Leading national mental health campaigner to talk at Soham Village College

Natahsa Devon to give a talk on mental health at Soham Village College

Natahsa Devon to give a talk on mental health at Soham Village College - Credit: Archant

Mental health support group Talking FreELY is making October a big month by putting on two events, both free of charge and open to everyone.

The first is on Friday October 12 in partnership with Soham Village College. Doors open at 4 pm with Natasha speaking from 5-6 pm.

Author and mental health campaigner Natasha Devon will be visiting the college to share her experiences and hold a discussion.

Natasha MBE delivers talks across the UK as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender and social equality.

She regularly gives evidence to Parliament representing the interests of teenagers and teachers.

She has co-authored several books, writes regularly for the Guardian, is a former columnist for Cosmopolitan Magazine and has a weekly column in the Times Educational Supplement.

In 2016, the Sunday Times and Debretts named Natasha one of the 500 most influential people in Britain.

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Founder of Talking FreELY, Anthony Sigrist, said ‘I’m so pleased that Natasha is coming back to the area. She came to give a talk at Ely College earlier in the year I had an enormous amount of positive feedback from people who came along.

“Natasha is highly respected in the field of mental health and has some very powerful and highly important messages to share.

“The fact that Talking FreELY can facilitate another opportunity for the people of Ely and the surrounding area to hear her speak is an honour.’

The second October event is a pop-up cafe on Saturday October 27 at Ely Cathedral Conference Centre from 9.30am to 1pm.

There will be free refreshments and a chance to chat with volunteers and listen to guest speakers.

Serena Moden will talk about her experiences with obsessive compulsive disorder and how it has affected her and the people around her.

James Stubbins will read a powerful poem he has written about his experiences while James Sheard from Voiceability, will provide advocacy support for vulnerable people and help them to get their voices heard.

There will be an opportunity to try out some yoga, with taster sessions and a fitness expert on-hand to talk about your own needs and suggest possible solutions.

Dr Steve Case-Upton, Talking FreELY Trustee, said: “Giving people a forum to explore mental health and talk about their own experiences is vitally important.

“Talking FreELY events do just that and are quickly becoming an anticipated event within our community. The statistics around mental health are staggering with one in four people having experienced mental health problems at one time or another.

“Many of these suffer in silence and Talking FreELY is part of a growing movement in changing this, helping more and more people to step forward and seek the help they need and not be in fear of being judged.’