Monday, 8 October 2018

It's OK to Say with @matthertsed and @Stacey_L_Turner


Today we were visited by Matt Adams from the Herts Advertiser and Stacey Turner, a leading anxiety specialist with 20 years experience, particularly with children and addressing such issues as Separation Anxiety. Matt and Stacey had come in to discuss a new campaign 'It's Okay to Say' which is being launched later this week on Wednesday 10 October; World Mental Health Day. The campaign has the backing of the Herts Advertiser.

Matt said said there has been a noticeable trend of mental health issues in the spotlight and the campaign aims to help children ranging from primary school age through to teenagers. It hopes to explore the key issues which affect sufferers and explore which measures could be put in place to help people and remove the stigma which can be associated with such problems.

The main message is to reassure people that is is OK to speak out about their problems, whatever they are, and to advise them about where to go to ask for help. Matt and Stacey hope this will help people feel better about themselves, and ask for help rather than struggling on through their issues.

A website www.itsokaytosay.org.uk will be launched later this week and will have a directory showing links to places that can help, be it NHS, private or Charity support.

Matt and Stacey will going out into the community and asking professionals to get involved, and have already received interest and offers of help from several organisations including St Albans Chamber of Commerce who are sponsoring the campaign. The Chamber has reported that from their own research they have learnt that 90% of millenials say they are more likely to stay with an employer or organisation who recognises the need to offer help with mental health issues. The Counselling Foundation has expressed interest in getting involved, as has District councillor mental health champion Anthony Rowlands.

There are plans to promote the campaign on social media and there will be series of events throughout the coming year.

Schools will be encouraged to get involved, and address mental health issues as early as possible in a bid to create 'more mentally healthy schools' which are nurturing towards children and their families.

Although the focus of the campaign will start in St Albans the aim is to extend it to other areas of Hertfordshire.

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