New mental health campaign rocks

Claudie Dungey from Worthing has received a grant from Time to Change West Sussex
Claudie Dungey from Worthing has received a grant from Time to Change West Sussex

Painted pebbles will be helping to spread the message in a new campaign to end mental health stigma.

Launched today to coincide with Time to Talk Day, WestSussexRocks encourages people to be more open about mental health.

Time to Change West Sussex, which is running the campaign, has also approved the first two grants from its Champions Fund, designed to support community initiatives by people with lived experience of mental health issues.

Claudie Dungey from Worthing, who experienced postnatal depression, will receive £150 for pebble painting parties and hunts in parks.

This will feed into the wider WestSussexRocks campaign, where the pebbles will carry anti-stigma messages about mental health and photos will be posted on social media, linking people to advice about mental health.

Claudie said: “I was diagnosed with postnatal depression when my daughter was five weeks old. I felt so isolated and had been walking with the pram in the pouring rain, just sobbing when my health visitor recognised what was happening and referred me to my doctor.”

Inclusion manager Shiraz Showk will receive £500 for a well-being project to support children and families at Three Bridges Primary School in Crawley.

Shiraz said: “We’re delighted with the grant, which will provide the funds for our well-being café for families to enjoy when they visit their children for our Parents in School afternoons at the end of each term.”

Time to Change West Sussex is a partnership including Worthing-based mental health charity Coastal West Sussex Mind, West Sussex County Council, other mental health service providers, libraries and district councils.

Pebble campaign events are planned at Crawley Library today, 10am to 3pm; at Worthing Library on Monday, Midhurst Library on Tuesday and Chichester Library on March 14.

Katie Glover, Coastal West Sussex Mind chief executive, said: “We’re really pleased to be awarding the first grants but we still have money to give away.

“Grants of up to £500 are available to registered Time to Change champions – people who have experienced mental health problems.”

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