• Mike Douglas

Saints Vs Stigma Event


Today I made my way into Southampton for the Saints Vs Stigma event in Guildhall area of Southampton City Centre. I had heard about the event at work and was really interested to go along chat to a few people and see what was happening. Plus I had seen there was going to be a ukulele performance I wanted to see.

On my way there I heard a short clip on Wave FM talking about the event and the 3 days worth of activities. There is also information here (this is where I had looked).

There was a few stands and stalls there today and I believe its much the same over the three days, just with a few different things going on around them. I really liked the atmosphere, it was very chilled and welcoming. The organisers did a good job of making this enough of an event to attract people, while also keeping it slightly low key, so as to not put people off. I think something quite big, would be lovely, but you have to ask what the purpose of that is. I think this was a great community event focusing on local people and encouraging them to talk about mental health.

I believe this is focused particularly on getting men to talk (more on that in the Wave FM link above). However it didn't feel male exclusive, in fact apart from the men (and occasional women) playing football, I think there where more females exhibiting and visiting the stands. Which I guess is why events like this are so important.

I was delighted to talk to a few people from and supporting Time to Change, there small cinema was good too. Unfortunately no Power Rangers or Thor movies here. But there were other super heroes in some videos. Speaking up and reaching out to friends, family or colleagues makes YOU a real superhero!

It was nice to chat and discuss some of the resources that Time to Change makes available.

I even found a couple of cool videos resources that I will be using in future. I do though have to share this one with you, I thought it was so good!

I also spoke to Samaritans and Southampton Healthy Living, both of who I have to say thank you to for allowing me to move a couple of bits of their table setup so I could talk a nice photo, hehe, thanks!

It was cool to talk to Samaritans about their outreach work and hopefully set up some drop ins for my workplace and the young people I work with.

It was interesting to talk to Southampton Healthy Living too, heres a bit about them (because I had not heard about them before) and they say it better than me, haha:

"Southampton Healthy Living's team offer a free and confidential service to support clients across the City to make lifestyle changes.

They will work with you to identify changes that you could make to lead a healthier lifestyle and provide you with support and encouragement. They can also signpost you to other services, clubs and organisations that might be relevant to you. As a team we understand that change can be difficult and there can be many barriers to overcome along the way. We are non-judgemental, flexible and treat everyone as an individual. We can support people with a wide variety of needs such as disabilities, long term health conditions, mental health conditions, learning difficulties and language barriers. Some members of the team are fluent in languages such as Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and also have access to a translator service if needed."

I really enjoyed talking openly about mental health with the ladies on the Steps2Wellbeing stand. We spoke honestly about our own experience of mental health and the support that is available. I believe Steps2Wellbeing is similar to the iTalk service, however Steps2Wellbeing is specifically for the Southampton and Dorset area. They were super friendly so I would recommend anyone in those areas look at their website and get in touch with them if you have mental health thoughts, struggles, challenges or concerns. They will help.

I really think this is a great event to drop in on and chat to people. I say 'is' because this is a 3 day event and there is 1 more day left. So go tomorrow (Sunday)! Theres even some fun street football on to watch and you are in the city centre, so theres great places to go for lunch before or after you drop by.

Massive thank you to Southampton City Council and Saints Foundation for hosting a great mental health awareness and conversation starting event and to everyone of the staff and volunteers that were / are part of this event.

#SaintsFoundation #Stigma #MaleMentalHealth #MentalHealth #WaveFM #SouthamptonCityCouncil #TimetoChange #Samaritans #SouthamptonHealthyLiving #Step2Wellbeing

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