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Mental health campaign launched at city pub

Published on Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A CAMPAIGN aimed at getting people to talk openly about mental health is being launched – in a pub.

The year-long campaign is hoping to change attitudes towards mental health by encouraging people to discuss issues such as anxiety, depression and stress more openly.

Around one in four people will suffer with a mental health problem in any given year, with men less likely than women to seek any help.

As a result the campaign, entitled Time To Change Leicester, will focus first on men, and by kick-starting the campaign in a busy city centre pub, organisers are hoping to give the message that talking about mental health problems can help.

The launch takes place at The Parcel Yard, next to the railway station in London Road, on Wednesday, July 5, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

Posters and beer mats highlighting the campaign and where to get further information and help will be distributed at the pub.

The campaign is being launched by Cllr Rory Palmer, who is Leicester’s deputy city mayor and chair of the Leicester Health and Wellbeing Board.

He said: “Mental health problems are far more common than people realise – most of us will know someone with a mental health problem, either at work, as a friend or in the family. 

“People are usually happy to chat about their physical aches, pains and injuries, but there’s still a real stigma around mental health which means people often don’t open up about it, or ask for help.

“Men in particular often regard showing their emotions as a sign of weakness, and this is the kind of attitude we want to challenge in this campaign. 

“In many ways the pub is still one of the traditional places for men to come and discuss their problems with friends.

“If we want to make talking more openly about mental health part of day-to-day life, then we need to make sure pubs, coffee shops, sports clubs and workplaces are places where those conversations can take place.”

Throughout the year, the campaign will focus on different groups of people at risk from mental health problems, including pregnant women and new mothers, children and younger people, students and older people. 

The Time to Change campaign is the biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination across England.

Local businesses, schools, healthcare groups and community organisations can also get involved by getting more information on mental health services, and ordering free campaign materials, at: www.leicester.gov.uk/mentalhealth 

Cllr Palmer added: “We want to work with employers to help create workplaces where staff are encouraged to talk and listen, and community organisations to help make a positive change happen locally. 

“The better people understand mental health issues, then the better the chance to improve their attitudes towards them.”

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