Published on 7th October 2016

two people holding hands

Heads up Cheltenham sees the start of a year of action aimed at bringing the town together to encourage good mental health.

The year-long plans launch on Monday 10 October, to coincide with World Mental Health Day. The first theme is tackling stigma and a different theme which supports good mental health will be promoted every month. This forms part of Cheltenham Borough Council’s commitment to the local authority mental health challenge.

Residents and visitors can visit the CCG bus (Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group) on Cheltenham High Street, from 9.30am to 3pm on 10 October to take part in activities and find out more about mental health issues as well as how and where to get help.

For businesses and other local organisations at 6pm on 10 October, there is an event at the Municipal Offices on the Promenade, where they will have the opportunity to hear more about the plans and pledge their support.

Councillor Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles, says: “We are very proud to sign up to a year of partnership activities that Heads Up Cheltenham will promote. We know how everyday life can be affected by mental illness. Often, it is the perception of the illness rather than anything else that stigmatises sufferers. We want to do our best to challenge accepted views and to give opportunity for change.”

Dr Tristan Lench, Clinical Lead for Mental Health Services at NHS Gloucestershire CCG, says “Every year, one in four people will experience a mental health problem. It tends to be something that people are reluctant to talk about, but the reality is that mental health issues can affect anyone.

“We are really pleased to support Heads Up and to help break down the barriers and tackle the stigma that still surrounds mental illness, and are grateful to the Borough Council for encouraging people in Cheltenham to think about their mental health, as well as that of their friends and families.”

Angela Gilbert, support services manager, Gloucestershire Rural Community Council adds: “Through supporting Heads Up Cheltenham the voluntary and community sector look forward to working with communities in the town to get involved in the year of activity”.

Professor Jane Melton, Director of Engagement and Integration, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Heads Up is a fantastic initiative from Cheltenham Borough Council and we’re proud to be supporting it.

“The stigma surrounding mental health issues can be one of the main barriers to people getting the help and support they need. By working to tackle stigma in this way, people will be supported better to consider their mental health and wellbeing, and that of those around them.

“We look forward to working with Heads Up Cheltenham in the coming year and hope that other areas of Gloucestershire will be inspired to lead similar creative initiatives.”

Find out more about Heads Up Cheltenham and their work on their Facebook page:

For media enquiries, please contact: Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 264154, email [email protected]

Heads up Cheltenham is supported by Cheltenham Borough Council, 2gether Trust, Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, People and Places, Cheltenham Borough Homes, Trust in You, The Cheltenham Trust and Gloucestershire Rural Community Council.