Teamwork Trust, Kettering Mind and other organisations aim to change the way people think and act about mental health following the launch of Northamptonshire’s new Time to Change hub.

Hundreds of people, including the Mayor of Kettering, attended the hub’s launch event at ‘Open Doors’ in Kettering during World Mental Health Day.

As the new Northamptonshire ‘hub coordinators’, Teamwork’s Kizzy Minter and Kettering Mind’s Steph Orr spoke about their mission to recruit Time to Change ‘community champions’ – people with lived experience of mental health – who will campaign together to change attitudes and behaviour.

“We are thrilled with how many people came along to the launch as this whole initiative is about leading mental health organisations and people in the community coming together to drive change."

Kizzy added: "As part of the Time to Change hub, our new team of champions will undergo various training so that they are confident to create conversations in the community and challenge people to reduce stigma and discrimination around mental health. We want more people talking about these issues so that people are no longer afraid.”

Rethink Mental Illness, Northamptonshire County Council, Kettering Borough Council, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and other organisations under the Mental Health Northants Collaboration (MHNC) are among those involved in the Time to Change hub.

Mayor of the Borough of Kettering, Councillor Keli Watts, said: “As a trustee of Mind, this is an initiative that is very close to my heart. The more people talk about mental health, the more comfortable people feel, and we realise it’s okay to not be okay. I am confident that Time to Change Northamptonshire will have a positive impact in our county.”

Steph added: “So far we have 37 community champions in Northamptonshire, mostly in the North of the county, and we will be working hard to recruit more people to volunteer as champions – all with lived experience. They will run monthly meetings to discuss various activities, events and workshops which might engage others.”

To find out more HERE.