Appeal to challenge stigmas overshadowing mental health

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West Sussex residents and workers are being urged to break down the barriers associated with mental health as one in four people are affected in any one year.

West Sussex County Council is using World Mental Health Day, on Monday 10 October, to encourage people to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health.

On the day, young people are invited to find out more about emotional wellbeing and take part in a variety of workshops as well as visit the market place, where young people and professionals can access a wide range of providers.

Staff at the Youth Emotional Service work with young people aged 11-17 across the county to help young people who have issues that affect their wellbeing.

There will be a special video launched at the event created by Free Your Mind – a group of young people from across West Sussex who are actively involved in improving mental health services for their peers.

The ‘Let’s Talk About It’ video highlights the isolation people can feel when they suffer from a mental health issue and will be available via the county council’s YouTube channel on October 10.

Stephen Hillier, WSCC’s cabinet member for children – start of life, said: “World Mental Health Day will be a celebration of the fantastic work already achieved by the Free Your Mind group and the Youth Emotional Service. They have all worked so hard to raise awareness and to tackle these issues which affect so many people in West Sussex.

“We need to follow in their footsteps and work together to keep challenging the stigmas which continue to overshadow people’s mental health. Almost everyone will have someone in their lives who is affected by a mental health issue. We need to pull together to eradicate the isolation they can experience and help them to see they are not alone.”

The event at Horsham’s FindItOut Centre starts at 3pm with workshops to help young people deal with anxiety/stress management, meditation and more.

The marketplace will run throughout the day with stalls hosted by Children and Young People Family Eating Disorder Service, Dialogue counselling, Kooth – online mental health support, the Library Service, MIND Advocacy & Outset.

A presentation will then be given at 5pm by members of UK Youth Parliament who will present their national campaign ‘Time to Talk.’

There are eight FindItOut centres across West Sussex which are on hand to support those aged 13-25.

To find out more visit www.yourspacewestsussex.com/FindItOut

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