Pub walk to be finale to Lamp’s mental health awareness initiative

By Charlie Ramshall

The climax of a Leicester charity’s mental health awareness week will be a pub walk this Sunday which it hopes will be a big success.

The pub walk organised by Leicester-based social media account Cool as Leicester, is there for people to realise the importance of physical activities as well as socialising and meeting new people.

The city’s mental health charity Lamp is running its annual mental health awareness campaign.

It began on Monday(MAY15), and will continue until Sunday, when the pub walk will start at 11.30am from the Cradock Arms, in Knighton Road.

A whole host of events have been happening during the week, on Monday there was a curry night which took place at Cuisine of India in Kelmarsh Avenue.

Simon Gribbon, from Lamp, said: “It was a great night which we completely sold out.”

They also had a business event last night(WED,MAY17) which had people doing laps around Braunstone Park, plus there will be an Outdoor Pursuit event tomorrow (FRIMAY19).

The theme of this year’s Lamp 5k campaign is climbing mountains for mental health.

Lamp encourages those taking part in the 5k challenge to get sponsorship for each mountain overcome so that they can collectively raise £29,000 – which Lamp has said “is the height of Mount Everest”.

Lamp chief executive Richard Kotulecki said: “We’re encouraging people to take time to climb their own mountain and overcome their own mental obstacles during the week.”

To take part in each event, donate to Lamp directly. Lamp is in partnership with The Big Give which will match any donation made.

The Big Give is a non-profit, charitable website that match donations made to charities.

For more information on The Big Give click this link: and for more information on Lamp’s events click this link:

Leicester-based charity hosts events to support people’s mental health

By Amina Ali

Charity Jamila’s Legacy is hosting events for people in Leicestershire wanting to improve their mental health. 

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rehana Sidat, set up the charity in dedication to a woman named Jamila who died as a result of neglect after struggling with her mental health for many years.  

“I vowed that I would start Jamila’s Legacy in her name so that we address that mental health sigma and so that, hopefully, things like this don’t happen again and people do have somewhere to go to,” she said. 

“Demand was increasing after COVID.”  

After several years of running the charity, Rehana set it up last May to be a Community Interest Company, which is a company set up for the benefit of a community, due to the increase in demand for its services that she had seen. 

“Social media grew really big; the sessions grew from once a week to twice a week to three times a week!” she explained.

Expanding: Jamila’s Legacy founder Rehana Sidat is responding to increasing demand

As a result of this boom in demand, Jamila’s Legacy now runs The Womens Mental Health Wellbeing Project twice a week at The Highfields Library in Melbourne Road and the African Caribbean Centre in Maidstone Road.  

The charity also runs Mental Wellbeing Mondays twice a month for men and women at the John Lewis Café space in Bath House Lane. 

Other projects include monthly Time Out Sundays for those wanting to prioritise their mental health, monthly online Men’s Mental Health sessions, The Young People’s Project and training courses. 

“Jamila’s Legacy is about prevention and early intervention so that we don’t get to crisis point, we don’t get to those points like what happened to Jamilla?,” said Rehana. 

“What I would say to anybody reading this who’s struggling, please, please do seek help.

“Don’t keep ignoring it, because the problem with that is that your mental health will deteriorate and before you know it, you’re in a situation where you’re having to have greater support than what you would’ve needed.” 

For support and to find out more, visit Jamila’s Legacy website or follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  

Pub walk returns to Leicester to raise money for mental health charity

By Charlie Ramshall

Cool as Leicester’s pub walk is back for another year taking participants on Sunday, May 21, from Clarendon Park to finish at Everards Meadows.

It starts at The Cradock Arms, in Knighton Road, from 11am with the walk commencing at 11.30am and people expected to arrive at the Everards Meadows beer hall at about 12.30.

 After the success of last year’s, organiser have decided to do it again, this year in aid of Leicester-based charity Lamp.

Lamp is an organisation in Leicestershire with their main aim to help and support those with mental health problems.

