Volunteers in Eastbourne talk mental health

Local people are being given the opportunity to talk mental health thanks to a group of volunteers in Eastbourne.

The team, who have all received support from the Health in Mind service, have been out and about in the town to talk to members of the public about their experiences, and hosted a stall in the Arndale Centre.

Health in Mind is run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to people of all ages in Sussex. 

It offers courses and talking therapy to people experiencing stress, anxiety and low mood. The service is completely free and available to anyone over the age of 18 who lives in East Sussex. 

As well as sharing their own experiences of receiving support for their mental health, the group hosted a ‘grafitti wall’, encouraging people to share their own tips on how to stay mentally well and healthy.

They also provided information on the local support available to help people manage their mental health and wellbeing, including how to access the Health in Mind services, and ran activities to showcase the five ways to wellbeing. 

Volunteer Louise, who spoke to people on the day, said: “As a service user, it's been great explaining our own experiences of using Health in Mind to members of the public, who might have otherwise been hesitant or unsure about what the therapy involves. Hopefully this will give them reassurance if they are thinking of accessing the service.”

Kevin Rozario-Johnson, Operations Manager for Health in Mind, said: “Talking about mental health is so important and it was great so see so many people coming forward to ask questions. 

“Our volunteers really wanted to take the discussion about mental health out to the public, and being in a place like the Arndale Centre, with people openly talking about their personal experiences, really helps to break down the stigma that still sadly exists around mental illness. By bringing these conversations out into the open we can hopefully make people feel more comfortable coming forward and asking for help when they need it.” 

The volunteers next event will be at the Beacon Centre on Sunday 12 May.

For more information about Health in Mind, including details of how to self-refer to the service, visit www.healthinmind.org.uk