A few weeks ago i blogged about how you could  Celebrate World Mental Health Day in London. I was lucky enough to be able to do just that and found myself on the 10th of October at Camden’s Real Talk event titled “Mad, Bad or Sad”.

The event brought together more than 60 young people from Camden and a range of organisations for a dynamic, interactive debate on mental health at Camden Council. Young people were asked a range of questions such as “when you hear “mental health” what do you think?” and “would you tell your friends if you had a mental health problem in the past” and responded by voting with keypads; a really great way to use technology to involve people in open, honest debate.

The event was hosted by Brooke Kinsella (@brookekinsella), star of Eastenders and anti-knife crime campaigner and Luc Skyz (@LucSkyz), London rapper but i must say the real stars of the show were the young people.

I attended the event as a member of YoungMinds staff and had my own stall full of information, freebies and sweets (which proved to be very popular!). I spoke to so many young people and told them what we get up to at the nations leading children and young people’s mental health charity and a lot of people expressed an interest in getting involved.

I also got to tell the young people i spoke to about the app i am currently developing with NHS London and there was a lot of interest, young people told me they wouldn’t necessarily know where to go if they needed help or were worried about a friend; something i hear time and time again. It was good to hear that there is a genuine need and want for the app we are working on and i hope that when it is released it helps.

My favourite part of Real Talk was sitting in on the debate “Mad, Bad or Sad” and it was really interesting to hear directly from young people what they think mental health is and how they perceive mental illness and those that suffer from it.

There were some very revealing comments and some great questions; hopefully we busted some stigmas and it was great just to be able to talk openly about mental health with people who might not necessarily think twice about it otherwise.

Overall it was a fantastic event and i am so glad i was able to be a part of it. I’d like to thank the organisers and all the young people that attended.

Yesterday i attended the London launch of “Rethink Your Mind”. They are running a competition to help raise positive awareness of mental health and to help change attitudes.
Based on the sentence “With good mental health i have..” they are encouraging people to submit their art, photography and poems to be made into a book.

Entries are accepted from 10th October (World Mental Health Day) until the 31st of January 2013.
You can upload your work onto the website at Rethinkyourmind.
Or post it to them directly along with your contact details (check website for postal address).

The event yesterday launched the competition and we also heard from speakers from a wide array of very well respected organisations including Bipolar Aware, SiSo and NSUN.

We had interesting, sometimes heart-warming, at points heart breaking speeches from representatives from these organisations and from Peter, the man who’s brainchild “Rethink your mind” is. It was Peter, in particular, who really shone out for me and i immediately pounced on him during a break to tell him how inspiring the work he has done is!

I also got to meet and speak with some really wonderful, like minded people, made a lot of contacts, certainly learnt a lot and walked away feeling confident, happy and desperate to spread the message of Rethinkyourmind.

I would strongly recommend you all check out the website and spread the word!

Check out this Rethinkyourmind.

Or find them on social media:

Rethinkyourmind on Facebook.

@rethinkyourmind

Thank goodness it’s Friday!

It has been a very productive week in the office but in my poor sleep deprived, zombie-esque state i am rather happy to have reached the end of the working week. My sleep tracker app tells me i am very much in debt to the sandman.

A lot of progress has been made though, we have been working hard in the office, mapping even more services (now almost 400!), going on fact finding missions, blogging and i’ve been busting some jargon to help young people navigate the often nonsensical world of psych-speak.

And next week is looking like another busy one, not that that’s a bad thing!

On Monday i will be attending the London Launch of Rethink Your Mind. which is being held at Tuffnell Park Tavern (12:30-16:30) and is free. The details are below if you also wish to attend. It looks like a fantastic opportunity to hear some really interesting people speak and do some networking.

On Wednesday the team and I shall be sitting down with
BrightLemon. to start working on building the app and website which is very exciting!

On Friday i shall be back in the offices of the Royal College of Psychiatrists fact finding and talking about quality & improvement in CAMHS.

And Saturday sees the return of YoungMinds VIK day which is something i always look forward to. To find out more about the work the VIK project do click here.

 

So i hope you all have a good weekend and hopefully come Monday i shall be a bit more awake! We will also be sending out surveys & sharing our initial web page with you early next week so watch this space!

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