Chairman helps raise awareness of mental health issues

Patricia Birchley, Chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council joined staff from Wycombe Mind and students and staff from Bucks New University today (Tuesday 10 October) to celebrate World Mental Health Day.

The day is marked across the world and aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and promote wellbeing. At the Bucks New University campus in High Wycombe students and members of the public joined representatives from Wycombe Mind in highlighting the fact that mental health issues can affect any one of us at any time in our lives. The Student Union runs its own campaign, Peace of Mind, supporting students with their mental health.

Every year the Chairman of the Council chooses a charitable focus for their term of office. Tricia Birchley has chosen mental health and wellbeing as her cause this year. She has already been out and about visiting charitable groups focusing on mental health around the county and has been working closely with Wycombe Mind in the past few months.

Using money donated by the Chairman, the charity has been able to help local people in the area suffering with mental health problems. The money will be used particularly to help people at risk of going to court and losing their homes as a result of poor mental health, a matter that Tricia feels very strongly about.

She explained: “All too often what may start out as a fairly small issue can end up spiralling out of control. All of a sudden people find themselves in a nightmare scenario of losing their job or benefits. They are then at a very real risk of losing their homes and aren’t able to get themselves out of this downward spiral.

“I’m really pleased that we can do something to help individuals and families in Wycombe who may find themselves in this situation and applaud the work done by Wycombe Mind and other similar charities in highlighting this cause,”said Tricia.

East Wycombe County Councillor Julia Wassell, a lecturer in mental health at the Bucks New University and the founder member of Wycombe Mind said: “We are very grateful to the Chairman for choosing the theme if mental health this year. Anyone can be affected from students leaving home for the first time to start university to adults and children of any age. It’s important that we all look after our own mental health and know how to seek help if needed.”