Leeds gets the ‘balls’ to say no

Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Leeds and partners including Ringways Motor group, will come together on Wednesday to tackle the stigma around men’s mental health.

The event in Leeds city centre will be led by the national Time to Change team and is the latest strand of the Leeds campaign, ‘balls to stigma’, aiming to reduce stigma around men’s mental health. Mind** research shows that men can struggle with being open about mental health issues and are less likely to seek help than women.

People in Leeds are being asked to join celebrities like Frank Bruno, Gok Wan, Trisha Goddard, Mel C and Amanda Lamb in helping to end mental health prejudice by attending a special visual pledge event on Briggate, Leeds. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Judith Elliott; National Director at Time to Change, Sue Baker and Men’s Health Professor, Alan White will be expressing their support for the campaign at the event.

The fun-filled day will feature the chance to add your pledge and photo on the spot to a giant mosaic pledge board or make a video pledge. There will also be a football challenge activity facilitated by Leeds United Football in the Community, with players from the Leeds United Ability Counts Programme. They will be showcasing their footballing techniques and encouraging members of the public to get involved. There will also be a chance to win your very own signed Leeds United football shirt.

Whether you pledge to support a friend or family member who has a mental health problem, speak out about your own experiences of mental health problems, or pledge to attend a Time to Get Moving event in October, just come down and get pledging!

Chris Butler, Chief Executive at Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our Trust is determined to combat the stigma experienced by people with mental health problems, and it is great to continue our work with the national campaign team at Time to Change. This event will really help to drive home the damaging effects of stigma and will encourage the local community to pledge their support for the campaign.”

Time to Change is England’s biggest and most ambitious programme to end mental health discrimination. The campaign is run by leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink, and backed by £16 million from the Big Lottery Fund and £4 million from Comic Relief.

Sue Baker, National Director at Time to Change said: “Leeds has always been a great supporter of Time to Change and we are thrilled so many local organisations and representatives are making a pledge to end mental health prejudice. I am looking forward to seeing the people of Leeds also make their pledge to stamp out stigma at Wednesday’s event, where Time to Change will be coordinating a giant live pledge board that everyone is invited to get involved in.

“The public’s support combined with endorsements from celebrities like Frank Bruno, Trisha Goddard, Ruby Wax, Gok Wan and Patsy Palmer, who have all made a Time to Change pledge, will go a long way to bringing about positive change to attitudes towards mental health problems.”

Almost 5,000 people across England have already pledged to do their bit to help end mental health prejudice at www.time-to-change.org.uk and now people in Leeds are being given the opportunity to get behind the campaign.
So far, celebrity pledges have included:

Frank Bruno said: “As a boxer, you can always see the opponent you’re fighting. Mental health problems, and people’s narrow-mindedness about them, are not so easy to see. That’s why I pledge to support Time to Change – to help make this issue visible and something we can all fight together.”

Gok Wan said: “I’m pledging my support to Time to Change, because it’s time we all understood more about mental health problems and how we can support friends and family.”

To find out more about the ‘balls to stigma’ local campaign go to www.stopstigma-leeds.com

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