UpBeat Arts Event to kick Blue Monday

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust (LCH) and Public Health, Liverpool City Council are partnering with a range of local mental health support agencies to promote positive mental wellbeing and help people to beat “Blue Monday” this year.

“Blue Monday” takes place annually on the third Monday of January, which is widely said to be the most depressing day of the year.

Supported by a range of community partners including the Richmond Fellowship, Imagine Mental Health, the Public Health Community Health Ambassador Team (CHATs), and Big Love Sista, the public health team will be co-hosting “UpBeat 2” – a free music and arts day for anyone living with or recovering from mental health problems.

The event will be taking place on Monday 26th January at the Zanzibar Club on Liverpool’s Seel Street, and will offer a range of free arts workshop sessions running throughout the day – including drama, singing, music, poetry and much more.

In addition, many of the event participants will be taking part in an evening performance at the venue from 7.30pm, which will showcase some of the skills they have learned during the day.
Any members of the public are welcome to attend this performance (free of charge).

Paul White, Mental Health Lead for Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust explains:

“Blue Monday is often said to be the day that most of us feel at our lowest ebb, thanks to long, dark winter days, and due to people feeling financially challenged and demotivated after the Christmas season.

“Whilst all of these factors can have a very real impact on our mood, this event is all about bucking that trend, practicing activities that can support us in feeling more upbeat, and reminding people that 26th January doesn’t have to be the most depressing day of the year.”

Rod Leung, Community Links Advisor for Richmond Fellowship continues:

“At Richmond Fellowship, we specialise in supporting people with mental health problems to recover, rehabilitate and to get the most out of life – and that’s exactly what this event is all about.”

“Being creative and developing new skills can be a fantastic way to build self-esteem and support positive mental wellbeing amongst individuals recovering from mental health problems, so we would encourage anyone who feels they might benefit from taking part in one of these workshops to get in touch with us and to apply to take part.”

The UpBeat 2 sessions and activities will be running at the following times during the day:

  • 11:00am: Ice Breaking Sessions from Open the Door Theatre Company: Artists & Mentors
  • 12:00pm: Group Sessions Start: Songwriting / Comedy / Poetry
  • 3:00pm: Sound Checks and Rehearsals for Evening Event
  • 6:00pm: Therapies to aid relaxation (pre-performance)
  • 7:30pm: Evening performance

To find out more about taking part in UpBeat 2 or to book a place, please contact Henry from Richmond Fellowship on: 07824 351 402 or Rod on: 07717 850 559 or alternatively you can email: ourtime@richmondfellowship.org.uk

Places for the event are limited for workshops so don’t delay, book your place today.

Pearl Roberts, Manager for the Public Health Community Health Ambassador Team (CHATs) adds:

“Although it is just one day in the year, Blue Monday is the perfect opportunity to remind people that anyone’s mental health can suffer at any time over the course of their life, but that there are individuals and teams of professionals who are here to offer free support, advice or just listen to any concerns they may feel.”

The team behind the event is also keen to remind everyone of the five ways  to wellbeing – which are 5 simple things that anyone can do to help them beat Blue Monday. They are:

* Connect with others – Social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing, and even small changes make a difference. Why not speak to someone face to face instead of sending an email, phone a family member who you haven’t spoken to in a while, or look up an old friend?

* Be active – Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age group, and it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good either. So go for a walk with colleagues in your lunchbreak, get off the bus one stop earlier, or organise a kick-about or cycle ride in your local park.

* Take notice – Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your wellbeing, and savouring “the moment” can have a reaffirming affect. Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you, or visit somewhere new.

* Learn – Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing, so try to learn something new. Sign up for a class, read a book, or take up a new hobby or interest.

* Give – Research has shown that those who have a greater interest in helping others are more likely to report being happy themselves. Try volunteering in your local community, or do a random act of kindness for someone else.

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