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Make a pledge and help reduce mental health stigma in Havering

PUBLISHED: 09:11 20 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:11 20 May 2016

#iMind composite

#iMind composite

Archant

The Recorder launched a major mental health awareness campaign in January. This Mental Health Awareness Week we reflect on how much we've achieved

Mental Health Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to increase understanding and reduce stigma in Havering.

For almost six months, the Recorder has been working with mental health charity Havering Mind to share information about conditions and the support available.

The response has been fantastic; many readers have pledged to support the campaign, shared their stories and attended events – but there is still a long way to go.

Recorder editor Chris Carter said: “Mental health problems will affect one in five of us and it is vital that support and understanding are available when people need them.

“With your help we’ve already achieved so much. Businesses, individuals, health leaders and politicians have all signed up to our campaign.

“Councillors have received mental health awareness training and we’ve been able to shine a spotlight on the mental health of the borough, as well as the work being done to improve care.

“But, sadly, during this period our news pages have also demonstrated how much needs to be done and just last week, a coroner gave a stark warning on the affect of mental health stigma on a young man who took his life.”

There are many ways you can support our campaign, the simplest being to click on the campaign logo on the right hand side of this page and join those who have already signed our mental health pledge.

In the pledge section, there is the opportunity to say why you are giving your support.

Many of the borough’s residents have also come forward to share their own stories, which have been truly inspiring.

We launched the campaign in January and featured Julia Turner, who overcame depression and now works with Havering Mind to support others.

In the intervening months, we have spoken to those with experience of mental health problems and carers about conditions including bipolar, anxiety, paranoid schizophrenia and agoraphobia.

We’ve also been able to shine a light on the fantastic work done by Havering Mind.

Vanessa Bennett, chief executive of Havering Mind, said: “We are delighted with how the campaign has been going so far.

“We are so proud of the people who have come forward to share their stories and experiences with mental health.

“We have seen an increase in the number of people enquiring about our services as a result of this campaign.

“We are pleased that many local businesses have supported this campaign and we look forward to working with more businesses in the future by providing them with mental health awareness training.

“We are also very grateful for the support given to the campaign from our partner organisations, including NELFT and Havering Council.

“As the year goes on, we would encourage more people to speak up about their experiences and to pledge their support for mental health.”

Please take the time to show your support, whether by signing our pledge, tweeting a picture of yourself with the #iMind sign, sharing your story or simply speaking to a friend, colleague or loved one about how they’re feeling.

Together we can improve Havering’s mental health.

To find out more about how you can support the campaign, email emma.lake@archant.co.uk or call 0208 477 3878

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