We need to End Health Stigma - Be Mindful of the ways to address problems

World Mental Health Day - Helping raise awareness

We share this article on Midweek Mercury News Paper on Wednesday 12th October 2016. We too are working hard to make people realize the value and power Mindfulness. It can change the life.

World Mental Health Day marked in Hertfordshire

“We need to end health stigma”

By Hertfordshire Mercury  |  Posted: October 12, 2016

By Sam Meadows


Patricia Moore welcomes guests at the event in Hertford.

HELPING HAND: Patricia Moore speaks to guests at the World Mental Health Day event in Hertford.

World Mental Health Day: Helping raise awareness

World mental health day was marked around the county with a series of events.

The event, which takes place annually on October 10, aims to raise awareness of the issues faced by people with mental health problems and lift the stigma sufferers can face.

In East Herts, the day was marked with a Mental Health Fair at Hertford Theatre which took place on Sunday. 

Councillor Patricia Moore, who organised the day, said the intention was to bring together people from all walks of life and promote the support that is available to residents.

"The council has a crucial role to play in breaking down barriers and in improving people's understanding," she said.

"I enjoyed meeting people involved in mental health treatment throughout the day and it has been a wonderful opportunity to learn about the variety of support on offer.

"One in four people experience mental health issues in any single year so we all know someone who has been affected. It might have been us."

She added: "It was such a good event we're going to repeat it next year."

The event in Hertford

Mind in Mid Herts CEO Sharn Tomlinson said World Mental Health Day is crucial to lifting the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

"I think it's important because it's just raising awareness and the more you talk about mental health, the more we can reduce the stigma," she said.

"If someone breaks their leg, everybody sends a get well card, but if you say you're depressed you are unlikely to get that.

"So it's about changing perceptions."

North Hertfordshire District Council threw its support behind the day.

Councillor Tony Hunter, the authority's mental health champion, said: "There was a huge amount of support for World Mental Health Day yesterday and we were proud to be able to be a part of that and help to raise awareness of the illness.

"By talking openly about mental health issues we can help to remove the stigma and so encourage those who suffer in silence to get the support they need."

Be Mindful of the ways to address problems

GOOD mental health should be celebrated according to the founder of the Health and Wellbeing Centre.

The centre, in Sawbridgeworth, held an event on Monday to mark World Mental Health Day.

Founder Claire Evans, who specialises in mindfulness, said the practice could help to improve and maintain good mental health.

“We all have mental health but we tend to focus on the illness,” she said.

“For me it’s about celebrating our health and that becomes more preventative so that they don’t get to the point.”

And while she said mindfulness training was not a suitable treatment for a diagnosed condition – she said it could be successful recovery aid.

She added. “It’s more about how they then connect with life again.”




“What helps them feel more accepted back into the community.

“Anything we can do so they don’t feel like an outsider at any proint.”

The event on Monday was also the launch of the organisation’s artistic Yellow Book project.

This encourages people to create an artwork which reflects their relationship and experiences of mental health problem.

The works will then be assessed with the best being placed in a special yellow book for display.

Ms Evans added: “A lot of what wellbeing is about is staying well.

It is really about finding a point of balance and space of wellbeing.

“So we can support people before they get to that point of illness.”

For more information on the centre visit thecentreofwellbeing.co.uk or call (01279) 867620

Colette Wyatt-Lowe, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board and Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "We fully support World Mental Health Day, and indeed any initiatives which raise awareness of and tackle mental health issues.

"To mark the occasion, we have asked elected members from across Hertfordshire to agree some shared actions on mental health and are starting a national conference for mental health with elected members from across the country.

"As well as supporting other initiatives, we instigated the Hertfordshire Year of Mental Health, which aimed to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination; help people get better access to treatment and care; and gain parity of access to treatment for both mental and physical health.

"It also sought to inspire and motivate people from across the county by asking people to make a pledge to take a few simple steps to help challenge mental health discrimination, and to improve the lives of those with mental health problems."


Mental Health is biggest priority for our young people


Mental health is one of the biggest priorities for youngsters in Hertfordshire, according to the chairman of the Broxbourne Youth Council.

Tom Culley said in his first meeting after being elected to the position he put the question of what the council should prioritise to members.

"I said to them what do we want to do next and what issues do we think are most important to young people," he said.

"The first thing someone said was mental health.

"We put together a few ideas and had a vote on what to campaign for and every single person voted for mental health."

Tom added: "I know there are a lot of people who have had first-hand experience of mental health issues.

"One in four people will experience a mental health problem at least once in their life.

"I think it could be higher because people are reluctant to say how they are feeling on a survey or if they think people are looking over their shoulder."

The council has formed a five-strong committee to help promote services and raise awareness of the issue.

The committee is made up of three youth councillors, Tom and the council's vice-chairman Chloe Watson.

Tom said it would work with organisations like Hertfordshire County Council and Mind to help promote events combating mental health issues.


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