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Northamptonshire Mental Health Awareness Day 2017

Don’t’ forget that Friday 10 February 2017 is Northamptonshire Mental Health Awareness Day!

It is a day planned by our group, to raise awareness about mental health and empower students to TALK OUT LOUD about how they are feeling - whilst raising money for mental health charity MIND at the same time. We aim to remove the stigma surrounding mental health and bring to light the importance of seeking help for any mental health needs that young people may have.

On Mental Health Awareness Day, we work in our respective schools to make sure that lots of activities take place to support our campaign. We all work incredibly hard to get the message that it’s ok to TALK OUT LOUD about mental health! Some of the key activities that take place are:

Hand stamps: each secondary school is provided with a hand stamp, with the slogan ‘Stamp out Stigma’. We try to stamp the hands of as many people as possible in order to reach each person individually and ‘leave a mark’ on them as a metaphor of how mental health affects you. It also works to bring attention to our cause so more people will talk about mental health – this year we estimate that we stamped the hands of 40,000 young people at different schools, which is amazing!

Presentation assembly: Each year we develop a different mental health themed assembly for schools to deliver, mainly around what to do if a young person thinks that they have mental health problems and how to support themselves and others as well as recognise mental health problems and see where they can seek help and information.

Social media: We also have a hash tag that we use on our social media channels (#StampOutStigma) which allows people to post pictures of their stamped hands and raise more awareness for our cause.

Balloon release: We launch balloons at different schools (one balloon for each school in the county) at midday on Mental Health Awareness Day. We invite local dignitaries to schools (Mayors etc) -the balloon launch really helps schools to come together with their local community and spread the importance of mental health and address mental health stigma in the process.       

Chatterboxes: thanks to sponsorship by Nationwide Building Society, every single secondary school student in Northamptonshire was provided with a chatterbox, to encourage them to talk to each other about emotional well-being and mental health.

During 2017 we are doing all of the above and are launching ‘Challenge Tessa’, an initiative where we are sending Tessa, one of our Programme Managers around to as many schools as possible in the week leading up to Mental Health Awareness Day for them to stamp a white boiler suit to demonstrate their commitment to reducing mental health stigma. If your school hasn’t signed up for a visit from Tessa and would like to take part, please e-mail tessa@3activeuk.com

Overall we aim to raise awareness on this day, bring the community together and raise money for charity. We hope our endeavours make a difference to people with mental health needs and help to take away the stigma surrounding mental health. Whether we make small or huge progress, we as a team aim to always work hard for this cause and continuously thank our supporters, friends and family.

To find out more visit our website www.talkoutloud.info

 

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