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Rodborough Parish Council has become the latest organisation to join a Gloucestershire-wide campaign to tackle stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental health conditions.

The council held a mental health awareness event at its most recent meeting, where councillors were given a presentation by members of the ‘Gloucestershire Tackles Stigma’ group, which is a partnership of health and community organisations.

The event was part of an ongoing programme of sessions with businesses and organisations across Gloucestershire, aimed at explaining the prevalence of mental health problems and how help and support is provided.

Phil Blomberg, Chair of Rodborough Parish Council, said: "We received the presentation from the ‘Gloucestershire Tackles Stigma’ group with great interest.

"We were shocked to hear how common mental health conditions are in Britain. At the same time we learnt how effective it can be to take simple measures to tackle stigma and discrimination wherever it is encountered.

"Rodborough Parish Council, as with any parish or town council, is in a unique position in local government as it is constantly in local contact with the community as well as potentially being able to help, advise or refer on a great deal of matters, signposting to specialist help where needed.

"Rodborough Parish Council is happy to join the campaign, and looks forward to working with the group in the future, in tackling mental health stigma and discrimination."

Kathryn Charlesworth, of ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, met the council alongside Dan Beale-Cox, who is co-chair of the countywide Tackling Stigma group.

Kathryn said: "We were delighted to be invited to Rodborough Parish Council and to speak to them about mental health.

"One in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, so mental health conditions are very common yet many people are still nervous to speak openly about it. The parish council has demonstrated its commitment to tackling the stigma around mental illness and we’re really glad that they can spread this message further into their community."

To read more about the Tackling Stigma campaign and find out which other organisations are involved, click here.

If you are experiencing a mental health issue, or you have concerns about someone who is, please speak to your GP. You can also ring the local NHS Let’s Talk service on 0800 073 2200 or visit www.talk²gether.nhs.uk for help with conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Another useful source of mental health information and advice is www.time-to-change.org.uk

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