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Best foot forward for mental health awareness

Residents in West London take part in mental health awareness walk for World Mental Health Day

29 October 2019

West London NHS Trust, in partnership with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, screened the documentary ‘Evelyn’ earlier this month at the Musical Museum in Brentford followed by a 5k mental health awareness walk along the River Thames. Evelyn is a poignant film about how a family pick up the pieces after their son and brother takes his own life.  The walk and talk was organised to give those attending the opportunity to talk about the film and about mental health, to reduce the stigma around talking about it. 

Local resident Elaine said: “The film provided an opportunity to discuss and explore the painful issue of suicide. The honesty and courage of Evelyn’s family and friends truly opened up this difficult subject.”

Despite rainy weather conditions, more than 40 local residents then took part in a mental health awareness walk along the River Thames. Qualified therapists and counsellors were on hand to talk to the walkers about any mental health conditions they might face.

Michelle Nielsen, West London NHS Trust’s Occupational Therapy Technician, explained: “We have found that physical health and mental health are very much linked and exercise can help with your mental wellbeing.  Our walk and talk events have always been popular and great opportunity to meet new people and talk openly about mental health.”

With one in four people experiencing a mental health condition at some point in their life, the event aimed to tackle the stigma around mental health and highlight how exercise can be instrumental on the road to recovery.

Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, said: ‘‘We’ve made so much progress in the last decade in talking more about mental health, and it’s great to see that Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and West London NHS Trust are working together to bring people together to talk about mental health. I know from my recent survey that residents of all ages are worried that we still don’t get enough support for our mental health. This special film screening and the 5k walk and talk was a great way to raise awareness about the importance of talking more about mental health.’’

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