EXPERTS, campaigners and politicians are set to feature at a series of free public events promoting World Mental Health Day at Bournemouth University.
The week-long programme runs until the official awareness day on October 10.
The speakers will include CBE humanitarian and author Terry Waite and former care minister Norman Lamb, as well as Lorna Garner, head of eating disorder charity BEAT and Sue Baker, director of the Time to Change initiative.
Other speakers will visit throughout the week to give both personal and professional views of different mental illnesses, while information stands will provide advice and support.
Mental health campaigner Dr Andrew Mayers, a senior lecturer in psychology at Bournemouth University, will host an event looking at mental health and policing.
He said: “I am honoured to be part of these events, as they are a wonderful opportunity to get people talking about mental health. It is essential that we tackle stigma and thus reduce the distress experienced by so many people in our community.
“A great way to eradicate prejudice is through information and education. These events aim to do precisely that.”
The events have been organised by the university in conjunction with Bournemouth and Poole councils, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, Dorset HealthCare, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Dorset Police and Time to Change Dorset.
Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, has also been involved and said he is delighted to be taking part.
“It's a fantastic opportunity to highlight issues around mental health and to showcase the range of local services and organisations that are available to help improve people's quality of life,” he said.
David Corbin, equality and diversity manager for Dorset HealthCare, said: “One in four of us will experience a mental health issue during our lifetime so it is essential we tackle the associated stigmas head on. We have a responsibility to encourage people who may be suffering in silence to speak up and seek help."
To see the full programme, and book onto events, visit: http://tinyurl.com/wmhw-bu