10 October 2014
As part of World Mental Health Day, Together For You organised a mental health and wellbeing promotional event in CastleCourt, Belfast, yesterday. Together For You is a mental health and wellbeing project funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Aware Defeat Depression is one of the nine mental health charities involoved. The day was an opportunity to talk about mental health, and went off to a great start with a visit from the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nichola Mallon
As part of World Mental Health Day, Together For You organised a mental health and wellbeing promotional event in CastleCourt, Belfast, yesterday. Together For You is a mental health and wellbeing project funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The day was an opportunity to talk about mental health, and went off to a great start with a visit from the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nichola Mallon.
As part of World Mental Health Day, the statistic of “one in four people will encounter some form of mental ill-health in their lifetime” is widely used. Through a short poll of customers in CastleCourt, and anecdotally talking to those within in the centre, this figure was confirmed. The survey also showed that over 65% of people had accessed help or information on mental health for themselves or someone else. Despite this, 22% said they do not feel comfortable talking about mental health, the main reason sited was being ‘worried what people might say’.
David Babington, Chief Executive of Action Mental Health, lead partner of the Together For You project said “The CastleCourt event was a great success, a chance for us to talk to people about mental health and wellbeing. By talking about mental health, and seeking help early for yourself or others, we start to reduce the stigma around it. This awareness raising is a big part of the Together For You project, in which all our partners contribute”
Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund NI Director, said: “We are delighted to see the difference that the Together for You partnership, which is promoting mental health and wellbeing, is making to people across Northern Ireland. This fantastic event in the heart of Belfast gave people a flavour of the services they offer, as well as encouraging them to talk about how they can look after their mental health.”
The day started with an arts and crafts session with a Year 11 class from The Belfast Boys Model School, facilitated by CRUSE and part of the Northern Ireland Mental Health Art and Film Festival (NIMHAFF). Following this, customers of CastleCourt were able to watch a ‘mood food’ cookery demo facilitated by Vital Nutrition, and also try out a sound therapies session, facilitated by the Sound Healing Spa. Spirits soared, with a music session by Whiteabbey Day Hospital Recovery Choir, and later in the evening from Tiernan Heffron, a Year 12 Student from St Benedict’s College, Randlestown and a beneficiary of the Together For You project via the schools programmes offered. Thanks also go to Belfast Healthy Cities for bringing their pedal powered smoothie bike down for customers to make their own drinks, and to Ashton Community Centre for providing two of their complimentary therapists and facilitating head and hand massages for those passing through the shopping centre. Throughout the day everyone could enjoy the amazing art displayed in the centre, part of the Northern Ireland Mental Health Art and Film Festival (NIMHAFF).
Amanda Jones, Project Manager for Together For You said “It’s hard to believe that it was just a year ago that the Together For You project was launched (World Mental Health Day, 2013). To say that a lot has happened in that year would be a huge understatement. Along with recruiting staff, building websites and publishing newsletters, most importantly of all, Together For You’s services are already making a difference to people in need. So far over 8,600 people in Northern Ireland have benefited from the project, and that number rises every day. That is 8,600 people more likely to talk about their mental health to others, to seek help when they suffer mental Ill-health and to contribute to reducing the stigma surrounding mental ill-health. Today in CastleCourt we built on that growing momentum with a fantastic promotional event, thank you to all who came to visit us”.