Pop-up shop supports World Mental Health Day

By Nicole Patrick-GibsonWMH

Leicester marked World Mental Health day by welcoming the public young and old to speak up and stand against discrimination on Saturday October 10.

A pop-up shop was set up on Shires Lane at Highcross to offer advice and services to people suffering from mental health disorders.

The shop partnered with various local organisations and charities for a day of tea and talk sessions and fun activities.

Grant Paton, media supporter for Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living, said: “We want to get the local community talking and challenge the stigma that continues to be attached with mental health.”

It is thought that one in three people suffer from a mental health condition in Leicester.

He added: “I would argue with that statistic and say it was a lot more. Most people will experience mental health issues at some point in their life. We’re here to provide a helping hand to these people.”

The event initially targeted adults, professionals and union care but also reached out towards more specific cases such as child carers in need.

Healthwatch Leicester offered a helping hand at the pop-up shop by talking with visitors about ways of improving mental health services in Leicester.

David Barnsby, development officer of the Healthwatch mental health department, said: “We want to do everything we can to make sure services are at their best and accessible in the local community.”

Nisha Khetia, volunteering at the event, introduced her concept of a ‘pledge wall’.

She said: “The idea is that everyone writes a happy message or quote on each brick of the wall and it gives a sense of positively building together.”

Her pledge wall also featured at Leicester train station during the week with the new “R U OK?” campaign which was raising an awareness of how a kind word could lift someone’s mood.

She added: “The wall has worked so well so far. It would be great if this could become a regular thing around Leicester.”

Iona Bareva, 24, attended the event to find out what mental health services could be of use to her.

She said: “I’m happy I came today, it’s given me a boost knowing there are suitable services for me.”

Information on mental health services in Leicester can be found at www.leicester.gov.uk/mentalhealth.

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