Celebrating World Mental Health Day
A Mental Health Awareness Day on Tuesday 10th October is being organised by mental health campaigner, Paul Hicks in conjunction with Witney Town Council as one of a series of Community Engagement events that the Town Council supports.
Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership and other Mental Health charities and associated organisations will have stands that highlight the work they do and offer information to visitors.
The day is also an opportunity for businesses to learn how they can support employees who may be one of the 1 in 4 workers affected by conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress every year. In fact mental ill-health is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK, costing an average of £1,035 per employee per year. Looking after the mental health of employees makes business sense: tackling stigma can make a real difference to sickness absence rates, staff wellbeing and productivity, and retention.
Also part of the day is a Photo Booth and a promise wall which will be used to raise awareness via social media.
Entertainment in the form of music and poetry performances, organised by Derek West, will add to the busy timetable of activities in the main hall. Upstairs in the gallery room, breakout sessions include Yoga and presentations on hypno-psychotherapy and a demonstration workshop about song writing will take place. A quiet room is available for those who wish to have uninterrupted conversations.
Oxfordshire Mind will present a session it’s #OxMindWMHD camapaign. This is based around gathering contributions for the #OxMindWMHD book and joining in with the “Olympic Style” relay on WMHD. One of the stops will be this Witney Corn Exchange event, along with local workplaces and services. The Book will then travel to County Hall to be accepted by Cllr Hudspeth at 4:30pm on WMHD.
Paul Hicks, organiser said;
“I have lived experience of Anxiety and Depression and I’m very passionate about mental health awareness and campaigning. With the support of Witney Town Council, we are able to host this event and raise awareness of this important issue and provide an opportunity for those working on mental health issues to talk about their work in the community.”
Witney Mayor, Councillor Chris Woodward added;
“I’m delighted to offer my support to this event. It is a very emotive subject that everyone should feel they can talk about and seek the assistance they may need. I would encourage anyone who may have a need for support to come along. Very often, the first step is the hardest; perhaps this is that first positive step that will uncover a network of reources.
In the same way, this event is a vital resource that businesses can tap in to in order to discover the huge number of organisations and groups that are able to help support their workforce with mental health issues.”
The event in the Corn Exchange is open to the public between 10am and 3pm on Tuesday 10th October. Admission is completely free and refreshments are available throughout the day.