The public are being invited to take part in a pop-up talk show, Talkaoke, to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day, which is designed to end the stigma around mental health.
Taking place in Cabot Circus on 8 October from 10am-5pm, the event has been organised by Bristol Anti Stigma Alliance (BASA), along with partners including the council, Bristol Mental Health and Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group, who are working together to end stigma and mental health discrimination.
The event will be set around the ‘Talkaoke Table’ to engage the public and encourage people to join the conversation about mental health. With a host to keep the discussion going, the format will be a free flowing conversation so people can drop in and out throughout the day. There will also be other family friendly activities taking place.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said:
“Mental health and wellbeing is one of my priority issues for Bristol. Ensuring we have good mental health is critical to our city’s future and early intervention is key to this. If we can learn to talk about mental health without embarrassment or stigma, and know how to support our friends, family and communities, then we will all be in a much better place. The World Mental Health Day, as well as the Freedom of Mind festival, are good examples of how partners can work together to raise awareness about issues such as this and the help and advice available.”
World Mental Health Day is now celebrated by 150 different countries across the globe, and is designed to reduce the stigma around mental health – and talking about it is the key. This year’s theme is ‘psychological first aid’ and will raise awareness about the support people can provide to those in distress.
Evidence shows that there are five things that are essential to wellbeing and good mental health. These include connecting with people, being physically active, being more mindful, learning new things and giving to others.
Liz Andrews from BASA, said:
“Mental health illness is something that millions of us face every day, so it’s absolutely essential that we’re comfortable talking about this. We all need to know where to go for help, as well as how to step in and support others when needed. That’s the idea behind the Talkaoke event – we want to build people’s confidence when it comes to tackling mental illness. We’ll have experts on hand to answer any questions people have and signpost them to appropriate services.”
One in four adults and one in 10 children are likely to have a mental health issue in any given year. It can affect anyone regardless of age, race, gender or social background and yet many people find it difficult to seek help due to stigma or lack of information.
Local support services include Bristol Mental Health, which is a gateway to NHS funded services, designed to help people access the support they need. Your GP can give advice and signpost to services, as can the NHS 111 service. For more information about health and wellbeing support in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire, contact Wellaware Bristol.