People are really beginning to bang the drum for mental health and wellbeing, challenging the stigma that surrounds it.
Of course, there’s still work to be done. But we seem to be in the middle of a shift-change towards better mental wellbeing and it’s not only making for a more open discussion but creating a thriving industry for wellbeing-focused products, events and personalities.
Along with ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Wellbeing’ is a buzz word of the moment as increasing numbers of people starting to address their mental health. As a result we are beginning to see the launch of new media brands offering advice and support. Lifestyle magazines such as Happiful, In the Moment and Breathe provide insightful news and personal stories to encourage time out for self-renewal and the hugely popular Headspace App has been designed to help integrate and sync mindfulness into the everyday routine.
Wellbeing is also becoming big business for the events industry, with the aim of bringing together inspirational speakers in one place where people can share their stories and talk about the challenges they’ve faced with their own mental health. Gail Porter and Ruby Wax’s mental health issues are well documented and by speaking publically about health, happiness and wellbeing they’re provide an accessible and relatable space for the public to join the conversation.
Influential celebrities undoubtedly have a big part to play in beating the taboos of talking about mental health. We hear their stories and empathise with them, be they sports stars, actors, comedians or entrepreneurs, knowing that they’ve faced some of the same challenges that we have. Hearing personal stories from public figures is a uniquely inspirational experience.
One person capitalising on this growing trend is TV personality Martin Roberts (best-known for presenting BBC 1’s Homes under the Hammer). Martin will be launching his first UK Achieve Expo this weekend in Bath (14th-15th October) with over 5,000 people expected to attend. Keynote speakers include Martin Roberts himself, Frank Bruno MBE, Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE and Ruby Wax OBE.
Roberts, who has endured a personal well-being journey since being a contestant on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, believes these types of events can really help people on the quest for happiness, he said: “I am so proud and delighted to be launching such a new and unique weekend event under the Achieve name in my home city of Bath. When I took part in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity last year, something changed, not only in my mind-set, but also physically. My time in the jungle forced a break from my everyday commitments and gave me time to reflect on my diet and fitness. In just under three weeks I lost two stone and my lifelong asthma diminished.”
He added: “Since returning home I have continued with this focus and feel much healthier and happier, and have embarked upon a personal journey of discovery to further my own achievements in health, wealth and happiness. A big part of my personal happiness comes from helping and inspiring others which is why I am launching the Achieve Expo.”
Achieve is a free exhibition with tickets to see the guest speakers available from just £10.
Talking more about our shared experiences and being inspired by people we look up to or who are in the public eye is a monumental step forward in helping people to make radical improvements in their physical and mental wellbeing.
There are events like this happening all over the county and I think celebrity advocacy is key to helping break the taboos. Mental health ambassador Frank Bruno recently held a talk at Bournemouth University in aid of World Mental Health Day, events like this can really help young people with their seemingly overwhelming everyday struggles. Bruno is just one of many celebrities using their celebrity status in a positive way by reaching out to people – after all you’re always going to be inspired by the people you admire the most.
Sharing personal experiences is part of the fabric of our society and by shifting the conversation to be about mental health and wellbeing we can really begin to engage larger audiences and start making a difference to people’s lives.
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