South west London trust launches #Upliftingimage competition for World Mental Health Day

A competition to find the best ‘uplifting images’ has been launched by South West London and St George’s Mental NHS Trust to support World Mental Health Day this month.

The photo competition, in its second year, hopes to promote a better understanding of mental health issues, increase the awareness surrounding mental health and, in particular, challenge the stigma.

The trust wants to use images that make you feel happy and lift your mood as a way of provoking discussion and changing attitudes.

The aim is simple — send in a photograph that makes you feel happy.

World Mental Health Day on October 10 aims to raise awareness of  the one in four people affected by mental illness.

“Nine out of ten people say that their problems are made worse by experiencing stigma and discrimination,” said South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) chief executive David Bradley.

“We want to encourage people to talk about mental health and challenge the stigma around it.”

The trust has been liaising with schools in the area to engage pupils in the competition and hope there will be a number of students participating.

Head of communications at SWLSTG Ranjeet Kaile said: “We hope this year our local schools will again be involved and be even more innovative, the more the merrier.

“It’s always encouraging when we receive submissions from young children as it opens up a dialogue about mental health in a positive way.”

uplifting-image-2015-school-winner-sacred-heartBEAUTIFUL: Sacred Heart won the school competition in 2015

The competition will be open to anyone living in Sutton, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Wandsworth.

The hashtag #UpliftingImage will be used to encourage people to get involved.

A prize-giving will be held on the afternoon of Friday, October 21 at Springfield University Hospital for the best pictures chosen and there will be one winner per category (schools, public and staff).

Entries should be sent in to [email protected], accompanied with the submission form — the competition ends on World Mental Health Day, October 10.

The trust is also holding other events during Mental Health Month.

These include a mental health master class on October 4 and a balloon race on October 10 — where biodegradable balloons will be released with messages of ‘hope and opportunity’ inside.

Last year, then Tooting MP, Sadiq Khan released the balloons, with some of them making it all the way to France.

sadiq-khan-balloonsBALLOONING MARVELLOUS: Sadiq Khan is a big advocate of World Mental Health Day

Images courtesy of South West London and St George’s Mental NHS Trust, with thanks

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