South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust held a Festival of Wellbeing across Wakefield to celebrate world mental health day 2009 and many people from across the district either held an event or turned out in support.
The events were a huge success and attracted people from all over the region who had a great time and learned about ways to keep their minds healthy. The events were just a handful taking place across the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and throughout the world to promote wellbeing and tackle the stigma that surrounds mental illness. This year’s celebrations included arts and crafts, anti-stigma walks, bulb planting and music therapy groups. Other wellbeing boosting events included pilates and relaxation sessions. Information was available at each event helping people understand the importance of looking after their own mental wellbeing. Information for families and carers was also available. Chair of the Trust, Joyce Catterick said, “The events in Wakefield and beyond have been a real triumph and gave local people the opportunity to get together, try new things and raise awareness of mental health. Most importantly people have had lots of fun and learnt about ways to boost their wellbeing.” She added, “We now have around 15,000 members and it was great to see so many of them turn out to this event and share in the celebrations.” Nearly 200 events were held as part of the festival over 18 days across Calderdale, Kirklees or Wakefield in support of world mental health day. Events and activities covered the themes of ‘Get moving, get creative and get involved’, which have all been found to boost mental wellbeing. Equality and inclusion development worker Lynn Fowley said, "The events were ideal for raising public awareness about the stigma people face. The great attendance and support proves many people feel passionate and want to help dispel mental health myths, which can leave people feeling hurt, diminished and socially isolated."