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Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing Tackled in Hive Talk

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Improving mental health and wellbeing will be discussed during a special event at The Hive next week.

Leading expert, Professor Jo Smith, from the University of Worcester, will talk about some of the extensive work already on-going in Worcestershire to build and promote good mental and emotional health.

Her talk, 'Mental Wellbeing: strategies for maintaining mood and wellbeing', takes place at The Hive on Wednesday, October 7th and is open to all to attend. The talk starts at 6pm and is free to attend. Seats can be reserved at www.thehiveworcester.org/events

“Good mental health is not just the absence of mental health difficulties,” said Professor Smith. “Being mentally or emotionally healthy is much more than being free of depression, anxiety, or other psychological issues. Rather than the absence of mental illness, mental and emotional health refers to the presence of positive characteristics where people who are 'emotionally healthy' are much better equipped to handle life’s challenges, build strong relationships, and recover from setbacks.

“This does not just happen. Instead, we need to develop strategies in our lives to improve our emotional health to boost mood, build coping resilience and experience overall life enjoyment. This can include taking care of your physical health, finding activities that you enjoy and building up protective factors, like strong relationships, a healthy lifestyle, and coping strategies for managing stress and negative emotions.

“This public lecture will outline simple actions we all can do to start to improve our emotional health and identify support and resources that are available when mood and mental wellbeing are challenged.”

The event falls between two important dates; World Suicide Prevention Day, which was held on 19th September, and World Mental Health Day, which takes place on 10th October.

“The topic: 'Mental Wellbeing: strategies for maintaining mood and wellbeing' is pertinent to both campaigns as the key to preventing mental ill health, low mood and suicide risk is maintaining good mental health and wellbeing,” said Professor Smith.

Professor Smith is the lead on a 'Suicide Safer' Project, working in partnership with colleagues from the University of Worcester, Worcestershire County Council’s public health and the Worcestershire Health and Care Trust, to develop initiatives that will help to create a 'Suicide Safer' University, City and County.

This public lecture is just one of many initiatives that form part of this work to raise public awareness about the importance of building and maintaining mental health to protect against low mood and other factors that may potentially contribute to suicide risk.

Prior to joining the University earlier this year, Professor Smith previously worked in local mental health services as the lead for Worcestershire Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) Service. The principle behind the EIP service is identifying young people in distress early to try and prevent more serious problems developing later on.

Professor Smith has led on a number of projects nationally and internationally based on principles of 'prevention' and 'early intervention' to avoid later health difficulties. This is exemplified in a current partnership project called SHAPE, which stands for ‘Supporting Health and Promoting Exercise’ project, launched 15 months ago.