This year’s national Mental Health Awareness Week from 8-14 May 2017 is focusing on surviving or thriving as a theme and seeks to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health, with many struggling to cope with the demands of life.
The annual campaign, led by national charity the Mental Health Foundation, aims to look at mental health from a new angle and further understand why some communities are more affected than others. Mental health is still very common as around 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem.
Tower Hamlets Council is already a major advocate of positive mental health for both its residents and employees. The council signed up to the Local Authority Mental Health Challenge to improve mental health in the community and the Time to Change Employer Pledge to address and support mental health in the workplace. The council have also led on the Time to Change Employers Forum that engages with local businesses on how best to support their employees.
Dr Somen Banerjee, Director of Public Health at Tower Hamlets Council said:
“We are keen to encourage discussion around mental health to continue learning what we can do to bring about change and raise further awareness. Whilst stigma around mental health is improving, there is still much we can do to raise the profile.”
The Tower Hamlets Recovery College, a project led by the NHS East London Foundation Trust, is running an educational course around mental health stigma. The course will look at the various ways that stigma can impact lives, the dilemma of disclosing to employers, colleagues, family and friends, and why many people keep their mental health problems a secret. It will also look at ways to challenge stigma both locally and in wider society.
The course will be run as a short one day workshop featuring videos, activities, personal stories and discussion. It will be delivered by a tutor working in mental health alongside a tutor who has lived experience of mental health issues.
Anyone over 18 who lives, works, trains or studies in Tower Hamlets can attend this course on Friday 12 May from 11am - 3pm in Training Room 1 at the Prince’s Trust Morgan Stanley Centre.
For more information on local mental health services visit: www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/mentalwellbeing
To find out more and how to get involved in the Time to Change Employers Forum, contact Jamal Uddin, Jamal.UddinX@towerhamlets.gov.uk.
Further information on the Mental Health Foundation can be found at: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/