World Mental Health Day is coming to Middlesbrough on Saturday 8th October 2016 and we want your help and support to make it bigger and better than ever before. They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, so we are looking to start that journey today.
This year’s worldwide theme for World Mental Health Day is Mental Health First Aid:
One in four adults will experience mental health difficulties at one time or the other but many will receive little or no help when they present in an emergency. In contrast the majority of people with physical health difficulties who present in an emergency in a public or hospital setting will be offered physical health first aid.
Psychological and mental health first aid should available to all, and not just a few. This is the reason why the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has chosen psychological and mental health first aid as its theme for World Mental Health Day 2016.
We want to build on the international theme with a very Middlesbrough focus. After an initial consultation with interested organisations and partners, not only do we want to encourage people to access formal mental health first aid training but we want to inspire people to take ‘One More Step’ to mental wellbeing in their community.
Many people will be happy to offer help and support to their family or friends, but we want to encourage people to take just one more step beyond that. This may mean they take that help, support and empathy to someone just one more step outside their normal support network. This could mean the person they sit next to at work or college, another Mum or Dad on the school run, the person who sits in front of them at the match, a regular they share a commute with or a stranger who looks like they might be struggling in the high street.
This is by no means a definitive list and we want to encourage you to become part of the journey with us. We’d like to ask you and your teams to think about what you can do, as an organisation in your respective field, to take that ‘one more step’ with us. How can you go just one step further to offer mental health help and support to those you serve?
To support the ‘One More Step’ initiative and to make it something uniquely Middlesbrough in flavour, we are also going to utilise the colloquial Boro term for both “Hello” and “How are you?” which gives us “Alright”.
It’s a term with two meanings. Either someone is ‘Alright” themselves or they are asking if someone they know (or even don’t know) is “Alright”. We have a number of plans to use this in fun and interactive ways as the day approaches.
We’d be delighted to have you come aboard and develop the ‘One More Step’ theme within your specific target area with us. We can’t wait to hear what you come up with.
Contact Catherine Haigh at VoicesforChoices@outlook.com