World Mental Health Day had a slightly different look this year, though it was still a typically packed affair.

World Mental Health Day (10th October) is usually our busiest day of the year. Ordinarily, Team Inspire would be out in workplaces and colleges, presenting to employees and students; we would be chatting to the public in bus and train stations, having conversations about positive mental health, working towards a stigma-free society.

In 2020, however, circumstances demanded that we do things a little differently. To celebrate the day, we staged a virtual festival – The Wellbeing Sessions Live, which promoted wellbeing and the various forms it can take. We had morning yoga, live music, advice, discussions and insights. There was something for everyone.  

The events each centred on one of the ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’ themes: Be active, Connect, Give, Keep learning and Take notice.

Promoted across all of our social media platforms and broadcast on Facebook Live, our line-up reached over 200,000 people, registering in excess of 6,000 views on YouTube and Facebook.

We were thrilled by the response to our programme. Its would have been impossible without the willing support of our fantastic and eclectic participants, all of whom brought energy, expertise and talent to the proceedings.

If you missed them first time round, or just want to watch again, you can check out The Wellbeing Sessions Live at the links below.

Be active sessionChristine Greene Yoga — Sun Salutations live from our very own wellbeing garden.

Connect sessionPanel discussion with experts in the field of relationships, mental health and wellbeing; they will consider ways to keep #BeKind alive after COVID-19.

Participants: Kerry Anthony (CEO, Inspire), Duane Farrell (CEO, Relate NI; Equality Commissioner), Karen McCorry (Assistant Director of Mental Health, Inspire), Maura McMenamin (Community, Health & Wellbeing Manager, Ulster GAA), Joanne Morgan (Director, Community Development & Health Network), Professor Siobhan O’Neill (Ulster University; Northern Ireland’s Mental Health Champion) 

Give sessionLive, creative, food-focused chat, exploring the ways in which nutrition is good for the soul and for communities.

Participants: Moira Doherty (Deputy Secretary for Engaged Communities Group, Department for Communities), Conor Deighan (TAMHI), Jane McClenaghan (Founder, Vital Nutrition)

Keep learning sessionKeynote address by Dr David Cameron, Inspire’s Clinical Lead Psychologist: ‘Challenging stigma: the importance of seeking facts, asking questions and increasing our knowledge around mental ill health.’

Take notice sessionLive broadcast of the Like Minded podcast. Artists will talk about the role creativity can play in helping people take notice of the world around them.

Participants: Adam Dougal (actor and host of the Like Minded podcast), John Mallon (Beauty on our Doorstep photography), Shannon O’Neill (Sister Ghost; Girls Rock School)

Live performance by Sister Ghost