Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week will challenge the stigma around mental health and provide good quality information in a non-judgemental environment.
The week will be launched on Monday at 10am by Worthing mayor Paul Baker and his chaplain, the Rev Gaz Daly, lighting a peace candle with co-founder Bob Smytherman, acting as master of ceremonies.
Charities, organisations and groups will have displays at Offington Park Methodist Church, which will be the ‘information centre’ for the week.
There will be a variety of workshops and talks designed to promote positive mental health throughout the week and most of the events are free.
The key note presentation on Monday at 10.45am will be led by representatives of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).
Organiser Carol Barber said: “I am delighted that SSAFA has agreed to talk to us about the ways mental health impact on those in the Armed Services, veterans and their families.”
On Monday evening, from 7pm to 9pm, there will be a special meeting of Worthing Rethink Mental Health Carers Group, run by Mark Hughes, with Sally Flint, deputy chief executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, as guest speaker.
On Tuesday, the focus will be on keeping well in later life, including an open meeting at 4pm with Worthing Dementia Action Alliance about Dementia Friendly Worthing.
Wednesday will be World Mental Health Day and the Worthing organisers have asked Grassroots, a suicide prevention charity, to deliver its SafeTALK suicide alertness training. This will be from 10am to 1.30pm and costs £35, to include lunch, the only event of the week for which there is a charge.
The training event has been subsidised by a grant from West Sussex County Council. Booked in advance by contacting Carol Barber.
Activities next Thursday and Friday include ways of promoting self-care and emotional resilience, and the opportunity to paint pebbles as part of Coastal West Sussex Mind’s anti stigma campaign, West Sussex Rocks.
The week will once again conclude with a free charity concert on Friday, October 12, at 7.30pm, with a retiring collection in aid of Coastal West Sussex Mind.
Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week is now in its sixth year, with a new website. Visit www.worthingmentalhealthweek.co.uk for the 2018 programme.