Mental health conference Hartford Oct 2014

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undefinedA conference for World Mental Health Day jointly organised by Chester, Manchester, Liverpool and Derby dioceses was very well attended in Hartford last month.

The event aimed to raise awareness and provide resources for people so they would feel more confident to talk and take direct action about mental health.

The guest speakers were: John Harrison, senior lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University;  the Revd David Primrose, director of Transforming Communities in the Lichfield diocese; and the Revd Rachel Mann from the Manchester diocese. They provided focus and challenged thinking. 

Delegates also attended workshops where representatives from organisations from the four dioceses shared the work they are doing to support people with mental health needs.

Throughout the day, a prayer and resource room was available. Over lunchtime, a dementia-friendly service was held using a service previously created for patients with dementia at Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Jane Knight, our diocesan head of counselling services, said: “Good mental health is integral to everything we do in our lives.  We wanted to start conversations and help people talk openly without fear of stigma. 

“Many churches are already addressing mental well-being without perhaps realising it through, for example, providing opportunities for people to promote and develop secure relationships. 

“Conversations during the conference enabled people to reflect upon what’s already happening in church communities and to share ideas about what more can be done.”

Some comments from those who attended A really good exchange of information, ideas and perspectives …
very enlightening and informative … such a huge subject I felt I needed to get info on every topic.

Above Ged Flynn, CEO of Papyrus (the national charity for the prevention of young suicides) at  the conference.  Suicide is the biggest cause of death in people under the age of 35 in the UK.  Ged presented a workshop on the work of Papyrus and explored the myths and facts surrounding suicide