain treats and products to evoke a sense of calm and relaxation, as well as stress busting tips and mindfulness advice.

A year after launching her business Megan and the university’s Changemaker Hub team have just donated 64 ‘safe boxes’ to patients at St Andrew’s Healthcare in Northampton as a random act of kindness. The boxes were donated as a ‘thank you gift’ at the Annual Changemaker Awards ceremony, which recognises students, staff and members of the community in Northampton who are working to develop solutions to environmental or social problems to improve people’s lives.

Megan Partridge, who graduated from the University of Northampton in 2015, said: “I have experience of working with people with mental health conditions, and often people with mental health conditions who find themselves in inpatient care have a limited support system and this can leave them feeling lonely and isolated. The safe boxes are a way to give these people a boost, and let them know someone cares for them. The people who receive the boxes can also then add to them with items which are special to them.”

Sadie Harris helps to organise many patient activities at St Andrew’s, and kindly accepted the boxes on behalf of Camp Brainbox. She said: “This is a really generous donation from Megan and her project, and the boxes will give our patients a real boost. Thank you from St Andrew’s!”

Megan wants us all to get talking about mental health and well-being, and more importantly, undertaking random acts of kindness to support those who need it most. If you would like to give someone a boost by donating a safe box click here.