This is all part of Lamp’s fundraising initiative which starts today and takes place until Sunday, May 21, and organisers say a great cause that everyone should get involved in.

The aim isn’t just to help the charity financially but is also for people to socialise, meet new people, get outside and get some exercise as well as showing the importance physical activities are for someone’s mental health, as just a short walk can make all the difference for people’s wellbeing.

For more information, such as how to get involved, follow the link

Students discuss their experiences with antidepressants and deduce the stigma surrounding dependency and reliance 

By Kelly Gowe

The prevalence of antidepressant prescription is astounding with 70 million prescriptions written last year for the 7 million adults who used them.  

It is time to take a more nuanced approach: Antidepressants can be lifesaving for some people while having no effect on others.  

But who are we to say that someone is wrong if they see it as a last resort or something to make them feel better? The stigma must be lifted. 

I interviewed two students about their university experiences with SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to see how the medication affected their lives. 

Valuable: Abubakr Razak (left) and Heebah Hussain found antidepressants helped them

Abubakr Razak, 19, began taking SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) while studying law.  

He had struggled with anxiety and depression throughout college, which led him to being prescribed an SSRI called Sertraline. 

“I often had anxiety in social situations,” he said. “But very traumatic situations as a child eventually built up to this. My SSRIs were paired with talking therapy, which helped massively.” 

He said they made him feel “level” throughout university and found dealing with difficulties a lot easier. 

Heebah Hussain, 18, said: “I’d encourage anyone in a dark place to think ‘If I were really physically unwell, would I take medicine to help me feel better?’” 

Unfortunately, many people are still reluctant to take medication for their mental health because society has often portrayed it as a sign of failure.  

In fact, making such a decision for yourself is a sign of strength. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you require some additional assistance. 

So, even if you are aware of the risks, your only option is to take it or leave it; our mental health system lacks ambition. 

If you are a student who is struggling, I strongly advise you to reach out to others, even if it is just one person.  

If you know a loved one who is struggling, you can  find out more about how to help here

You can contact the Mind helpline by calling 0300 123 3393.  

Mental health report finds 49% of adults in England negatively affected by pandemic

By Thomas Carter

Nearly half of adults (49 per cent) in England say the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected their mental health, recent figures have shown.

The report, commissioned by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), also found that more than a third of adults (34 per cent or 15.1 million people) said they did not know what to do to improve their mental wellbeing.

As a result, OHID has launched the new ‘Every Mind Matters’ (EMM) campaign, which seeks to help people better their mental health.

Christopher Pendleton, 28, who struggled with homesickness and low self-esteem during the pandemic, said: “The main thing with my mental health is lack of self-confidence and a feeling of ‘what do I bring to the table?’. I undervalue myself a lot.

“I like to keep in touch with my friends, but at times I struggle to do so, then finding it hard to reconnect when I feel like I don’t deserve to.”

The percentage of adults (%) that say their mental health was negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic (Credit: Thomas Carter, Canva)

According to a press release by OHID, the new EMM campaign “empowers people to look after their mental health by directing them to free, practical tips and advice.”

“By answering five simple questions through the EMM platform, people can get a tailored ‘Mind Plan’, giving them personalised tips to deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.”

Now a facilitator for mental health charity Andy’s Man Club, which has more than 60 locations across the country, Christopher added: “We run local support groups for those who struggle with their mental health.

“It’s a safe, non-judgemental space, where we question each other and talk about our problems.

“We’re all in the room for the same reason, and it’s interesting because you meet people who may have had similar experiences to you in their life.

“If you’re struggling mentally, it’s important to not just talk to those who simply listen, but those that give advice on how to move forward.”

Additionally, the OHID report found that younger adults were struggling the most, with 57 per cent of 18-34 year olds saying their mental health was negatively affected as a result of the pandemic.

A number of celebrities have also come out in support of the new campaign, such as Stephen Fry, Jay Blades and Arlo Parks.

For more information regarding the EMM campaign, visit: