Local people have been learning more about mental health and learning disability issues after attending a special event run by South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust at Fieldhead in Wakefield.
The event, held in the week the NHS celebrates its 60th birthday, welcomed existing members of the Trust as well as people interested in signing up and attracted over seventy people. Those who attended were able to get tips on how to look after their mental wellbeing, watch live drama and music performances and meet representatives from the Trust’s Members’ Council.
South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust provides NHS mental health and learning disability services to people in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield (as well as specialist services to the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber). The Trust is applying to become a Foundation Trust, a different type of NHS organisation based on membership. Over 9800 local people have already joined as members.
The event was officially opened by Trust Chair, Joyce Catterick and Chief Executive, Steven Michael. A clinical professional gave top tips on keeping a healthy mind and there was also an inspirational talk about how people have set up and taken part in groups that promote self-help and recovery.
People also watched a live drama performance by Full Monty star Steve Huison from the Shoestring Theatre Company. Steve performed a one-man play entitled, ‘Fifty feet and falling’ which is based on the diaries of a close friend who struggled with depression. Food was available throughout the evening and the event closed with a vibrant drumming and percussion session by local music group HOOT.
Pauline Edwards attended the event and said "The one man play was so powerful and brilliant. It really brought together everything that the evening was about and opened people’s eyes."
Andrew Williams, who also attended the event said, "The event was really interesting and a great opportunity to network, meet likeminded people and find out more about what’s going on in mental health services."
The Trust’s Chair Joyce Catterick said, "The event was a great success and it was fantastic to see so many people turn up and take an active interest in our services and in celebrating mental health and learning disability issues. Living with mental health difficulties is very hard and can impact on all the family. With so many people affected – 1 in 4 of us in the course of a year – it’s important we talk about the impact of mental health problems openly and that people feel confident to seek support from local services as and when they need to. The event was really enjoyable and lots of people gave us positive feedback which we’ll use when planning our next events to coincide with World Mental Health Day in October."