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Free Public Talks Exploring Key Mental Health Topics

A series of free talks designed to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

The University of Worcester is putting on a series of free talks designed to raise awareness and offer insights into topics related to mental health and wellbeing.

All the talks, presented by a combination of University academics and health experts, centre on a body image theme and coincide with the national Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs May 13 to May 19.

They have been organised by the University of Worcester’s Staff Mental Health Network working in partnership with Time To Change, a social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health issues.

The first talk, the Menstrual and Menopausal Cycle Awareness Workshop is on Monday, May 13, at 6pm and again on Wednesday, May 15, at 6pm.  The two hour workshop will explore the connections between circadian, seasonal, life and hormone cycles and investigate how these rhythms are connected to your health and wellbeing – physical, emotional and spiritual.

It is run by Jayne Power, who is a group facilitator of Red Tent Worcestershire, which is part of a global movement that brings women in their community together.  She has been teaching about menstruality consciousness, based on her study on the topic with leading international teachers and authors.

Health expert Tom Hawkesworth, Community Eating Disorders Practitioner at Worcestershire Eating Disorders will lead a talk titled Eating Disorders Awareness, on May 16, 12pm to 2pm. He will be looking at the different types of eating disorders and exploring the history of these disorders and how they relate to cultural attitudes towards eating and body image.  He will touch on the stigma and discrimination arising from the condition and detail the current treatments available in the county. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

The final talk is on the topic Men, Muscle and Mental Health: Western Males’ Quest for the Perfect Body and takes place on Friday, May 17, from 12pm to 2pm.  Dr Christian Edwards, a Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science at the University of Worcester, will draw on his research with male athletes, to address the health and wellbeing consequences of striving for the perfect body.  He will also explore how his research may apply more broadly to helping understand mental health issues in men. From 12pm to 2pm.

Will Norman, who is part of the Staff Mental Health Network, said: “Body image is something that can negatively impact on the way that many of us feel about ourselves and our place in the world. Often we are too embarrassed to share how we feel, and so we tend to assume that everyone else is feeling fine, when in reality they may be experiencing many of the same concerns. The barriers that surround these topics maintain our privacy, they keep people out, but they can also keep us in.

“Talking, swapping ideas, and sharing experiences, these are great ways to tackle isolation and prevent people from feeling that they are the only ones who face these issues.

“This series of talks and workshops from the University of Worcester and Time To Change are a part of that conversation. People may have direct lived experience of some of these issues, or they may simply want to find out more, either way, all are welcome, and in beginning to talk openly about these things, perhaps we can also begin to pull down some of the barriers that can imprison us in our own thinking, especially in relation to sensitive topics like body image.”

Capacity is limited so RSVP to attend the events through The Hive website at http://www.thehiveworcester.org/events

For further support on issues around mental health you can visit the Time To Change website: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/mental-health-and-stigma/help-and-support

The Samaritans charity can be contacted free, 24 hours a day, on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.