World Mental Health Day Festival

World Mental Health Day Festival

Large crowds gathered in Williamson Square on Saturday 8th October for a full-day celebration in aid of mental health.

Review by Hannah Gosset

Marking the seventh year the city has celebrated World Mental Health Day, this year’s event was part of the first ever Liverpool Mental Health Festival which ran from 1st-16th October.

The event was organised by Liverpool Mental Health Consortium – an independent company and registered charity which aims to improve mental health services in Liverpool.

Sarah Butler-Boycott, an Involvement Worker from Liverpool Mental Health Consortium, said: “The event has grown every year and as always our aim is to make mental problems more visible and encourage people to get together to celebrate and talk about their experiences.

“Although we still face issues with funding, we’re pleased that we always manage to get a wide range of organisations together to raise awareness about the various mental health services available in the city.”

The day was packed with an array of free activities and entertainment for all ages to enjoy and get involved in, including live music, dance, roller skating demonstrations, drumming and street theatre from both local and international organisations.

Among those performing were Mad For It, Freefall Circus, Beat The Blues, Wirral Roller Derby, Movema, and many more.

Special guest speakers, The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Roz Gladden, and The Mayoral Lead for Mental Health, Joanne Calvert, were also part of the day.

The square was filled with tents and marquees with a variety of mental health charities providing information and advice, including The Brain Charity, Happiness Club, Help Musicians UK, Imagine Independence, Student Health and Wellbeing Group and The Whitechapel Centre.

Alison Benbow, who works for The Whitechapel Centre, said: “There is a strong link between poor housing and homelessness and mental health problems and we want to help make people feel safe and supported in the community.

“Events like today are great for getting lots of agencies together to exchange ideas and raise awareness for important issues like mental health.”

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