More than 50 organisations are taking part in Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week, making it the biggest yet.
Incorporating World Mental Health Day, this fifth awareness week was launched yesterday at Offington Park Methodist Church, in South Farm Road, Worthing, and runs until Saturday.
Co-founder Carol Barber said: “The aim of the week is to challenge the stigma around mental health and to provide good-quality information in a safe and non-judgemental environment.”
Worthing mayor Alex Harman, mayor’s chaplain the Rev Brian Penfold and master of ceremonies Bob Smytherman, who co-founded the week with Carol in 2013, launched the week with the lighting of a peace candle.
An information centre has been set up, with displays from charities, organisations and groups, and the programme includes a variety of workshops and talks, designed to promote mental health.
During the week, there is a series of free events, open to all.
The focus today, for World Mental Health Day, will be keeping well in later life, including A Laughter for Wellness and Wellbeing workshop by Worthing Laughter Club this morning and an open meeting of the Dementia Action Alliance at 4pm.
Tomorrow, Worthing Counselling Centre, formerly Offington Counselling Service, will be hosting a talk on Courage to Heal during its Come and Meet Us morning, where people can find out more about counselling. This will be followed with a celebration quiz night at 7pm to mark the relaunch under the new name.
Thursday’s activities include ways of promoting self care and emotional resilience.
On the Friday, there will be an informal workshop, Spirituality and Mental Wellbeing, during the afternoon, followed by a concert at 7.30pm, with a retiring collection for Coastal West Sussex Mind.
A coffee morning on Saturday, 10am to midday, will give people a final chance to look at the exhibitions and information stands, which will be available all day.
Visit www.worthingmentalhealthawarenessweek.org.uk for more information.