SCORES of people gathered to witness the launch of Worthing mental health awareness week on Monday at Offington Park Methodist Church, in South Farm Road, Worthing.
The crowd were visibly moved by Mayor Bob Smytherman’s opening speech about his own family’s experience with mental health issues.
MP for East Worthing and Shoreham Tim Loughton spoke of the importance of treating mental illness the same as physical illness, and gave statistics to show how many people were affected in our society.
He said: “It’s a false economy not to be doing something about mental health. This is not a fringe issue, this is a mainstream challenge facing the modern world.”
Mr Loughton said society was winning the battle to remove the stigma around mental health, but admitted there was ‘a long way to go’.
Organiser Carol Barber gave a speech explaining the ideas behind the event’s logo and how each aspect of it related to mental health, while Lisa Rodrigues, chief executive of Sussex partnership NHS foundation trust, spoke of the different types of mental health problems and her own experiences.