World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. Each October, hundreds of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness event to draw attention to mental illness and the critical effects it has on peoples’ lives worldwide.
The awareness program is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world. Societies, charities and the community all join forces to build and create a sense of togetherness for the thousands of sufferers across the globe.
16 million people in the UK alone experience a mental illness. One in four UK adults will have an involvement with a mental illness at some point each year. This ranges from anxiety and depression to alcohol dependence, substance misuse and psychosis, according to The Guardian.
Love Hastings Love Yourself is a local campaign created by Hastings Voluntary Action. Their overall aim is to bring people together and raise positive awareness of mental health.
Su Barnicoat-Hill, the community development officer for Hastings Voluntary Action, explained: “The campaign was set up to make Hastings a friendlier place for people like migrants and anyone who may feel like out-siders. In order for the town to talk about mental health more freely I thought, well, let’s form some kind of campaign about World Mental Health Day.
The community ran campaign set up a variety of events and activities around Hastings to honour and raise awareness for the sufferers of the rising illness. An interactive graffiti wall is open to anyone of any age and ability with spray painting training given by professional artists. The art will remain in place after the event and the public can take away two pieces of this creative craft to take home.
Su Barnicoat-Hill continued: “The first thing we did was set up at the library and have some information that was all to do with the mind and very specific mental health information. After this we did a mindfulness walk to pier and ended up at a café on Queens Road. Here, we had a tea and talk activity where we spoke about all things surrounding mental health.