Bridgend County Borough Council’s civic offices will be turning green this weekend to mark World Mental Health Day.
The building will be one of several in the region to change colour to shine a light on the various organisations which support mental health, raising awareness of the help available.
The Old Bridge and the walkway in front of the civic offices in Angel Street will also be illuminated as well as The Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl and the Angelton Clinic at Glanrhyd Hospital.
Elsewhere in the region, the Pontypridd Museum and the Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare will be among the buildings lit up, as will some of the buildings run by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Other community and voluntary groups are also being encouraged to join in on Saturday, October 10 by illuminating or decorating their premises in green.
In addition, a range of talks, discussions and wellbeing activities will be taking place on Zoom from now until
October 15, hosted by the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Third Sector Mental Health Forum.
Kathryn Rogerson-Davies from the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Third Sector Mental Health Forum said: “We know that the coronavirus pandemic has been a distressing time for people in many different ways but help is available, and a brighter future is possible if people reach out to local organisations.
“Mental health concerns are particularly pertinent in 2020 – according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, rates of depression have almost doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, with almost one in five adults experiencing some form of depression compared to the previous year when it was around one in ten.
“Data from the Office for National Statistics also shows the suicide rate for men in England and Wales in 2019 was the highest for two decades.
“We hope that not only will the building illuminations help to signpost various organisations involved in offering mental health support but also start a conversation with friends, family and colleagues about mental health.
“For people interested in volunteering, there’s also a range of opportunities with local and national groups.”
The local organisations taking part in World Mental Health Day events include Bridgend County Borough Council, Awen Cultural Trust, Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO), Interlink RCT, Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil, Wellbeing Merthyr, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Pontypridd Town Council.
The Cabinet Member for Social Services & Early Help, Cllr Nicole Burnett said: “Knowing where to get help is vital for everyone with mental health issues and we hope this weekend’s illuminations will highlight those organisations who provide help and support.
“We urge people to contact the relevant organisations in order to benefit from expert advice and support.
“As part of World Mental Health Day, we will be joining other organisations in the region by making a very important pledge: to fight mental health stigma and to talk openly and honestly about mental health, to listen to residents, and place people at the centre of what we do, to ensure all residents have access to support at a time they need and to continue to invest in community mental health services.”
If you are experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647. The line is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
For support with a range of mental health issues, visit www.mentalhealthsupport.co.uk for use a directory of regional and national services.
For someone to talk to at any time of the day or night, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90.
For a confidential listening and support service, call the mental health helpline for Wales on 0800 132 737.