MindMate reveals mental health awareness bench at St John’s shopping centre

MindMate, a website providing mental health and emotional wellbeing advice and information to young people across Leeds, has unveiled the garden area at St John’s shopping centre as the final location for its mental health awareness bench.

The bench was a key part of MindMate’s city-wide campervan tour that took place in July. Members of the public were asked to show their support for the website by colouring in or designing a section of the bench.

The MindMate Ambassadors were joined by Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Children and Families, Councillor Lisa Mulherin, to officially uncover the bench at its final location.

Charlotte Betteridge, MindMate Ambassador, said: “Our tour around Leeds with Dougal, our 70s-style campervan, was a huge success. We wanted to make young people as well as their parents and guardians aware of MindMate, and the van was a great way of drawing people in.

“The bench was really key in getting young people to stay and chat to us while they designed their section. We know it can be really hard for young people to talk about their mental health and how they’re feeling, so we wanted to have fun activities as part of the tour to make it easy for them to talk to us, while finding out more about the resources and support available through the website.”

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Executive Member for Children and Families at Leeds City Council, said: “It’s great to see the MindMate bench in the garden area at St John’s shopping centre, as it will help raise awareness of the fantastic work being done in Leeds to improve the mental health of children and young people. In Leeds, we want children and young people to feel supported, and this bench represents our commitment to improving mental health in the city.”

Philomena Corrigan, Chief Executive at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want to continue to raise the profile of MindMate in Leeds, so being able to place the bench in St John’s garden area is really going to help. With the bench becoming a permanent feature in the city centre it will help us create a lasting legacy for MindMate and remind people that the website is always there to help them.”

The MindMate website – developed by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in conjunction with young people – offers support and useful resources for young people, their families, carers and the healthcare professionals who support them. This is part of the CCGs ‘Future in Mind: Leeds’ strategy to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people across the city.

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For more information please contact Laura Cavanagh on 0113 880 0444 or email mindmate@aberfield.com

Notes to editors 

About MindMate

MindMate is a dedicated mental health and emotional wellbeing website (https://www.mindmate.org.uk/) in Leeds for young people (age 12 – 25), parents and professionals who work with young people.

Future in Mind: Leeds (Local Transformational Plan, 2016 – 2020)

Find out more about the Future in Mind Strategy by visiting https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/publications/future-in-mind-leeds-local-transformational-plan-2016-2020/