Mental health awareness week set to be best yet

More than 50 organisations will be taking part in Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week, making it the biggest yet.

Flashback: The launch of last year's Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week. Picture: Derek Martin DM16148084a
Flashback: The launch of last year's Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week. Picture: Derek Martin DM16148084a

Incorporating World Mental Health Day, this fifth awareness week runs from Monday, October 9, to Saturday, October 14, at Offington Park Methodist Church, in South Farm Road, Worthing.

Co-founder Carol Barber said: “The aim of the week is to challenge the stigma around mental health and to provide good-quality information in a safe and non-judgemental environment.”

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The week will launch at 10am on Monday with the lighting of a peace candle by Worthing mayor Alex Harman, mayor’s chaplain the Rev Brian Penfold and master of ceremonies Bob Smytherman, who co-founded the week with Carol in 2013.

The key note presentation will be on Monday from 10.45am to midday, when Eleanor Hope, community development officer at West Sussex County Council, will explore issues around diversity and wellbeing.

During the week, there will be a series of free events, open to all, including a Laughter for Wellness and Wellbeing workshop by Worthing Laughter Club on World Mental Health Day on Tuesday.

An information centre will be set up, with displays from charities, organisations and groups, and the programme includes a variety of workshops and talks, designed to promote mental health.

Highlights of the week include a special meeting of Worthing Rethink Mental Health Carers group, run by Mark Hughes, on Monday, 7pm to 9pm, with a guest speaker from the Care Quality Commission. This is open to anyone caring for someone with a mental health condition.

The focus for Tuesday will be keeping well in later life, including an open meeting of the Dementia Action Alliance at 4pm.

On Wednesday, Worthing Counselling Centre, formerly Offington Counselling Service, will be hosting a talk on Courage to Heal during its Come and Meet Us morning, where people can find out more about counselling. This will be followed with a celebration quiz night at 7pm to mark the relaunch under the new name.

Thursday’s activities include ways of promoting self care and emotional resilience.

On the Friday, there will be an informal workshop, Spirituality and Mental Wellbeing, during the afternoon, followed by a concert at 7.30pm, with a retiring collection for Coastal West Sussex Mind.

A coffee morning on Saturday, 10am to midday, will give people a final chance to look at the exhibitions and information stands, which will be available all day.