Mental health awareness event – breaking down barriers

14 June 2022

Local NHS mental health trust, Southern Health and St Denys Activity Group – supporting mental health in the community, have come together to jointly host a mental health awareness event in Southampton on Saturday 25 June.

St Denys Activity Group, supported by Southern Health, conducted a research project into access to mental health support groups and services in Southampton.  This research highlighted a number of themes including

  • lack of awareness and access to mental health services,
  • cultural attitudes towards mental health, particularly in the black and ethnic minority communities
  • inequality in treatment due to culture, assumptions and stereotypes having an effect on accessing support

This event is designed to address some of those findings, bring local communities together to break down the barriers to talking about mental health and encourage a more open approach to talking about mental health and offer local support to those in need.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Mayor of Southampton will be officially opening the event, with Shuranjeet Singh, Founder and Director of Taraki – Mental Health in Punjabi Communities, as keynote speaker will be talking about his lived experience of mental health which led him to become involved in work to reduce the stigma within the Punjabi communities. 

Anne Cato, Founder of St Denys Activity Group says “Southampton has a diverse range of communities including those from Black and Ethnic Minorities, which have different understanding and opinions of mental health problems, often leading to them rarely recognised or spoken about. This event is a great opportunity for the communities to come together and discuss how they can support people experiencing mental health, start conversations and get access to support. We are really hoping to see as many people as possible”.

Sarah Olley, Divisional Director for Southampton, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust invites all to attend “This event is free to attend, for all local people of Southampton to come along and find out more about mental health, through listening to other people’s stories and experiences to getting practical support. We are so pleased and proud to be working in partnership with St Denys Activity Group, such an effective partnership when it comes to supporting local communities with mental health”.

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