Welcome back to another blog by Matthew McKenzie carer advocate and campaigner. Just a quick reminder this website focuses on those who care for someone with a mental illness. I am talking about unpaid carers, usually friends and families. Just recently we had an awareness campaign “World Mental Health Day” 2022.
World Mental Health Day runs on Monday, 10 October. For the UK, the national mental health charity “Mental Health Foundation” leads on raising awareness and campaigning for better mental health.
Of course there are other organisations and charities that help raise awareness of mental health. I have recently been engaging with hospitals to focus on unpaid carers. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the organisations that engages heavily with one of my carer forums (Joint Southwark and Lambeth). I was delighted to be asked to promote my carers group at the latest World mental health fair organised by King’s college Hospital.
King’s College Hospital mental health lead Kieran Quirke organised the event. Kieran is the associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health at King’s College Hospital. The fair was to introduce to staff, patients and carers about what is available in the community.
The organisations that took part were the following
The Well Centre
Lambeth Carers Hub
Age UK Lambeth
Southwark and Lambeth Mental Health carers Forum
The SHARP Gallery
Southwark Wellbeing Hub
The Butterfly Dementia Cafe
Kooth (youth mental wellbeing support)
Lambeth and Southwark MIND
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
I am sure there were many more, but the important thing is that the community was brought together to network and help raise awareness of all the important work that they do. I was told that the room the MH fair took place, had just been recently decorated. This shows that King’s College Hospital are trying their best to invest in what is important to the community.
For my stall, I focused on the importance of unpaid carers given the empowerment to promote networking, peer groups and advocacy.
I hope there will be more events like this next year.