Lorraine Preece, YSS Chief Executive, is taking part in a debate held by Time to Change Worcestershire, the University of Worcester, Community First Herefordshire and Worcestershire and Worcestershire Community Foundation, during this year’s national Mental Health Awareness Week, to discuss the impact of shame on mental health and wellbeing.

This year, as Worcestershire has become a regional hub for Time to Change and is working to challenge stigma and discrimination, organisations throughout the region are joining up to do something different for Mental Health Awareness Week: a range of experts with practical and academic experience from around the county will debate the impact of shame on mental health and wellbeing. The debate, which is taking place on Thursday 17 May from 6-8pm at the University of Worcester, will look beyond clinical perspectives of mental health, stress and shame, and will start to shine a light on what impacts on mental wellbeing and health in Worcestershire and what differences a change in perspective might make.

Research has shown that 16 million people experience a mental health problem each year and stress is a key factor in this. Research has also shown that there are strong links between stress, mental health and shame. Professor Brene Brown PhD, defines shame as: ‘The intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.’

Lorraine commented: “I’m pleased to be taking part in this important debate which is a further step forward in addressing mental health awareness in the region and what we can do about it.

“Across all of the services YSS provides, we regularly meet service users who are experiencing mental ill health, and for many, talking to us is the first time they have been able to talk about these problems before. It will be really interesting to hear from other professionals, and to hear and learn from their experiences.”

Many of the service users we support have poor mental health as a result of childhood abuse, trauma, violence or neglect, social isolation or discrimination, homelessness or poor housing, a long-term physical health condition, social disadvantage, poverty or debt, unemployment or caring for a family member or friend. We want to be there to support these people and help them get the help they need. Please donate to support our work this Mental Health Awareness Week by clicking here.