Festival spreads the word that we all have a right to mental wellbeing

22nd July 2022

Staff from Steps2Wellbeing, a local NHS mental wellbeing service, attended the Southampton’s Mela Festival to encourage people from all backgrounds to talk about their mental health.

The festival celebrating modern and traditional Asian culture returned to Hoglands Park after two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

Among the music, dance and storytelling, Steps2Wellbeing staff chatted with festival-goers around the topic of mental wellbeing.

The service is run by Dorset Healthcare and provides talking therapies, online courses, and guided self-help to people struggling low mood and anxiety to people in Dorset and Southampton City.

Although Steps2Wellbeing receives a steady stream of self-referrals from the public, ethnic minorities are often underrepresented, something that the service is striving to address.

Diz Barton, a counsellor with the service, said: “Attending Mela reminded me of the diversity in our community and the importance of maintaining agility in the way we reach and meet our people’s needs.

“Equality and diversity are embedded into our service and we are committed to ensuring that people from ethnic minorities, as well as LGBT+ people, older adults, veterans and people with disabilities, can access the mental health support they need.”

Psychological wellbeing practitioner Irene Tsang added: “We are an inclusive service and provide support for people who do not speak English as their first language. Our services are culturally aware, and we can provide resources and support in different languages thanks to our interpreters.

“I’m able to offer sessions in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and other therapists can speak multiple languages too.”

Dorset and Southampton residents can access mental health support from Steps2Wellbeing directly by filling out a referral form at www.steps2wellbeing.co.uk

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