|Walking 800 miles for mental health...|
|Wednesday, 30 March 2011 18:59|
On Thursday 24th March
Sadiq met mental health campaigner Tony Russell as he began an 800 mile walk around the UK to fundraise and raise the profile of mental health causes.
Tony's visit coincided with a reception attended by local mental health service users, hospital staff and Tooting MP Sadiq Khan and organised jointly by the Springfield Hospital and the Happy Soul Festival, which included a walking tour of the art exhibited in the award-winning Wandsworth Recovery Centre.
As the founder of Breakthrough Art, which promotes positive mental health through creative arts, Tony also wants to celebrate the value of the creative arts as an aid to recovery, as he walks between NHS mental health trusts from London to Newcastle.
It will take him about two months and will see him walking over 800 miles. Along the way he will also be interviewing senior politicians, MPs and NHS trust chief executives in his quest to find out ‘What’s it all about?’
Sadiq Khan MP said, “I was delighted to meet Tony Russell, and support the Happy Soul Festival in its 5th year.
“Mental health is hugely misunderstood and under-represented – so I applaud Tony’s epic effort to raise public awareness of the problems facing mental health services in the UK.
"Mental health is often seen as the Cinderella service in the NHS. We need to change this. 1 out 4 people suffer from mental health.
“The creative arts are an invaluable tool in treatment and recovery, which is why initiatives like Happy Soul should be promoted widely, and replicated by mental health trusts, not cut.”
Tony said, “By doing all of this we intend to raise awareness of the tremendous value art has in aiding recovery and enhancing the healing environment, and to be able to showcase even more user art.”
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