The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, is “psychological first aid”. This looks to focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, community workers, or front-line service staff performing a variety of roles, who offer both psychological and social support.
The day is designed to encourage people to consider the role that offering support and reassurance may play in helping those with ill mental health, and how the act of showing care and communicating with someone who may be vulnerable is so important.
The awareness day comes ahead of a conference on Friday 28 October which will launch an ambition for York to be a Suicide-Safer community and part of a Mental Health Friendly County. The event will give people the opportunity to offer their views on how York can achieve these ambitions as well as hear about the work already being done in the city. It will also invite people to have their say on their experiences and where they feel the support available can be improved or just come along and listen to the talks which are taking place.
The event will be taking place between 2pm and 7pm at the Ron Cooke Hub, University of York on Friday 28 October, which will:
- Share stories about people’s experiences
- Raise awareness of the issues facing those with mental ill-health, their families and those authorities responding to those in crisis
- Outline what support is available to people and how this can be improved
- Discuss prevention and early intervention
Speakers will include professionals and people who have been affected by suicide. To reserve a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 01904 553017 or visit bit.ly/suicidesaferyork.
Cllr Carol Runciman, City of York Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “World Mental Health Day is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and get people talking about mental health issues. This year’s theme focuses on how we can all play our part to help friends, family, colleagues and other people we meet in our local community.
“This awareness day comes ahead of an event we are holding later this month to launch an ambition for York to be a Suicide-Safer community and in a Mental Health Friendly County. We are inviting professionals and people who have been affected by mental health to come along to listen and have their say on how the support already available can be improved.”
Inspector Bill Scott, North Yorkshire Police’s mental health development lead, said: “World mental health day is a chance to talk about mental health, raise awareness and break the taboo. One in four or us will suffer from mental ill-health in any one year and it’s vital that people feel able to talk about it, and get the help they need. Every suicide is devastating for all affected by it, but there are often indicators that people are vulnerable. We want to help build a community where people feel able to talk about feelings of distress or suicidal thoughts, and that there are people who will listen. The aim of the event on 28 October is to bring together people who have been affected by suicide either personally or professionally, to help shape our plans to make North Yorkshire and York a suicide-safe and mental health friendly zone.”
To seek help or support with any problems:
· Ring 111 to access mental health services – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
· Contact your general practitioner (GP). If you do not have a GP or do not know your GP’s telephone number contact 111
· Phone the Samaritans 24 hour helpline on 08457 90 90 90 for confidential non-judgmental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.
For more information about the international campaign visit