Special Events mark Mental Health Day

READING is marking Mental Health Day on 10 October with a range of events and information sessions throughout the Borough.

Any of us can develop a mental health issue, and one in four people will be affected by mental illness in any one year. The effects can be as debilitating as physical illness, but may often remain hidden with people unable or unsure about how to get help.

The events are designed to encourage conversations amongst groups and signpost people to support services, as well as help to raise awareness and educate people about mental health.

A theme of emotional wellbeing is the focus of this year’s Older People’s Day on 9 October, with an event at Rivermead Leisure Complex. There will be a range of workshops, demonstrations and information stalls to promote good mental health and wellbeing.

Compass Recovery College will be launching their new website at Central Library from 10am to 12pm and at Battle Library from 1pm to 3pm in Reading on 10 October. Compass Recovery College aims to promote good mental health and improve mental wellbeing and is open to anyone over the age of 18 with experience of mental illness, as well as their friends, family, carers or mental health practitioners and clinicians. It runs like any other college, providing education as the route to recovery.

Reading’s Health and Wellbeing Board had a mental health theme to its meeting on 6th October, with presentations on local progress against the Suicide Prevention Strategy as well as work to address loneliness and isolation, tackle excessive alcohol consumption, and promote good mental health in children and young people. The Chair of the Board, Councillor Graeme Hoskin, also took the opportunity to sign a ‘Time to Change’ pledge on behalf of the Council, committing the local authority to ending mental health sigma amongst its workforce.

An event was also held on 11 September in Reading highlight the role of media in shaping public perception of suicide, to educate Berkshire’s media community on responsible suicide reporting and to promote the forthcoming Suicide Prevention Strategy launch.

The Berkshire Suicide Prevention Strategy will also be launched on 17 October at an event in the Town Hall in Wokingham, which will include workshops and guest speakers. A Suicide Prevention Strategy page to support residents to make links with national and local support services for those affected by suicide can also be accessed on the Reading Services Guide at: http://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/advice.page?id=Ebnf1bsfYXM.

Reading’s Lead Councillor for Health, and the Council’s Mental Health Champion, Graeme Hoskin said:

“Mental health covers a broad range of conditions and we are all susceptible to experiencing a mental health issue at some point in our lives.

“What is not as common is the same openness around mental illness that is seen with some physical conditions. It is important that we remove any stigma around mental health and promote good mental wellbeing.

“I welcome the events taking place to mark Mental Health Awareness Day as a way to help people with mental health issues get the support and advice they need.”