Film shown at Highcross for World Mental Health Day

Published on 07 October 2016

A FILM showing local people sharing positive messages about mental health will be on display in Leicester for World Mental Health Day.

The film – which was developed by Leicester City Council in conjunction with Highcross Leicester – will be screened on the digital light sculpture ‘The Beacons’, located at the heart of St Peters Square, outside Cinema de Lux.

It features people who use mental health services, their families and friends, and people who work in mental health.

Each person is holding up a board with a personal message on it, demonstrating why mental health is such an important issue to them.

The film includes participants from Leicester City Council, health services, voluntary organisations, the police and many of Leicester’s diverse communities, and aims to show that mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time.

Everyone who is pictured in the film is a volunteer, who took part to raise awareness and break the taboos that can surround mental health.

The film will be shown for World Mental Health Day on Monday 10 October.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who appears in the film and chairs Leicester’s health and wellbeing board, said: “This is a great way of highlighting World Mental Health Day and ensuring that we put mental health firmly on the local and national agenda. I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered to be part of the film and to those involved in producing it. It’s a powerful and imaginative way to get across an important message.

“People who experience mental health problems, and their families, need to know that they’ll get the best possible care and support when they need it. Events like this one, that get people talking about mental health, are extremely important because they help us to find out what people want and expect from mental health services locally.

“It is crucial that we continue to drive forward a better public conversation on mental health to tackle stigma and discrimination. The city council will continue to play its part in doing this and World Mental Health Day is an important opportunity to do this.”

Viv Addey is one of the individuals who took part in the film. She said: “I began having mental health problems in the 1960s, when I had post-natal depression. I want to work to help raise awareness. I want people to know that there is help available if they need it.

“The message I held up for the film is ‘I’m a survivor.’

“I’ve had a lot of support, and I want to make sure other people get the services they need too – especially younger people and young women who might be going through what I went through.”  

The Beacons are a new platform for public engagement. Tina Barton, project manager of the Beacons, said: “We’re excited to be working with Leicester City Council and local film makers Image Nova on this. Mental health problems can affect anyone, from all walks of life, so it’s increasingly important that we look at creative ways of raising awareness and getting key messages out there.” 

Further events will also be taking place to mark World Mental Health Day on 10 October. At the Churchgate entrance of the Highcross shopping centre, a pop-up shop will be showcasing some simple therapies that can help improve mental health, with 10-minute, drop-in taster sessions in mindfulness and singing.

There will also be mental health ‘first aid’ training sessions, where people can learn how to talk to people who might be struggling with their mental health.

Activities are free and will take place from 12-8pm.

To find out more about mental health services in Leicester, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/mentalhealth

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