Hundreds benefit from free mental health workshops

Carol Barber receives her Certificate of Recognition from Worthing mayor Michael Donin and town crier Bob Smytherman
Carol Barber receives her Certificate of Recognition from Worthing mayor Michael Donin and town crier Bob Smytherman

THE third annual Worthing Mental Health Awareness Week proved a great success, with nearly 300 people taking part in free workshops.

The event was held at Offington Park Methodist Church last week and the launch was attended by Worthing mayor and mayoress Michael Donin and Linda Williams, mayor’s chaplain the Rev Matthew Luff, Adur District Council chairman Carson Albury, Worthing executive member for health and wellbeing Valerie Turner and Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman.

Organiser Carol Barber was presented with a Certificate of Recognition for her commitment to make Worthing a suicide-safer community.

Carol explained: “The Living Works certificate was originally presented to me at an event by Grassroots in Brighton on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, by the High Sheriff of East Sussex, Juliet Smith. However, both the mayor and the town crier felt that such an important certificate should be re-presented in my home town.”

Information stands featured free literature on a range of mental health issues from 33 local charities, organisations and individuals.

Focussed sessions included a mindfulness workshop, Dementia Friends, legal information and stress management.

Carol said: “Nearly 300 people took part in the free workshops, lectures and discussion groups which were held throughout the week. Many others came to find information to take away, or to chat.

“The two themed days, Spirituality and Mental Health, and Dementia, were well attended. Brighton and Sussex Medical School gave a presentation about the latest research into dementia and later in the day, 18 people took part in the Dementia Friends training.

“I am always grateful for the support given to me by the Rev James Bamber and the community at Offington church. I think it is truly amazing that so many people are willing to give their time and expertise in order to make this week happen.

“Feedback from the various charities and those seeking support has been so positive.”

There was also a concert with a retiring collection for Mind (Coastal West Sussex) and a film night.

Mr Smytherman said: “This was a hugely successful week with something for everyone. The quality of the speakers and events was excellent.”

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