‘Walking Out Of Darkness’ events will take place in Birmingham and London on Saturday 6th & 13th May 2017, bookending ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’. An opportunity for everyone to walk together in support and unity for individuals and families suffering from Mental Health Difficulties and those, who have lost loved ones by suicide.
Over the last 3 years, Walking Out Of Darkness events have inspired and motivated more people, businesses, charities and services across the country to unite in ending the stigma surrounding Mental Illness by increasing Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention.
The events 10 mile walks in Birmingham and London, offer a platform for all during ‘Mental Health Awareness Week’ 2017 when Charities, Businesses, Organisations and Service across the UK seek to highlight how together, we can all make a difference by acknowledging these, once unuttered, topics and assist in increasing communication, education by raising awareness around mental health and suicide prevention.
This year’s London event was attended by the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, who as the Chair of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission said; "I'm thrilled that 'Walking Out of Darkness' is coming to the West Midlands. Having taken part this year in the London event I know how positive this can be. Most families are touched by mental ill health in some way or other - and ours is no exception. We need to talk openly about the challenges people face. Together, we can confront the stigma of mental ill health and of suicide".
The events are also supported by Business in the Community, who recent survey of ‘Mental Health at Work’ across the UK found thousands of people with poor mental health are suffering in silence, unable to share their condition or illness with colleagues or managers at work - "77% of employees have experienced symptoms of poor mental health at some point in their lives and 62% of employees attributed their symptoms of poor mental health to work or said that work was a contributing factor."
Louise Aston, Business in the Community Wellbeing Director added: "We need to show unity in assisting both employees and employers to understand the importance of raising mental health awareness in the workplace. Business in the Community encourages more businesses and organisations to become involved with ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’ to help end the silence and offer support to those suffering with mental health difficulties."
Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "We are pleased to be supporting ‘Walking Out of Darkness’. Mental health issues can affect any person, from any background and at any stage of their life. It is important that the local business community does its bit to ensure a greater understanding of the subject and combat the stigma that can surround mental health.”
The National Institute of Health & Care Excellence (NICE) found of the 6,233 people who completed suicide in 2014, over 70% were not known to mental health services or NHS and suffered in silence, due to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Mental illness and Suicide touches everyone in every walk of life including businesses with every completed suicide by someone of ‘working age’ having an overall cost to the UK economy exceeding £1.6 million.
1 in 4 people in the UK directly affected by poor mental health wellness, these two events are aimed to end the stigmas involved in seeking help when required. All previous events have been widely supported by the Government, Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England, Rethink Mental Illness, London Councils plus Legal & General, several other businesses, organisations and services across the UK; 2017 is will supported by even more.
Registration is only £10 and participants have the opportunity to fundraise for ‘any’ UK mental health charity they desire. Register today and together with thousands of people around the country, we can empower and inspire the end of mental illness stigma, raising mental health awareness and suicide prevention at ‘Walking Out Of Darkness’
To register, click this link