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Let’s Talk About Mental Health

Smiley Talk

Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem this year, yet the shame and silence can be as bad as the mental health problem itself.  Compared to a decade ago, awareness of mental wellbeing is more widespread, however issues such as stress and burn-out are still a cause for concern for families and employers in the UK.   The aim of this Smiley TALK is to create an open and inclusive forum to talk about mental health, humanise the issue, give a voice to people with lived experiences and share useful support tactics and calls-to-action. This way, if a friend, family member, colleague or complete stranger experiences an episode we will feel better equipped to deal with the situation.

Our lead partner for this important event is Time To Change – a social movement run by the charities ‘Mind’ and ‘Rethink Mental Illness’.

Our two key notes Georgia and Peter will share their inspiring story dealing with different forms of mental health issues. Our panel discussion chaired by Lara Rathod, will hear from experts at inspiring charities, corporations and community hubs with existing frameworks that support mental wellbeing. This moderated dissuasion will challenge stigmas, share best practices and encourage people to stand up for mental wellbeing and inspire simple steps we can all take to end mental health discrimination in the UK.

  • 5.30- 6pm – Registration opens
  • 6.00- 6.05pm- Event starts; Introduction to Smiley TALKS
  • 6:05-6:15 pm - Opening Speech by Jo Loughran- Director at Time To Change
  • 6.15- 6.25pm - Key note by Georgia Dodsworth- artist, producer & writer living with Borderline Personality Disorder
  • 6.25 -6.35pm – Reflections by Peter Mirow - LGBTQ Photographer who lives with Paranoid Schizophrenia
  • 6:35 – 7:20pm Panel Discussion moderated by Lara Rathod, host of the ‘Red Sofa Conversations’
  • 7.20- 7.30pm- Audience Q&A
  • 7.30- 8pm Workshop by award-winning campaigner, speaker & writer - Ellen Jones
  • 8.00- 8.10 Closing remarks & Calls to Action
  • 8.10 pm Networking & drinks reception
  • 9pm Event ends


‘Opening Up’: creating mental health dialogues. In this 30-minute workshop curated by award-winning campaigner Ellen Jones, participants explore the importance of communicating mental well-being, the barriers to this and ways to navigate around them, whether they experience poor mental health themselves or are supporting someone else who is.

We will be filming the event and sharing inspiring content with different online audiences we believe will benefit from the insights, frameworks and strategies uncovered in this event. Should you not wish to be filmed kindly email as soon as possible

Want to continue the conversation

Jo Loughran

Director at Time to Change

Jo Loughran

Time to Change is lead by MIND and Rethink Mental Illness, advocate for the de-stigmatisation of mental illness.

Chris Affleck

Project Officer & Mental Health Lead at Investing in Children

Chris Affleck

Project Officer, Time to Change Hub Coordinator for County Durham and Time to Change Champion

Lee Woolcott-Ellis

HR Mental Health Coordinator at South Eastern Railway

Lee Woolcott-Ellis

Manager of the Mental Health Advocacy Programme and the Time to Change Employer Pledge at Southeastern, and mental health author of A Childhood Not Easily Forgotten: A History of Abuse

Georgia Dodsworth

Performer, Writer, producer, Entrepreneur and #SelfCareQueen

Georgia Dodsworth

Founder of World of Self-Care and mental health advocate. Georgia delivers workshops and speeches sharing her story of living with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Peter Mirow

Amateur photographer

Peter Mirow

Pete is an amateur photographer who has a passion to break down stigma and discrimination towards people who have a mental or physical disability, using the power of images as well as his own lived experience.

Lara Rathod

Moderator, Speaker, Facilitator, Creator & Host of the Red Sofa Conversations

Lara Rathod

Lara uses her voice to empower and uplift others as an authentic engaging speaker, facilitator, content creator and voice-over artist.

Invest in Children
TTC County Durham
Rolling Jovi
Time to change
World Of Self-Care
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at Mathaus
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