Sheffield city centre opens its mind to World Mental Health Day

Sheffield city centre commemorated World Mental Health Day on Monday, with organisations and services from across the city coming together to raise awareness of mental health.

This year, the city held two events to recognise the day. Its aim was to encourage efforts to support mental health.

The first event took place in the Sheffield University Student Union. Packed full of giveaways and guidance, the event involved stalls set up by groups that aim to aid individuals with their mental health.

One such organisation was Sheffield Mind, an independent charity that is part of a network of over 170 local Mind associations across England. It organises a range of services and support to enable individuals to lead healthy lives.

Lucy Cooper, a representative for the charity, believes that we can do more as a society to help break down the stigma of mental health disorders.

“I think everybody can play their part by being more empathetic to those with mental health disorders, to make sure that mental health is treated with the same respect as physical health,” she said.

The event at the union included stalls held by Sheffield Drug and AlcoholDomestic Abuse Coordination Team (DACT), Community Recovery Service Sheffield and a range of other student support services.

Anna Mullaney, the student welfare officer for Sheffield Student Union who helped to organise the event, felt the stalls would provide a basis for those with concerns about mental health. However she described how society should focus more on the root cause of issues with mental health rather than just reacting to an already present problem.

A short, rainy walk from the students union to the Moor Market brought you to the second event of the day.

In the centre of the market was a stall organised by Support Arts Gardening Education (SAGE) Greenfingers. The charity had organised a crafts stall where the public could get involved in a taster of what they do, many were pressing dried flowers onto cards.

The organisation prides itself in providing a type of horticultural therapy to those with mental health problems.

Emma Msigiti, a support worker for the charity, expressed how the organisation gives individuals an opportunity to socialise and be active in an outdoor setting.

She said: “events like this raise awareness that mental health is a part of everyday life. It can affect anybody from any walk of life.”

World Mental Health Day signals the start of Sheffield Mental Health Week, a week the city dedicates to raising the awareness of mental health.

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