Worksop World Mental Health Day event a great success

A POSITIVE approach to mental health issues was celebrated with a special event at Worksop's The Crossing.

Belly dancing, African drumming and card making were just a few of the activities on offer to help promote a feeling of optimism towards tackling mental health problems.

Hundreds of people came along to look around the stalls, displays and demonstrations, which took place to mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October.

Organisations including Bassetlaw MIND, Rethink and Bassetlaw Primary Care Trust came together to promote the need for an optimistic approach to mental health.

Mike Cooke, who is chief executive of Notts Healthcare, said: "Much of our work is around fighting the stigma that is associated with mental health problems," he said.

"World Mental Health Day is an ideal opportunity to raise the issue with the general public, whilst supporting people who use our services and their carers as they try and get on with their lives."

One of the information stands was manned by Jackie Fennell, who is a charge nurse at Bassetlaw Hospital's mental health ward, B2.

"People have very negative images of wards like B2 and we're here to try to tackle the stigma surrounding them," she said.

"We help people at the ward and help them to recover so they can return to their life."

Many displays showed the different activities which people suffering from mental health difficulties can take part in to ease their problems.

Laurence Lane runs a weekly wood carving session at The Boundary Centre, which about five people attend.

"Focusing the mind on something can help take depression away and give your mind a focus," he said.

"It also gives people a chance to talk with people that are going through the same problems."

Helen McNallen , of Gateford Road, who has suffered from clinical and bipolar depression, has recently launched a website to help those suffering from similar disorders.

"Problems like depression are very serious subjects. I'm not trying to belittle them in anyway but one thing that everyone understands is humour," she said.

"Looking at problems in a more positive way is a way of smiling in the face of adversity and realising that there is a path to getting better."

To read more about Helen's experience and the help available, you can read her website at www.depressioncanbefun.com