Services users, carers, staff and the public joined in the celebrations in Wakefield and Pontefract to mark World Mental Health Day, with events held by the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust in partnership with Wakefield District Council, on the 7th, 8th and 10th October.
The main event took place at the Fieldhead Education Centre, Wakefield on the 10th October, with supporting events which took place at St Swithuns Community Centre, Wakefield on the 7th October and the Pontefract Family Centre on the 8th October.
All events were hugely successful, over 500 people turned out to the event at the Fieldhead Education Centre to enjoy the wide range of activities.
The party atmosphere started with ‘music therapy,’ singing and dancing to a wide range of popular feel good songs. Dr Bipin Upadhyay, consultant psychiatrist, introduced all of the songs and encouraged everybody to join in, even the Trust’s chief executive, Judith Young, got up to dance!
The music and photography workshops, which ran as part of the INSPIRE project, were extremely popular. Everybody was encouraged to have their photo taken and leave a message about the day, the photos were then displayed for all to see. Hoot, a group which runs music workshops across West Yorkshire, also proved very popular. Many people took part in the interactive music sessions, which included learning how to play the African drums.
Alongside this, there was a free buffet, stalls providing a range of information, taster sessions for arts and crafts, complementary therapies, health advice and much, much more.
Phil Walters, public involvement manager, said; "These World Mental Health Day celebrations play an important part in removing the stigma associated with mental illness. We were so pleased with the outcome of all of the events, everybody really got into the spirit of World Mental Health Day. I’ve had lots of positive feedback with many people saying that it was a really great fun day out.
A group of school children that attended one of the events, were even inspired to suggest completing a project on mental health, which will be underway in the near future. I believe that these events have been really successful in promoting a positive view of mental illness and raising awareness amongst a wider audience that we must all look after our mental health."