MENTAL health providers have joined forces in Swindon to raise awareness of suicide prevention.

Today marks World Mental Health day and local charities and organisations are setting up events across the town to support those suffering from mental illness.

Suicide prevention lead for Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Anthony Harrison, said: “We want everyone to be comfortable about talking to their friends and loved ones about their feelings and we’d encourage those who are worried about someone to start a conversation.

“You never know, that conversation may just encourage someone to seek the help they need, and it could even save their life.”

The trust is involved in events across the county on the day, where staff will be available to talk to people.

There will be a mental health and recovery photographic exhibition until October 31 at BaristaCats Café on Commercial Road. The photographs were taken by members of AWP’s Reflective Journeys Camera Club.

The trust is also organising an Arts therapy session at Sandalwood Court today from 10.30am to 2.30pm.

Alex Pollock, co-founder of Men’s Mental Health in Swindon, has been working towards raising awareness on suicide among men. “Just like physical health, we all possess mental health, and I firmly believe it’s time we all started taking our mental health as seriously as our physical,” he said.

“And with the help of campaigns such as Every Mind Matters, further awareness is being raised of the early symptoms of mental health issues and what to do about them.

“Left untreated, small problems can develop into serious mental health conditions. If members of our local community can be helped before they need medical intervention or medication, then it can only be better for them in the long run.”

Several mental wellbeing organisations are sharing a 30-second film, Pause for Mental Health, on their social media reach a wider audience.

MMH co-founder Charlie Paradise said: “Men’s Mental Health Swindon are one of the many organisations backing the film made by Create Studios and adopted by Time to Change Swindon.

“We think this is a fantastic way to once again highlight how normal mental health is and how important it is for us to talk about it to stop people struggling in silence. You do not have to be an expert to ask someone how they are and really listen to what they say and we all need to look after our mental health the same as we all need to look after our physical health.”

Swindon Borough Council and 15 organisations such as Swindon Advocacy Movement and Intelligent Health, also came together to highlight issues faced by young people as part of their month-long project- called Your Space for Head Space. 

The project will cover topics such as positive wellbeing, challenging stigma, and the link between physical and mental wellbeing. 

Coun Brian Ford, Swindon borough Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Health for Adults and Health, and the Council's mental health champion said: " We are keen to help children and young poeple in the town to understand and look after their mental health as well as highlight the great support available to anyone looking for support with their mental wellbeing. 

"Like we would look after our physical health, it is just as important that we look after our mental health and wellbeing."

For further information about what support is available to young people and adults visit: