Mental Health Awareness week: how is Birmingham marking the occasion?

Here’s what’s happening in the city to mark Mental Health Awarenes week

It’s Mental Health Awarenes week and there a number of events taking place in Birmingham to mark the occasion.

A survey of 5,136 UK adults by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy indicated that 70% of people say their mental health has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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And nearly a fifth of respondents (19%) described their mental health as “poor”.

It’s clearly been a difficult couple of years with the pandemic, so taking some time to raise awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to address it is what the week is all about.

The Bullring Bull will be out of public view all of next week, as part of a Mental Health Awareness Week campaign

What’s going on in Birmingham?

There are a number of events taking place in the city.

For the first time since its arrival 20 years ago, the much-loved Bullring Bull will be out of public view all of this to mark hte occasion.

Teaming up with NHS Birmingham and Solihull, Birmingham Mind and Living Well UK, the Bullring is encouraging people to be totally open about their mental health state with ‘No Bull’.

The Bull will be cased in a box, signposting people to places to ask for help in managing their mental health and finding support.

While the Bull may be missing, the Bullring will also be gaining a new addition, in the form of a Wellbeing Drop-In Hub. Headed up by Birmingham Mind, in collaboration with NHS Birmingham and Solihull and Living Well UK, the Hub will beopen 10am-4pm, Monday to Saturday,giving passers-by the abilityto drop in and chat.

The Hub – located in the former GAP retail unit – will have a host of friendly experts available to talk.

Whether you’re looking to have a quick chat about services available; Bullring or to ask for advice and support: the team will be on-hand to offer a helping hand and a listening ear.

Commenting on the collaboration for Mental Health Awareness Week, Helen Wadley, CEO of Birmingham Mind, said: “We’re so pleased to be working with the Bullring team this Mental Health Awareness Week, and I’m sure we can all agree that it’s time for ‘No Bull’ when talking about wellbeing.

“Since the launch of our one-stop mental health phoneline for residents of Birmingham and Solihullduring the first Covid lockdown, we’ve seen an ever-increasing incline in calls, which we hope is a sign that people are feeling more confident, secure, and ready to reach out than ever before.

“Mental health doesn’t discriminate and you – or those around you – may be struggling with more bad days than good. For anyone who wants to talk about the challenges they are facing, be assured that our team is friendly, supportive, and they want to hear from you. There is help out there, and most importantly, it is free, accessible, and available to you today.

“Whether you’re in the Bullring and want to see us; would rather type your feelings via our Live Web Chat; or speak over the phone, at any time of the day: we’re here to talk.”

The Bull will be covered from 9 May and will return on the 16 May.

New Street flower display

Passengers at Birmingham New Street this week will also be greeted by colourful flowers to boost passengers’ mental health.

Network Rail said it hopes the installation will “lift people’s spirits” during their journeys.

The Brighter Journeys initiative aims to raise awareness of the free Hub of Hope app, which helps users access support if they are struggling with mental health.

The flowers will initially go on display at London Liverpool Street station between Monday and Wednesday to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

The installation will then be moved to these stations: Leeds, Edinburgh Waverley, Birmingham New Street, Stevenage, East Croydon and Cardiff.

Public event on loneliness and mental health

During an event sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy, three experts in philosophy and psychology will talk about the relationship between loneliness and mental health at the University of Birmingham.

The event is free and open to all. Some complimentary refreshments will be available after the event.

The program includes these philosophy and psychology experts:

  • Michael Larkin: What is the difference that makes a difference to loneliness?
  • Lucienne Spencer: Epistemic injustice and loneliness in late-stage dementia
  • Ian James Kidd : Loneliness and interpersonal connection

For more information, visit the webiste, here.

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