Organisations encouraged to become Mental Health Friendly Places

Partnership work will bring better understanding of mental health across city, county and Rutland

Representatives of John Storer House and Leicestershire County Council launching Mental Health Friendly places, each posing with Start a Conversation leaflet

A new project to help mental wellbeing across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has launched.  
Mental Health Friendly Places is a new initiative that aims to train local organisations and groups to become a Mental Health Friendly Place.  
The partnership project is led by Leicestershire County Council and includes Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council and offers free training programmes delivered by a dedicated team. The training will help any organisation recognise the signs and symptoms of poor mental health, have healthy conversations and signpost to local mental health and wellbeing services. 
Mental Health Friendly Places has been created to help support and encourage local people to start or support conversations about mental health.  Everyone is encouraged to engage from barbers, and pubs to tattoo artists and community centres. 
A survey by Mind charity found that one in four feel a non-judgemental space in the community where they could talk and listen to others would support their wellbeing. 
Training is split into three levels, and ranges from awareness sessions through to mental health first aid training. Loughborough community centre John Storer House is already well on the way to becoming a mental health friendly place after getting involved with the project during its pilot phase.  

The mental health of ourselves and others is so important, no matter what age you are, and this joint initiative gives us the chance to ensure that trained locations can have positive conversations with people about their mental wellbeing. 
“I’m pleased that we can work with Leicester City Council and Rutland County Council so that we can get as many Mental Health Friendly Places as possible in all of our local areas, and I’d encourage any interested organisation to contact us for free training. 

Karen Frostick, Director at John Storer House said: “This training will provide us with the knowledge to have good positive conversations with all who use our facilities. We support a large amount of different people, and with mental health becoming more and more prominent in our conversations, we think becoming a safe space to discuss these topics will be highly beneficial for all the people we support day to day.”
More information about how to sign up and become a mental health friendly place can be found on the website.

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