Awareness Raising in Action at the Health and Wellbeing Festival
There are three topics often talked when it comes to mental health: breaking down barriers to access mental health services, removing the stigma to talk about mental health and raising awareness of what mental health looks like.
So how can we put this in action?
One answer is community festivals, which put health and wellbeing at the heart. Creating a positive visual presence of what local mental health support looks like is a great way to break down stigma and barriers to accessing support. For people to be able to make initial contact with support services in a relaxed setting and have workers available to answer questions can make a big difference.
Change Mental Health were proud to have our services represented at the Perth and Kinross Health and Wellbeing Festival. Our team included the services all based within Tayside. Created by Trauma Healing Together, the festival is a great representation of connecting communities to the support available. The festival took place across the first weekend in August and was jam packed with workshops, talks, live music and more.
Our team hosted a ‘Wellbeing Corner’ where we got to chat to people about our services in Tayside and different ways people can look after their mental health. There was great networking among the services which created stronger links and future partnerships. One person who stopped by the Wellbeing Corner said:
“It is about time that mental health and wellbeing was highlighted, in a solution based and positive way.”
We had a special visit from the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart, who spoke to us about our various projects and the importance of providing this kind of mental health support in communities. The minister praised the role of the third sector in informing, advising, and supporting people facing challenges with their mental health.
Janice, one of our Carers Support Workers in Perth who attended the festival, said:
“Our team felt it was a great event with a positive atmosphere. We had many conversations on topics like stigma, improving mental health awareness in the community, coping with anxieties, managing conditions, carers issues and barriers to support – just to name a few! We are expecting lots of people to start accessing our support services as a result of the festival.”