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The sound of laughter to help break down stigma on World Mental Health Day

October 10th 2013

Laughter is known for its therapeutic benefits and today Care UK colleagues, service users and their families and friends are tapping into its mood improving power to mark World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October) and help break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

A ‘things that make you laugh’ day at Care UK’s Park Villa in Macclesfield – which offers rehabilitation to women with complex mental health issues – sees a laughter workshop and programme of activities to get everybody giggling and thinking about the short and long-term benefits of stress relief from laughter.

Cake bakes, raffles, visits from musicians, trips to art exhibitions and tea and talk events at eight other Care UK services are raising money for the Mental Health Foundation, which has produced a free guide containing lots of helpful advice on where to get help and practical tips on how to stay mentally well in later life. The charity, which every World Mental Health Day runs a campaign to raise awareness about a particular mental health issue, works to promote better mental health for everybody and Care UK is delighted to be able to support its work.

Dr Alison Rose-Quirie, managing director of Care UK’s Mental Health division, said: “The importance of laughter and relaxation in helping with the recovery from a mental health condition cannot be underestimated. We want our World Mental Health Day events to not only break down the stigma of mental health conditions, but also bring people together to laugh, enjoy each other’s company and feel comfortable in being open about their wellbeing.

“This year, World Mental Health Day focuses on later life and the problems that dementia, depression and loneliness can cause for older people. Research has shown that approximately 15 percent of people aged 60 and over live with a mental health condition and that the stigma surrounding mental illness can make people reluctant to seek help. Our mental health services specialise in working with challenging issues in all age groups and I urge anybody who has concerns about their mental health to consider what options may be available to them.”

The other Care UK services participating in World Mental Health Day are:

More information about Care UK’s mental health services – which deliver tailored care, rehabilitation and support to people with complex mental health needs in the community and from a network of homes and hospitals – is available online.

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