Newcastle hosted World Mental Health Day on Saturday October 11 and Launchpad was amongst the 70 organisations to participate.
The aim of the day was to raise awareness of mental health issues and support available across the North-East. The event was very well attended, with an estimated 8,000 people visiting the little village of stalls.
Launchpad played an important part in planning the day and several of the team were on hand to chat with the public and distribute leaflets. A steel band called Don’t Panic entertained the crowds – under bright blue skies – and there were also poetry readings and dancing.
Steve O’Driscoll was at the event, helping staff the Launchpad stall. The 46-year-old says, “It has been a really important day for raising awareness of all types of mental health problems. It was great to see so many organisations working together.
“It was also amazing, just how many members of the public spoke openly about mental health. More people are aware that it’s ok to talk about this, that it is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Mental health is much more part of the national debate, through projects like Time to Change. Supported by the government, this is dedicated to challenging stigma associated with mental illness, especially in the workplace. One quarter of Britain’s adult population suffer – or will suffer – from some sort of mental illness, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Three out of 10 employees suffer some sort of mental health issue every year, with in excess of 91 million working days lost due to MH related problems.