The Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Sue Sampson, joined Hounslow residents in celebrating World Mental Health Day last Saturday, 14 October. They participated in Walk & Talk – a free 10km walk organised by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust (Brentford FC CST) and West London Mental Health Trust (WLMHT). The walk, which saw nearly 100 local people attend, started and finished at the iconic Syon Park in Hounslow, and attracted people from all ages and backgrounds.
Angela Benjamin, who lives in Hounslow and attended the event, said: "I received mental health support when I lost my two daughters – who passed away a year apart. Through their help, I can now do things on my own again. I wanted to do this walk to show that we can do it – although we have a mental health condition or depression – we can do it.
“Anyone who is going through a mental health condition should know it is not a crime; we're still part of society.”
With one in four people experiencing a mental health condition at some point in their life, the walk aimed to tackle the stigma around mental health and encourage more people to get active.
Cllr Sampson said: “Whether you have your own mental health condition or you’re supporting a friend, family member or neighbour – mental health affects us all. Both Trusts have done a fantastic job of raising the profile of mental health and promoting healthier lifestyles.”
West London Mental Health Trust (WLMHT) is one of the most diverse providers of NHS mental health and community services in the UK, providing care and treatment for around 62,570 people each year. Brentford FC CST also offers a range of health initiatives to residents in west London – namely, Super Active Schools and Move and Learn in primary schools, and BeeHealthy Hounslow for adults.
This is not the first time Brentford FCCST has worked with WLMHT. Over the last year, the Trust has supported Hounslow Hawks Football Club, which provides football as a therapy for patients living with a mental illness. Both Trusts also work together on daytime social football sessions at Goals Soccer Centre in Osterley.
Michelle Nielsen, Occupational Therapy Technician at WLMHT, said: “The conversation around mental health is changing and we hope that through events, such as Walk & Talk, we are able to get across our message: it is OK to talk about mental health."
Peter Shears, Senior Project Manager at Brentford FCCST, said: “Exercise and friendship are two fantastic ways to support everyone’s mental health and wellbeing. The Walk & Talk event has highlighted the importance of mental health; we will continue to work with our local partners to ensure a healthy lifestyle and increased wellbeing can be achieved by everyone.”