Kingston Council and local mental health charities, such as Mind, are working together to educate and actively involve the community for this year’s World Mental Health Day (WMHD).
Around the world, October 10 is acknowledged by many as World Mental Health Day. The World Health Organisation recognises the occasion as an opportunity to raise awareness and work together to make mental health support freely accessible around the world.
Councillor Sushila Abraham, mayor of Kingston, said: “The last 19 months have been hard for everyone and it is more important than ever that we find time to take care of our wellbeing, both mentally and physically. There are many helpful resources on the council’s website, and we are working with partners like Mind in Kingston and Time to Change to help our communities.”
This year’s theme of inequality focuses on those who have been hardest hit. It refers to individuals who were already experiencing substantial challenges, such as those facing poverty or discrimination. As well as the impact this has on their mental health and ability to access the help they need.
Abraham said: “This week we also re-launched the BAME Mental Health Partnership. This initiative is one of the first of its kind. It brings together all the different community groups who represent the varied ethnicities and faith groups in the borough, and we want to be able to facilitate conversations and break down barriers around mental health support in those communities.”
To mark the occasion, Mind in Kingston have a variety of community activities to take part in throughout the week that hope to lift spirits whilst promoting real change. Vicky Bourne, counselling & wellbeing manager at Mind in Kingston, said a number of events were planned.
“This year WMHD focuses on mental health in an unequal world and as such our latest podcast talks to outgoing CEO of Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness about the ‘Everyone In’ project. We are also running free Laughter Yoga, walking and ‘get into jogging’ sessions, as well as our usual football and drop in cafes,” she said.
According to Mind, 58 per cent of people receiving benefits said their mental health was poor, with many still suffering from the long-term effects of the pandemic.
If you need support or would like to find out more, please visit https://www.mindinkingston.org.uk/