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 the Hudawi Centre in Huddersfield.
The event, held on 2nd July welcomed existing members of the Trust as well as people interested in signing up and attracted over 100 people. Those who attended were able to meet the Trust’s Members’ Council, find out about looking after their mental wellbeing, watch live drama and music performances, as well as learn more about local NHS services.
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 a presentation on psychosis and stigma and there was also an inspirational talk about how people have set up and taken part in groups that promote self-help and recovery.
The main part of the event was a thought-provoking and inspirational piece of drama called ‘Katy’s Story’ performed by the Whole in the Head theatre company, a unique company with actor’s who have personal experience of mental health issues.
Light refreshments were available throughout the evening and the event closed with a vibrant drumming and percussion session by local music group HOOT.
Norman Hazell MBE, attended the event and said, "I am generally interested in mental health and how to keep a healthy mind as I have a nephew who has mental health problems. I think it is such an important issue and the event did a fantastic job of opening people’s eyes and educating them on what mental health is all about, as well as what services are available in the local area."
Beverley Mellor, who on the Trust’s Member’s Council said, "The event was a great way of spreading the word about Trust services and encouraging more people to sign up as members. The ‘Whole in the Head’ drama performance was excellent and communicated the impact of mental health problems really powerfully."
The Trust’s Chair Joyce Catterick said, "The event was a great success and it was encouraging to see so many people turn up and take an active interest in mental health and learning disability issues. These issues impact on so many of us, our friends and family with 1 in 4 of us experiencing a mental health problem each year. I enjoyed meeting local people and look forward to future opportunities for more involvement from the local community."