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Friday 13 February is Mental Health Awareness Day!

Our annual county-wide Mental Health Awareness Day is taking place on Friday 13 February 2015, providing schools and the wider Northamptonshire community with the opportunity to raise awareness of mental health stigma in lots of interesting, fun and inclusive ways.

For the first time during this annual event, the Mental Health Stigma Programme will continue activities by joining forces with Northampton Saints who have kindly let the Programme sponsor the Northampton Saints V London Irish game taking place on the evening of 13 February 2015.

On the day there will be lots of events taking place:
Hand Stamps – each secondary school will be provided with a hand stamps for schools to use on the day. Schools will be asking students to demonstrate their commitment to stamping out mental health stigma by stamping a mental health message on their hand.

Balloon Launch – schools across the county will be taking place in a countywide balloon launch at 12 midday. Children & young people from local schools, MPs, local councillors and other dignitries will be in attendance.

Mental Health Lessons – many schools in the county will be delivering mental health focused assemblies, written by the Mental Health Stigma Programme, to encourage young people to explore their perceptions of mental health and mental health stigma.

Other activities such as a mufti day and themed mental health awareness assemblies are also taking place.

Northampton Saints game: young people from across the county will be manning the gates and asking people to commit to reducing mental health stigma by having their hands stamped with a mental health message. They will also be flag bearers as players run out to start the match and a player will be stamping the match-ball before the game. The Northampton Saints have also given the programme the opportunity to have their logo in the programme and up on the big screens around the stadium.

Emma Grinham, aged 18 and chair of the Mental Health Stigma Programme participation group, who have planned the day, said “We all have mental health and mental health needs. It’s just that some of us can meet our own needs and others need help or support – and that’s ok. Mental health is everyone’s business and it’s our business to change people’s views and perspectives to reduce mental health stigma. We really hope that Mental Health Awareness Day can make some contribution towards this.”

David Loyd-Hearn Lead Commissioner Children and Young People - Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health, NHS commissioner said “Through our work with young people, their parents, carers, teachers, youth workers and health professionals we have seen time and time again the negative effect that mental health stigma can have on children and young people. We hope Mental Health awareness day will present schools and the wider community with an opportunity to talk about the issue openly and candidly, focus on the importance of positive wellbeing and ensure everyone can access the support and information they need.”

For further information on the day, to arrange an interview with representatives from the Mental Health Stigma Programme or to find out how you can get involved in covering events on the day please contact Katharine Parker on 07974 141266 or e-mail katharine@3activeuk.com or visit www.talkoutloud.info

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Can you help us to raise awareness on mental health awareness day by using our hashtag #stampoutstigma on social media profiles……we are hoping to get trending!!!!

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