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Chris was asked to address an audience at St Barnabas Church in Epsom for Mental Health Week. He spoke on the subject of “Is it possible to Create a Just Society”.

Epsom Mental Health Week (EMHW) 2013 took place from 6th-12th October. World Mental Health Day which focused on the Mental Health of Older People was marked on Thursday 10th October. The theme for the week was “Mental Health- Past, Present and Future”.

EMHW comprised of a week of activities devoted to mental health: providing a forum for discussion, sharing and distributing information and answering questions. Activities include workshops, talks, music, drama, dance and film.

Although the issue is so often hidden and unexplored, there are few things in life more important than mental health. In every respect mental health impacts on all our lives- it is a very rare person who does not know sadness and anxiety, 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any one year and there is a sizeable group of people, some 2-3% of the population, whose lives are seriously affected by more severe and enduring mental health difficulties. The World Health Organisation has predicted that by 2020, depression will be the leading cause of disability in the world, and 1 in 4 people over 80 living in the UK today will develop dementia.

Epsom Mental Health Week was established to promote a better understanding of mental health and to reduce the misunderstanding, fear and stigma which surround it. We work in partnership with local service users, carers, voluntary and statutory organisations and mental health professionals, to offer information to all local groups in the community about mental health issues and the treatments, services and resources which are available. In addition, the week offers people a chance to explore and discuss issues in more detail and to ask questions of the people who really understand. Although this is a challenging and difficult subject, there is also an opportunity to relax, meet others and participate in enjoyable activities.