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Lowestoft Library event to mark World Mental Health Day

PUBLISHED: 14:42 06 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:58 06 October 2017

Lowestoft Library. Picture: Google.

Lowestoft Library. Picture: Google.

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Service users, carers and members of the public are invited to attend an annual event aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental ill-health.

The event on Tuesday, October 10, will be held at Lowestoft Library and will offer advice and information about local support services and get people talking about their own experiences.

It is being organised by staff at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

NSFT will be on hand to provide information about their services, including the Norfolk and Waveney Wellbeing Service, which offers support to people with emotional issues such as low mood, anxiety, depression or stress.

People can also talk to staff from The Recovery College which provides a range of courses and workshops to service users and carers to develop their skills and help them to understand mental health, identify goals and support their access to further opportunities.

Attendees will also have the chance to speak to representatives from other organisations including Feedback, Lowestoft Men’s Shed, Domestic Violence Forum, Surviving United, Clinks Care Farm, Alzheimer’s Society, MIND, Voiceability, Turning Point and the Samaritans.

One Life Suffolk will also be at the event offering free NHS physical health checks.

Paul Anderson, assistant practitioner for NSFT’s Great Yarmouth and Waveney Recovery Team and Karen Slatcher, mental health practitioner for NSFT’s Wellbeing Service have jointly organised this event for the past six years, alternating the location between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Mr Anderson said: “As we know, mental health can affect many people in all walks of life and, of course, we want to support their families and friends who can be in a caring role.

“We need to fight the stigma and negativity that surrounds mental health and give people information that empowers them to seek help for themselves or support others.

“I feel that raising the profile of mental health, bringing it in line with physical health, is paramount. After all, mental disorders affect one in four of us.”

Ms Slatcher added: “In my role I work with people who say their families, friends or work colleagues don’t understand the impact that their mental health issues have on their lives.

“People can feel misunderstood, and may delay seeking support as they believe admitting mental health problems is a sign of weakness, or they feel they should be able to manage the problem themselves.

“This event is a chance for people to talk openly in a safe space about how mental health affects them and ask for help if they need it right now, or gain information for when they may need it in the future.”

For more information about the services NSFT offer, visit www.nsft.nhs.uk/our-services

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