As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Suffolk County Council and Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are hosting an art exhibition this week, focussing on Mental wellbeing.
The event was opened today with brief introductions from Sue Cook and Councillor Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health. Councillor Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council's Cabinet Member for Communities also attended along with representatives from Babergh District Council and the local artists who contributed to the display.
With funding from Time to Change as part of the Suffolk Time to Change Hub, The Yellow Lemon Tree Project (a group of artists both from the community and SCC staff members), will showcase their work in Endeavour House. The theme of the exhibition is centred around mental health and the displays of art work will represent the feelings of the artist at the moment in time when the piece was created, giving a ‘snapshot’ in time of the mindset of the creator. Most importantly it is about starting conversations; those difficult, open and honest ones that can be difficult to begin.
Local schools have also contributed art work for the exhibition under the theme of mental health and wellbeing.
Cllr Tony Goldson, Cabinet Member for Health said: “Mental ill health is one of the primary causes of sickness absence to Suffolk organisations in every sector. This is why it is so important for people to make time to consider their mental wellbeing.
"We want to raise awareness of all aspects of mental health and we hope this insightful display will encourage people to talk about their own emotional wellbeing and share their experiences. We have a vast array of activities happening across the organisation to mark Mental Health Awareness week as well as our ongoing ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ campaign which highlights simple steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing, from conversing with people around you to keeping active through regular exercise.”
Cllr Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk District Council's Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome this exhibition here and to take the opportunity to talk frankly about mental wellbeing. Even though the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, there are people struggling to cope with daily life. Everyone deserves the support they need, and today is a chance to take the first step and start talking about it. That’s what we’ll be doing throughout not only this week, but next week’s Dementia Action Week as well.”
Alongside the art exhibition, which will be on display for the whole week, there will be various marketplace stands changing daily. Local community groups and organisations that promote positive mental health and services will be represented, including Suffolk Mind, Healthwatch Suffolk, Big Sing, Growing Places and many more.
Throughout the week, staff across the council’s offices will also be offered taster sessions of mindfulness, origami, yoga, exercise classes and drumming as well as human library sessions where colleagues shared their lived experiences of mental ill health.