More than 300 young Londoners are expected to take part of the free-to-attend World Mental Health Day Festival to be held today at City Hall.
This year festival’s theme, Access All Areas, is a result of a co-production with a diverse group of six young Londoners of the youth consultancy LIVING PROOF who highlighted that all young people deserve better access to information and services, regardless of background or lived experience.
The festival promises to be a day full of opportunities to come together, share experiences, gain new skills to improve resilience and hear directly from decision makers about how young people can create change.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who will host the festival, said: “It has never been more important to protect, support and build up young Londoners’ mental health and wellbeing, and it’s great to see young people leading the way in creating a range of fantastic activities at City Hall to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day.”
The programme for the day will showcase live music, poetry, creative workshops, and panel discussions all centred around positive mental health and wellbeing, and all of them have an entertainment approach to engage with the young audience.
Winnie Ogwang, co-founder and director of LIVING PROOF said:“When we started thinking about World Mental Health Day Festival 2022, we knew the only way to tackle a challenge that affects so many young Londoners was with young Londoners at the forefront.”
The festival initiative follows research that participation in creative arts and culture has been shown to improve mental health and wellbeing.
One creative art installation to be seen is young artist, Bethan Evans’ Messages of Hope.
Bethan has been encouraging people to write a message of hope for anyone struggling with their mental health since she started it as a campaign in her kitchen in 2020.
The campaign draws upon Bethan’s own lived experience of managing her own mental health challenges.
Ahead of this year’s World Mental Health Day, more than 350 people have engaged through social media to write their own message of hope.
The messages will be brought to life at the festival as part of Bethan’s installation and those attending on the day encouraged to add to this with their own message.
The organisers have emphasised the importance of having this year’s in-person event.
Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, mental health equalities advisor for NHS England and co-lead of Thrive LDN, said:“The range of activities put together by young Londoners for World Mental Health Day will offer something for everyone, helping to open up conversations on breaking down barriers, building resilience and the importance of having a sense of community.”
Dan Barrett, Thrive LDN director, said: “We need to help encourage each other to talk and act more when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.
“Throughout the pandemic, there has been a clear relationship between resilience and dealing with uncertainty, and the power of relationships, collectivising, and social networks. As we look at the other challenges Londoners are now facing, this has never been more important.”
Access All Areas – World Mental Health Day Festival is the fifth consecutive year that Thrive LDN has worked in partnership with the Mayor of London’s Peer Outreach Team to provide an opportunity for young people to highlight positive individual and collective stories.
World Mental Health Day Festival 2022: Access All Areas
Where? City Hall, Royal Docks
When? Monday 10th October, 12.30pm – 8pm
Theme? This year’s festival theme is ‘Access All Areas’
All activities are free to attend but registration is essential.
Featured image: ThriveLDN