It’s easy to get cynical about awareness events. After all, seldom does a month go by without it being ‘National This-and-that Day’, or ‘World Such-and-such Week’.
Indeed, it was even ‘National Talk Like a Pirate Day’ not so long ago! But this month sees the launch of Nottingham Mental Health Awareness Weeks... and with stats showing that one in four people suffer from a mental health problem at some point in their lifetime, it’s an event that has huge relevance to everyone.
The weeks are organised annually to coincide with World Mental Health Day, which takes place every year on October 10. The whole thing is a collaborative effort by a large number of different local organisations, the majority of them of them from the voluntary sector. The overall aim is to challenge public perceptions of what mental health is all about.
This year, the weeks run from Sunday 9 October until Friday 21 October, with a packed programme of events ranging from craft events to a film premiere. One of the organisations involved is Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which provides services across the county for people with mental health problems.
“We are naturally pleased to support Nottingham Menral Health Awareness Weeks,” says Dr Mike Harris, Acting Chief Executive for the Trust: “I hope the many events taking place over the fortnight will do a great deal to open people’s minds and shatter some of the myths that exist around mental health.”
The Trust has organised several events taking place during the weeks itself, including a vibrant exhibition of over 50 artworks produced by people who have used the Trust’s services. Titled Art is Good For You! this exhibition is being held in Nottingham city centre at the View from the Top Gallery, which is situated within the Waterstones book store on Bridlesmith Gate. One of the artists whose work is on display is Daniella Wood who says:
“I find painting an excellent way of releasing inner stress. I paint intense emotions, thoughts and feelings. I'm not too concerned about my work making sense to others, the priority is for me to make sense of who I am.”
Art is Good For You! is having an official launch event from 2pm until 5pm on Monday 10 October. This launch event will feature a poetry workshop called Pictures and Words that is being run by the local community group City Arts. Anyone coming along to the exhibition is welcome to take part. Following the launch, Art is Good for You will be open every day for the remainder the week, from 9am until 6pm. Admission is free.
“I hope as many people as possible will come along to the View From the Top Gallery and see for themselves what a positive impact art can have,” says Dr Harris.
For a full listing of all the different events taking place during Nottingham Mental Health Awareness Weeks, contact the Trust’s Communications Team on 0115 9934530.
For more information about World Mental Health Day meanwhile, please visit the
World Federation for Mental Health website.