World Mental Health Day 2018

World Mental Health Day is today (10th October 2018). Today is a vital day to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to break the social stigma. Oxfam Festivals recognises the importance of mental health awareness and how we can all support others in the Oxfamily.

It can be easy to dismiss mental health problems as something that only
affects others. But, with 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health problems
every year, it can happen to any of us – a friend, a member of the family, or
work colleague.

Our volunteers have always expressed how they feel part of a fantastic community and research shows that interacting with others can boost feelings of well-being and improve your mood. So, Oxfam festivals are proud to be able to offer thousands of volunteers the opportunity to meet new people by volunteering their time, as well as be rewarded by having time off to enjoy the festival.

One of the best things about volunteering at a festival with Oxfam, apart from the live music and fun atmosphere, is the community spirit amongst our volunteers. You can volunteer as part of a big group but many people come alone as you won’t be alone for very long! Many of our long-term volunteers started off as solo festival-goers. Our huge family of volunteers welcomed them with open arms, and now every year they look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting lots of new people at each festival.

A first-time volunteer from this summer shared how her experience this summer helped her through a difficult time with her anxiety and depression. It is stories like this that make us proud to be able to support so many volunteers over summer.

You can also check out a video here about how volunteering helped Alex boost her confidence and make new friends!

So if you’re struggling, or you’re just looking to make some new friends, consider volunteering at a music festival with Oxfam next summer. You can register your interest here and in the meantime, you can find the Oxfam Festivals Chat group on Facebook, where we keep in touch, share news and memories from previous festivals, and generally have a good time together.

It is time to speak up, support others and raise awareness of the importance of mental health. So why not check in on someone close to you or have a cuppa and a chat with a colleague. If someone you know is acting differently then step in and make sure to #asktwice.

If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health or some like some more information for others, there is lots of support out there by following any of the links below. It’s okay not to be okay.

See you on the field!

Oxfam Festivals team

Samaritans
Telephone: 116 123
(24 hours a day, free to call)
Email: jo@samaritans.org
Website: www.samaritans.org

Mind
Telephone: 0300 123 3393
(9am-5pm Monday to Friday)
Email: info@mind.org.uk
Website: www.mind.org.uk/

Elefriends
Website: www.elefriends.org.uk
Elefriends is a supportive online
a community where you can be yourself.
Elefriends is run by Mind.

Rethink Mental Illness Advice Line
Telephone: 0300 5000 927
(9.30am-4pm Monday to Friday)
Email: info@rethink.org
Website: www.rethink.org/about-us/ourmental-health-advice

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