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14237507-284313015283871-5327788957200501275-n_origWorld Mental Health Day event

At The Big Sleep for Seaview, HOT’s Zelly Restorick met Sharon Rhodes and discovered that she’s the catalysing energy behind the World Mental Health Day event, Love Hastings Love Yourself. Here Sharon introduces herself and the reasons why the event is important for the town’s residents.

“My name is Sharon Rhodes and I was diagnosed with bi-polar affective disorder about 15 years ago. I am a service user of many of the services involved and without their help over the years, I would not be organising this event.

“I am a Time To Change Champion, and voluntary promoter for Together UK, who run Hastings and Bexhill Your Way. I was approached by HVA [Hastings Voluntary Association], Mind, Together UK, NHS and Cllr Sue Beaney and asked to organise the World Mental Health Day event this year. The idea was to give Hastings one large event instead of lots of little events. It is also the start of a campaign called Love Hastings Love Yourself, where many more events will be happening to promote positive mental health awareness and community cohesion.

“Statistics say that one in four people will experience mental health issues this year, and with Hastings having over 80,000 inhabitants that means this event could be helping some 20,000 people. Every performer that is playing live music has lived experience of mental health issues, as does myself, the organiser.

“There is a Facebook event set up called Love Hastings Love Yourself where an up-to-date itinerary will be published for the day. And we’ve had a great response from local businesses and will be giving away prizes from Dragon Bar, Old Custom House, Hastings Arms, Hair Gallery and Owl & Pussycat, to name but a few. The event starts at 10am and is being officially opened at 11am by Councillor Peter Chowney, the Leader of Hastings Council.

“We have 20 plus organisations involved during the day, including Mind, HVA, Together UK, Time To Change, The Youth Council, Hastings Borough Council, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and The Recovery College, to name but a few. We have live music during the day, a choir, poetry, films with a compere, and workshops, including Listening Skills from Counselling Plus, Art and Crafts, Chair Pilates, and Smoothie Making.

“There will be an art trail, led by Mind, from the town centre to the Observer Building. There will be a smoothie bike, and there will be goody bags. There is a Care and Share lunch at 1pm-2pm where everybody is asked to bring two items of wrapped and labelled food to share around a big table. At 4pm in the cinema, there is a showing of Sparkly Bird which is a musical story of a young woman’s battle with depression, written by Kat Lee Ryan. This is sponsored by Together UK.”

More information and a full line up of every organisation and prizegiver involved can be found at the Sparkly Bird website.

Twitter: #lovehastingsloveyourself

Posted 20:37 Tuesday, Oct 4, 2016 In: Health Matters

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