Green Councillors joined mental health campaigners, practitioners and residents from across the city this weekend to mark World Mental Health Day, with a “Festival of the Mind” at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton.
World Mental Health Day is led by the World Federation of Mental Health, and encourages a global effort to raise awareness and challenge the stigma associated with mental health problems. According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in four adults and one in ten children are likely to have a mental health problem in any given year .
Mental health is a particularly concern in Brighton & Hove, where figures show the suicide rate is nearly twice as high as the rest of the South East, while an estimated 40% of employees experience mental health problems in the workplace, such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis .
Green Councillor Amanda Knight said:
“Mental health problems impact on all of us at some point in our lives, whether directly or through friends and family who have been affected. It’s so important that we raise awareness of the issues, to show that it’s not something for people to be ashamed of, and to encourage people who may be struggling to seek help.
“World Mental Health Day reminds us all to take care of our mental health and to support those around us. It highlights the importance of promoting positive wellbeing through exercise, good diet & keeping hydrated, as well as connecting with friends, family or your local community, keeping your brain active and taking time for yourself.
“Improving how we respond to issues of mental health is of great personal importance to me. We need to improve how our wider society works so it places much greater emphasis on valuing and supporting people, rather than dividing us.
“Mental health services play a critical part in our response to mental health problems in the city, including the excellent work of the local community and voluntary sector. It’s so important that these services continue to be fully funded, as this is one area where we cannot afford to cut corners”.
 Mental Health Foundation http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/our-work/world-mental-health-day/world-mental-health-day-2015/
 Brighton charity in campaign for ‘suicide-safer city’, 30 March 2015, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-32112789