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Speak out about mental illness at Lowestoft Library event

Lowestoft Library. Picture: Google.

Lowestoft Library. Picture: Google.

Archant

Service users, carers and members of the public are invited to attend an annual event organised by staff at the region’s mental health trust to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

The event - on Tuesday, October 10 at Lowestoft Library - will offer advice and information about support services and get people talking about their own experiences.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will be on hand to provide information about their services, including the Norfolk and Waveney Wellbeing Service, who offer support to people with emotional issues such as low mood, anxiety, depression or stress.

People can also talk to staff from The Recovery College who provide a range of courses and workshops to service users and carers to develop their skills and help them to understand mental health, identify goals and support their access to further opportunities.

Paul Anderson, assistant practitioner for NSFT’s Great Yarmouth and Waveney recovery team, said: “As we know, mental health can affect many people in all walks of life and, of course, we want to support their families and friends who can be in a caring role.

“We need to fight the stigma and negativity that surrounds mental health and give people information that empowers them to seek help for themselves or support others.

“I feel that raising the profile of mental health, bringing it in line with physical health, is paramount. After all, mental disorders affect one in four of us.”

Karen Slatcher, mental health practitioner for NSFT’s wellbeing service added: “In my role I work with people who say their families, friends or work colleagues don’t understand the impact that their mental health issues have on their lives.

“People can feel misunderstood, and may delay seeking support as they believe admitting mental health problems is a sign of weakness, or they feel they should be able to manage the problem themselves. This event is a chance for people to talk openly in a safe space about how mental health affects them and ask for help if they need it right now, or gain information for when they may need it in the future.”

The pair have organised the event for the last six years. For more information, email karen.slatcher@nsft.nhs.uk

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