Jo’s wellbeing summit in Letchworth this weekend aims to tackle damaging stigma

Joanne Loach, organising a mental and emotional wellbeing event in Letchworth as part of the Letchwo

Joanne Loach, organising a mental and emotional wellbeing event in Letchworth as part of the Letchworth Festival, June 2015 - Credit: Archant

The organiser of a showcase for the support on offer to those who have mental and emotional health issues says the biggest single obstacle sufferers face is the stigma society places on their condition.

Mental and emotional wellbeing event poster

Mental and emotional wellbeing event poster - Credit: Archant

Hitchin-based psychotherapist Joanne Loach who works with young people in the town, with the NHS and on a voluntary basis in Stevenage and within private practice in Letchworth.

The event she is organising under the umbrella of the Letchworth Festival will run from 2pm to 5pm at the Icknield Centre in Icknield Way on Saturday. Joanne said: “My work with young people and adults gives me much insight in to the increased volumes of stress, anxiety and depression that many are struggling with.

“I am staggered and moved by recent statistics which show that suicide is now recognised as the single biggest killer of men under 50.

“The single biggest obstacle preventing those struggling in the area of mental and emotional health, from getting the right help, is stigma.

“I am organising this event to address this by creating a space which can normalise and humanise the area of mental and emotional health as it applies to all of us, and also to highlight and raise the profile of how many organisations are available locally, what support and help they can offer along with how they can be contacted.

“Together we can make a difference and I would encourage people to come along and find out what is on offer so that when they or someone they know struggles, they know where to go or to signpost others.

Most Read

“Until we can change our culture to make it acceptable to talk about the fact that any of us can require assistance with mental and emotional health during prolonged times of stress or difficulty, we will continue to see the numbers of those struggling with depression and self harm and attempting and achieving suicide to escalate.”

Organisations which will be at the event include the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living, MIND, NHS Wellbeing Centre, Alcoholics Anonymous and Carers in Herts.

There will be a also be a cafe and entertainment from local musicians.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter