Drop in for Cromer Church’s mental health check
Cromer Church hosted a Men’s Mental Health Expo event to mark the start of National Mental Health Awareness Week.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50 in the UK. Recent statistics show that 72% of people who died by suicide between 2002 and 2012 had not been in contact with their GP or a health professional about these feelings in the year before their suicide.
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness and encourage men to chat about mental health in a friendly and informal environment. Men living with mental health issues from across North Norfolk were invited to come along and chat, and to seek support and guidance. It might be for help in tackling anxiety, stress, depression or other mental health and emotional problems.
The drop-in session was held at Cromer Parish Hall and included a wide-range of stalls and entertainment, with a Time to Talk Café where people can chat. The event was also open to friends and families who would like guidance and support on how to deal with the challenges their friend/family member is facing and the impact on those around them.
The former Norwich City player, Cedrick Anselin spoke about his challenges with poor mental health. The event was organised by Emilie Ruddick, the Local Associate Co-ordinator from Wellbeing Norfolk & Waveney service, who said: “There have been events like this in Norwich, but we wanted to bring one to North Norfolk, so people here are aware of the support that is available locally. The aim was to make it informal, so people feel comfortable dropping in for a chat.”
The event specifically targeted men because, statistically, they are less likely than women to seek help for mental health problems. The Wellbeing service is keen to show men that being strong doesn’t mean being silent, and that there is support in the community to help with a range of mental health issues.
Simon Fenn, who is the Head of Mission at Cromer Church and a Community Champion for the Wellbeing Service, pictured right, said: “I’m pleased to be supporting this vital initiative. Most of us, if not all of us, have struggled with or know someone struggling with poor mental health. Most churches are at the front line in our communities and play an essential role in supporting those in need. There has never been a more critical time for Christians to step up and start engaging with the topic and challenges of mental health.”
The event was inspired by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s Men’s Wellbeing Project which seeks to raise public awareness of men’s mental health and wellbeing but also to encourage men and boys to access support services.
Men seeking help who could not attend the Cromer session are encouraged to see their GP, or contact Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney via their website www.wellbeingnands.co.uk or by calling 0300 123 1503.
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