Thursday, 21 November 2013

Lancaster Mad Hatters' Week of Mental Health Awareness Events

Next week is Mad Hatters Week - a mental health awareness week happening in Lancaster from Monday 25th to Friday 29th November 2013.

The week is being organised by a coalition of local groups and individuals -and is particularly noteable in that it is user- and survivor-led, (which means they can call it what they like.) All the events are for adults aged 18+.

SHARP (Self Help Art and Recovery Project)  is a sub-group of the Gregson Community Association and is a user-led self-help organisation run by and for people who have experienced trauma and/or severe emotional / mental distress, based in Lancaster.

Lancaster District Peer Support is a recovery and well-being club for people with severe and enduring mental health problems.

The Hearing Voices Network supports anyone with these experiences seeking to understand, learn and grow from them in their own way.

The week kicks off on Monday 25th with a free screening of 'Waltz with Bashir' at 4.30pm at the Gregson Cinema. Based on a true story, the film is a quest into the missing pieces of director Ari Folman's memory of being part of the devastating Israeli invasion forces in the Lebanon War in the mid 80s. You can watch a trailer at The screening is followed by a Discussion (7-8pm).

Tuesday 26th November sees a Forum Theatre Workshop on 'working with powerlessness in life-situations' at the Gregson from 2.30pm - 5.30pm. All welcome  (over 18yrs)   No fee and no acting ability is needed (but a donation towards costs is appreciated) - You may turn up on the day, but to reserve a place or for more information, please email

The Film / discussion and Forum Theatre Workshops are organised by SHARP Surivor-Led Community Group.

Not part of Mad Hatter's Week but also happening on Wednesday 27th is a 'Consultation on the impact of Out of Area Mental Health Services' at Lancaster Town Hall Committee Room A from 10am to 1pm.   The Insight Network for mental health, on behalf of Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, are holding a series of focus groups to consider the impact of ‘out of area’ mental health services on service users and carers, whose involvement would be appreciated at this session. A sandwich lunch and refreshments will be provided.  Pre-registration is essential.  To book your place - or simply to convey your views if you aren't able to attend email: or  phone: Helen on 01253 362 140 or write to: The Insight Network, PO Box 295, Lytham St. Annes, FY8 9EX. Reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed.

On Wednesday 27th November everyone is invited to Trinity Community Centre on Middle Street in Lancaster (LA1 1JZ) for the Lancaster Mad Hatters Tea Party, Plus Craft fair, Open Day and Information Drop-In from 11am - 3pm, where you can find bargain Xmas gifts and enjoy refreshments. Representatives from Peer Support, SHARP, Hearing Voices Group and Lancaster & District Mental Health Service User Forum will be available too. All Welcome.

The Morecambe Mad Hatter's Tea Party is on Thursday 28th November at the United Reform Church, Sefton Road, Morecambe, LA3 IUG. Again it's from 11am-3pm and there will be a Craft fair, Open Day and Information Drop- In. All Welcome.

The Wednesday and Thursday Open Day events are organised by Peer Support.

Celebrate the Grand Finale of the week on Friday 29th November at the Mad Hatters Fundraising Cabaret! At the Gregson Community Centre, Lancaster and featuring local guest musicians, with an open mic and music and poetry from survivors and service users. MC is Sheelagh Houlihan. Tickets on the door £4/£3 (concessions) in aid of SHARP and Peer Support.  Doors open at 8pm and there will be a prize for the Maddest Hat worn on the night!

For more information email or connect with the Mad Hatters on facebook at

1 comment:

Maria said...

Hey thank you for such a great and informed write up on this and other mental health related events this week!