Pull up a seat for Mental Health Day 2011

Local mental health organisations from the Newtownards area, including AMH, undertook a ‘Stress Free Day’ event at Bloomfield Shopping Centre to raise awareness for World Mental Health Day on the 10th October.  
Fiona Molloy, Chairman of the World Mental Health Day Committee outlined :

‘We would encourage everyone to adopt the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ – Connect, Be active, Take Notice, Learn and Give! A review of the most up-to-date evidence suggests that building the ‘five ways to wellbeing’ into our day-to-day lives is important. By implementing these practical steps we can have a positive experience of life and start to feel good and function well.’

The purpose of this years event was to promote a simple guide to ‘Five ways to Well-Being’.  Several local mental health organisations were represented at the event, including Praxis Care, Action Mental Health, Samaritans, Mindwise, Growing Connections, Holywood Family Counselling, Fibromyalgia Support, Volunteer Now, Patient Client Council, YMCA and FASA in addition to staff from the south  Eastern Health and Social Care Trust’s Community Mental Health Team, Health Promotion Department and Patient Client Council.  Staff from the Job Centres Pathways Team were also on hand to provide advice to people with a disability who wished to return to employment.  
Mark Boyd, SE Trust kindly provided his time and expertise to check people’s blood pressure and provide advice on the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The event was a great success with many people availing of the opportunity to both relax and take time out from their shopping.  Information leaflets on ‘Five ways to Well-being’ were available and visitors to the stand were able to find out the ways in which they can access voluntary and statutory mental health services in the area.  For some people it was an opportunity to share their experiences of living with mental ill health and complement the organisations on the support they had received.
Deputy Mayor of North Down Councillor Leslie Cree commended the work of the various mental health organisations in the North Down area.  The Mayor had volunteered to have his blood pressure checked and looked relaxed as he read some of latest mental health and suicide support resources which have just been launched by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. Councillor Cree took the opportunity to review some of the mental health literature which was available on the stand. He also chatted to both staff from the various mental health organisations and visitors to the stand.
A representative from Bloomfield Shopping Centre outlined that they were delighted to support World Mental Health Day in this way.
The organisers thanked the staff from Bloomfield Shopping Centre and the representatives from the various mental health organisations who contributed to the success of the World Mental Health Day event.
The event was being run alongside a series of events the South Eastern HSC Trust World Mental Health Day Committee were co-ordinating.

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