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Richmond Fellowship Volunteer Coodinator Alison Walker tackling mental health stigma

Charity marks year of conversations tackling mental health stigma

Richmond Fellowship is marking over 1,000 conversations tackling mental health stigma in a year with an afternoon of music and entertainment in Dorset.

Richmond Fellowship, the national charity making mental health recovery a reality, teamed up with Time to Change to launch the ‘Face 2 Face’ project in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole last year.

Since then the mental health charity has smashed its target of having 1,000 conversations about mental health and is holding ‘Face 2 Face Fest’, an afternoon of music, culture and arts in Poole to celebrate.

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Face-2-Face-Dorset-chats

Face 2 Face is going for one thousand chats by Christmas!

The innovative Face 2 Face project, funded by ‘Time to Change’ to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole, is pulling out all the stops to make contact with its one thousandth member of the public before Christmas Day.

Face 2 Face is calling on the public to get involved to end mental health stigma and discrimination and has been running a number of pop-up shops for people to visit where the team has been offering free drop-in arts activities and encouraging people to make their own Christmas decorations.

Face 2 Face provides arts-based activities that bring people without a mental health problem into social contact with those who do. Evidence suggests that this kind of contact is one of the most effective ways of breaking down stigma and discrimination suffered by those experiencing a mental health problem.Over the past seven months the Face 2 Face team has been tackling discrimination by having meaningful and open conversations with members of the public. So far the team has reached 875 people.

Spokesman Doug Low said: “The volunteers are doing a fantastic job at talking to people in our community and helping transform the way they see mental health problems. Just a few small words can make a big difference to someone with a mental health problem. Talking about the issue can really help to break down stigma and discrimination. We hope to get to a 1,000 conversations very soon!”

The Face 2 Face project is managed by Richmond Fellowship in partnership with community interest company ZooFish Arts and the Borough of Poole Arts Service.For more information about the project or to enquire about becoming a Face 2 Face volunteer please contact Doug Low on 07786 191192 or email: doug.low@richmondfellowship.org.uk