October 10th brings us World Mental Health day – the day to show support and learn about mental health issues. On this day, more than 150 countries participate in mental health education through activities, talks, articles and films. The World Federation of Mental Health choose a theme for each year, and this year we are focusing on young people in a changing world.
Every week 1 in 6 people suffer from common mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, and 1 in 5 adults consider taking their own life at some point. With this many people experiencing mental health problems, it’s crucial that take time to educate ourselves and break the stigma around it. A report from the WFMH showed that 51% of young people believe people their age would be embarrassed about their mental health, making it difficult for them to speak out and get the support they need.
There’s many ways to get involved in the local area; universities and local groups are organising a range of activities and events for you to learn about mental health while having fun.
TUESDAY 9TH OCTOBER
The first day of activities start at the Gulbenkian Theatre with a poetry open mic night in their Café where anyone can come and read out poetry they connect to, or even their own poetry starting at 5pm.
After listening to some great poetry, you can watch some of the short films from the World Mental Health Day competition at 6pm in the theatre. Both of these events are free so there’s even more reason to get involved.
As part of WMHD, the Gulbenkian are screening The Miseducation of Cameron Post at 7pm – an interesting film about ‘gay treatment’ for teenagers, where a young girl is sent to a Christian camp to be ‘saved’ after being caught with another girl.
This follows on to a Panel discussion about the LGBT community at 8.55 – 9.20 pm, including Professor Doug MacInnes, Rev David Stroud, Welfare Office UKC, LGBT Officer UKC.
WEDNESDAY 10TH OCTOBER
Canterbury Christchurch University are creating stalls with information about where you can find support for mental health at the Old Sessions House and Augustine House between 10am – 4pm.
The University of Kent and Greenwich are teaming up in their Medway campus where you can visit the wellbeing stands, find local support services and also add ideas to the graffiti wall about the 5 ways to wellbeing. This is taking place between 11am-3pm at the Pilkington Atrium.
Canterbury city centre is hosting a Pop-Up Wellbeing and Safety Hub in the hight street between 6pm-9pm to help raise awareness.
FRIDAY 12TH OCTOBER
Author and comedian Isabel Losada is coming to Waterstones, Rose Lane in Canterbury from 6pm to share her knowledge and experiences with mental health and finding happiness. The night will contain a range of stand-up comedy, motivational talks and even a Q&A session for the audience to ask anonymous questions. You can also pick up Isabel’s book The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment to borrow through the event. You can book your free tickets for the night here