Southampton stands united against mental health stigma

time to change - masthead

Southampton City Council, working in partnership with national charity Time to Change (the mental health anti-stigma campaign run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness), local NHS organisations, Southampton Football Club and Southampton parkrun, has launched a city-wide campaign to raise awareness of mental health and put an end to stigma. Mental health problems are common - but nearly nine out of ten people who experience them say they face stigma and discrimination as a result. Many people also say that the stigma they face is as bad as or worse than the illness itself. 

The campaign will see three weeks of activity promoting good mental health and combating stigma in Southampton. The promotion will lead up to a weekend of active events starting with Time to Change runners taking over parkrun in Southampton Common on Saturday 11 June at 9am and moving to the Time to Change Pop-up Village arriving at Sky Ride in Palmerston Park (City Centre) on Sunday 12 June 2016 from 11am to 3pm.

'Serious issue'

Cllr Paul Lewzey, Councillor for Peartree Ward, said: “This event is part of a sustained campaign from Southampton City Council, Time to Change and our growing list of partners in health and other sectors in the city, to combat mental health discrimination in all its forms. Stigma can be a very serious issue for people suffering with mental health problems and I want to thank Time to Change and all of our partners in the city for working with us to begin to address the problem.”

Angela Etherington, South East Community Equalities Coordinator at Time To Change, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with our partners in Southampton again to spread the anti-stigma message in the city. The Time to Change village is a great way to get people talking about mental health and for those of us with mental health problems to feel empowered to share our stories and challenge stigma and discrimination.

“Those of us with mental health issues often struggle to share when we're having a hard time and often people don't know what to say to us.

“The small things that people did to help me when I was in hospital like sending a text or card reminded me that I still mattered to them and made a big difference to how I was feeling. Having the Time to Change village in a relaxed public space with activities, music and people passing by provides an opportunity to chat, find information and most importantly remind ourselves that mental health is part of our everyday lives.”

John Grant, Event Director at Southampton parkrun, said: "At parkrun we know that regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on mental health. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts overall mood. We are passionate about the amazing benefits a regular exercise routine can have and we are here every week of the year for you to come and join us, all for free."

For more information on the Sky Ride route and the Time to Change Pop-up Village taking place on Sunday 12 June visit Discover Southampton.

To register for parkrun ahead of the Time to Change runner takeover on Saturday 11 June visit the parkrun website.

Time To Change Pop-up Village

Sunday 12 June 2016 / 11am – 3pm, Palmerston Park, City Centre (near the bandstand) during Sky Ride

·     Solent NHS Health Trainers will be offering advice on how to look after your mental health and busting common myths 
·     Headstart will be promoting their project to help children and young people in Southampton develop the skills and emotional resilience they need to deal with worry and anxiety

·     Sammy the Saint and the Saints Foundation will be highlighting how keeping active can keep you physically and mentally healthy with inflatable football   

·     Southampton Ukulele Jam will be providing live music

·     Steps to Wellbeing will be holding free relaxation sessions and talking about mindfulness

·     The Time To Change cinema will be showing short films to raise awareness of mental health and combat stigma

·     Several other local organisations and charities including Solent Mind, Healthwatch and the local NHS will be offering advice and information on services