Thursday 10 October 2019 is World Mental Health Day; an opportunity for employers, organisations and individuals to think seriously about how they can address the stigma attached to poor mental health and seek to improve the lives of millions of people who suffer, daily, from mental health issues. Suicide prevention will be at the very top of many peoples’ lists this year as hundreds of thousands of people are still taking their own lives globally each year and suicide is still the leading cause of death among young people aged 20 to 34 years in the UK.
World Mental Health Day doesn’t just happen somewhere else: it’s here in Lancaster too. On 10 October 2018 the University of Cumbria is opening its 2-day Festival of Mental Health on Campus in the city of Lancaster UK. It starts at 9am on Wednesday 10 October and closes at 8pm the following evening, packing in a full programme of events along the way.
You could be forgiven for glazing over at the ubiquitous mental health statistics in the media but there really is no way to sugar the pill – mental ill-health touches 1 in 4 of us every year. It’s often one of those things that creeps up on us due to stresses at work and within the family. Often, our past comes back to bite us when we least expect it. Maybe we know our mental ill-health all too well and have become defeated by it after years of struggle.
Whatever YOUR story, it’s never too late to do SOMETHING about it and when is there a better time to start than on World Mental Health Day? I’ll be there, getting involved and talking to people about what matters to them: engaging with our local community, listening to real stories of the trials and the triumphs of ordinary people who are making a difference to their own mental well-being.
Maybe today is the day YOU decide to do something new and start YOUR journey to better mental health and well-being – maybe I’ll see you there!