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  • Writer's pictureStamp it Our County Durham

World Mental Health Day: 'It's okay to not feel okay'

UNCERTAINTY and inequality are key themes being highlighted as part of World Mental Health Day.

Durham County Council is supporting its commissioned service, the Stamp It Out Partnership Hub, to focus on the theme ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.

It underlines the pressing need to focus sufficiently on health beyond the physical in a sustained way in a world still struggling to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Durham County Councillor Paul Sexton, the council’s cabinet member for adult and health services and its Mental Health Champion, said: “World Mental Health Day is a timely reminder for us all to look after our mental wellbeing, particularly following the uncertain times we have all experienced since early 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“If you feel that you are struggling with mental health issues, please take the time to make yourself aware of the various help and support that is on offer. “Don’t suffer in silence because it really is okay to not feel okay.”

To coincide with World Mental Health Day, the Stamp It Out Partnership Hub has launched a new website where teachers, young people and families, workplaces and community groups can access a range of free resources, find out about the partnership’s campaigns and events and sign up to become Anti-Stigma Ambassadors.

The partnership hub is led by Anti-Stigma Ambassadors who are people of all ages with personal lived experience of mental health issues and conditions and who have a passion for challenging mental health stigma and discrimination.

Stamp It Out is inviting the public to take part in training to become Anti-Stigma Ambassadors, so they can help create change for the benefit of all living in County Durham.

On Tuesday, from 3pm to 5pm, members of the public can attend the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Network, which works to improve outcomes for children, young people and families.

Daniel Gent, lead Anti-Stigma Ambassador for young people, said: “I have been able to leave a mark on the area that I live in and use my own experiences to make a change in how mental health is viewed in the community, as well as raise awareness of the impact that mental health has on people.”

Depending on skills and interests there are many ways for people to get involved and have a voice in helping to change attitudes towards those living with a mental health condition.

Chris Affleck, who is the Stamp It Out co-ordinator and the mental health lead with Investing in Children, said: “Mental health affects all of us in some way.

“One in four people will experience a mental health problem each year in England, and this figure may rise given the challenges people have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic.”

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