Free mental health festival coming to Exeter this weekend
A free mental health festival is coming to Exeter Phoenix this weekend, offering people the chance to enjoy a range of fun wellbeing activities and a chance to reflect. Bloom Mental Wellness Festival will take place at the arts center on Sunday, May 8, 10am-8pm, and attendees are welcome to drop in during the event.
The event aims to bring the community together and falls at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which starts the following day. ExeterPhoenix is bringing a wealth of arts organisations, support groups, charities and mental health and wellbeing practitioners together under one roof for the festival which will be taking over the whole building for the day.
Activities will include dance and arts workshops, community and creativity panel discussions, mindfulness and music classes, film screenings, and a giant community mural. There will also be a special guest visiting Bloom, the mascot of Devon Recovery Learning Community – Patrick the Shetland pony.
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Some organizations will be offering workshops or talks, sharing a taster of what they do with the community. For example, Pelican Project members will be running sensory workshops, and Magic Carpet will be running mindful felt making with one of their artists.
Other organisations, such as Samaritans and TALKWORKS, will offer the community access to mental health support – both on the day and as a resource for the ‘mental health toolkit’ participants might be building for the future.
This event has been made possible due to the sponsorship of Iron Mill College and insurance specialist TheExeter. Isobel Langton, chief executive of The Exeter, said: “At The Exeter, we’re committed to supporting mental health and wellbeing and are proud to have introduced fully trained Mental Health First Aiders for our own employees.
“We’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to support this year’s BloomFestivalwhich is providing members of our local community the chance to come together and share the importance of mental wellness and what it means to them.”
Iron Mill College will be chairing panel discussions, including ‘The Power of Connection – Community and Collaboration in Mental Wellness’, where contributions from a wide range of perspectives will be explored, and input from attendees is very welcome. They will also be on hand to talk about training options for those considering or already working in mental health.
Principal Dr Jo Trelfa said: “Iron Mill College, Exeter, is delighted to be sponsoring such a fantastic event that will raise the awareness of mental health and wellbeing in our city.
“With our 40-year history of delivering activities and workshops on mental health, our low-cost counseling service, and training courses to professionally qualify counselors and psychotherapists, it is a focus of great significance and concern to us. We support the Bloom Festival wholeheartedly and are looking forward to seeing everyone there. Do come and say hello!”
Most festival activity has both drop-in and pre-booking options and is free or Pay What You Decide to attend. It will conclude with an Open Mic in association with Spork! Poetry.
For the full program of events, visit Exeter Phoenix’s website here. Anybody struggling with their mental health can contact Samaritans for free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on 116 123 or online.
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