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Hertford’s new MIND centre gives us food for thought

Submitted on Thu, 23/04/2009 - 11:35am

Yesterday, East Herts People were lucky enough to attend the opening of the new MIND centre in Hertford, attendees included the deputy mayor Peter Ruffles and the ultimate political spin doctor, Alastair Campbell.  

Prior to the opening EHP knew nothing of this new venture, having not even read anywhere that the new centre was opening.  This in itself is such a shame. The new centre is a vital and worthwhile addition to the town's facilities and more should be being made of its arrival. 

1 in 4 people will suffer some form of mental ill health at some point in their life.  This is a huge number and it beggars belief that knowledge and discussion about these issues is so muted.  At the event, the MIND campaign "Time for Change" was advertised and upon reading the information I came across an interesting quote; "It's odd, but people found my cancer easier to deal with than my depression".  This sums up the situation very aptly.  Physical injury is far easier to cope with as we know how to react to a broken leg or something as serious as cancer.  We know what they mean and we know what can be done to help.  With mental illness, there is a lack of awareness about what it means and what happens.  During his speech, Alastair Cambell raised the point that "we all expect to suffer physical illness during our lifetime, yet we don't think about mental illness, yet we all have both physical and mental health to contend with". 

There was certainly a lot to think about from yesterdays opening; issues about mental illness, what it means, and why it's such a taboo subject.  MIND is working towards changing perceptions of mental illness, and things are much better than they used to be.  Many celebrities are now speaking openly about how they have been affected and as such are bringing these issues to the forefront. 

It is such a great thing that there is now the facility in Hertford to offer support to those in need and as a community we should be openly discussing this.  Yesterday's opening is a welcome new addition to life in Hertford.

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