Local Newspaper Week: Havering Mind reflects on Recorder's 'milestone' mental health campaign
PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 May 2017
In celebration of Local Newspaper Week, which runs until Sunday, four community figures have shared their thoughts on how the Recorder's work has made a difference.
Ciaran White, events coordinator at mental health charity Havering Mind, kicks off the coverage.
The Mind Your Mental Health campaign the Romford Recorder ran over the course of 2016 was to us, a milestone in changing the perception of mental health and wellbeing in Havering.
All too often in the past the importance of mental health has been perhaps subsided by other physical health issues. However, this campaign brought centre stage the many different issues that can and do affect us all. It touched on many subjects throughout the year: depression, anxiety, stress, suicide and so on.
Many local people shared their own stories and experiences with mental health. They did this with great strength and courage, which was humbling for us to be a part of. I know our service users who did speak out found it quite an empowering thing to do, and felt like they were helping other people by telling their own story.
Mental health is a massive issue in society today. In Havering alone, there is an estimated 46,000 adults aged 16+ who have at least one psychiatric disorder (Havering JSNA 2015). This figure is based on people who have been diagnosed, it does not take into account the huge numbers of people who suffer in silence.
The campaign helped to educate people about the importance of positive mental wellbeing, and the many ways in which help is available, and we have seen this through an increase in interest in our services and more people engaging with us on social media.
As the borough’s leading mental health charity, we commend the Recorder on the work they have done throughout this campaign to reduce stigma and enlighten their readers, who are, after all, members of the Havering community.
For more on the charity, visit haveringmind.org.uk. Tomorrow, hear from Pam Court, chief executive of Havering-atte-Bower’s Saint Francis Hospice.