We need to talk: Events aim to bring people together over mental health

St Mellons and Old St Mellons volunteers act as hosts as part of national campaign day

VOLUNTEERS in St Mellons and Old St Mellons are hosting events to mark Time to Talk Day, which aims to start “the nation’s biggest mental health conversation”.

The annual event, on February 1, is organised by the mental health charity Mind and Rethink Mental Illness in partnership with Co-op and delivered in Wales by Time to Change Wales.

However, the groups Tutorful Minds Ltd and Hope St Mellons have organised their own events.

More people [need to] openly say ‘Look I’ve struggled and I wasn’t embarrassed to get the help’

Ceri-Ann Wrides

Family Fun event

Tutorful Minds is hosting a free entry Family Fun event on February 1 involving activities for all. There will be free food and drink, as well as games and arts and crafts, according to organiser Ceri-Ann Wride.

Ceri-Ann is an ex-teacher who set up a tutoring business.

Mental health is something really close to my heart

Ceri-Ann Wride

Credit: Ceri-Ann Wride

She faced mental health difficulties when she left a difficult relationship but found that the Mind charity was very helpful.

“I had counselling sessions through them and they were absolutely fantastic,” she said.

She wanted to keep up to date with their activities, and was able to apply for funding to host a Time to Talk Day event.

For Ceri-Ann the event will be a space for both adults and children to discuss their mental health.

“It’s just basically a chance for people to feel really relaxed in quite a calm, relaxed environment,” she says.

There will be mindful colouring stations, where volunteers will speak to children involved. A giant Jenga talking tower will be there for those who are older.

“I think a lot of people struggle silently and don’t want to either burden people with their problems, or they’re just a bit embarrassed or ashamed,” she said.

The volunteers helping run this event are “really close family and friends or colleagues … who have all experienced or had struggles themselves in the past,” she said.

Ceri-Ann says that these volunteers will be able to plug into their experiences to encourage open conversations.

  • This event will be held at the Old St Mellons Village Hall, Newport Road, Llanrumney, Cardiff, CF3 5UN

Community Lunch

Credit: Hope St Mellons

Hope St Mellons, a group of community organisers in the CF3 area, will be hosting a community lunch from 1pm to 3pm.

It’s a continuation of what local people are already doing.

Helen Griffiths, Hope St Mellons

Helen Griffiths, one of the key organisers, said the lunch would be “a space for people to get together and talk, either with friends and neighbours they already know … or people they meet on the day.”

The lunch will be a buffet style with multiple platters catering to different dietary or religious needs, such as vegan, vegetarian and Halal options.

It will be an informal lunch and with some “simple creative activities such as mindful colouring,” says Helen.

She hopes to use Time to Talk Day to bring attention to existing local groups.

Part of the St Mellons neighbourhood. Credit: Murthaza Ali-Hassan

For her it’s important to highlight activity or friendship based groups that offer the benefits to wellbeing of mental-health-based charities and groups but are not labelled as such.

One of those groups is Rumney ManShhead. It is a very informal group of men ranging in age from 18 to 80, who meet on Monday evenings at 6pm, at the flower beds in Rumney Hill gardens.

“We talk about men’s mental health in a safe and friendly environment,” says Darren Payne, who is one of the people involved.

“To hear the laughter is great and we all come out of our shells”, he says.

Some people in that group will be at the event on Thursday to spread the word about the group. Other groups that will be there include Crafty Chats and St Mellons Walking Group.

A hopeful message on the side of the St Mellons Tesco. Credit: Murthaza Ali-Hassan

“We’re hoping to see some new faces and people who haven’t really engaged before with our community groups,” said Helen.

“It could potentially be a first step for somebody looking to get a bit more involved in the community or looking to do something to support their own mental health and well-being.”

This event ties into Hope St Mellons’ Winter Wellness campaign, which is aimed at bringing St Mellons residents together during winter. They recently received grant funding from Cardiff Third Sector Council.

You can contact Hope St Mellons on social media via @hopestmellons and email info@hopestmellons.org for more information

  • This community lunch will be hosted at the Beacon Centre, Harrison Drive, St Mellons, CF3 0PJ