HeadSpace: The Mental Health Pop-Up Shop opened for enquiries from Monday 9th December in Cardiff’s Capitol Shopping Centre on Queen Street, before hosting a day of free activities on Thursday 12th December.
A range of mental health related organisations provided information stalls at the event, including Cardiff Mind, Time to Change Wales, Making Minds, Bipolar UK, Journeys, the Alzheimer’s Society and Hafal.
Student mental health organisation Talk Over Tea supplied free hot drinks, with mental health themed cakes supplied by Depressed Cakes Cymru.
Visitors to the pop-up shop also had the chance enter a free prize draw to win an iPad mini or high street shopping vouchers, as well as taking part in games and activities provided by Cardiff University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute.
The event featured art exhibitions with work from local artists Lann Niziblian, Richard Holman, Julia Thomas, Paddy Faulkner, Paul Whittaker and Laura Sorvala.
A series of lunchtime talks covered an array of mental health related subjects, from workplace stigma to the relationship between art and mental health research.
Speakers included NCMH Deputy Director Professor Ian Jones, Dan Grosvenor of Cardiff youth website The Sprout, Time to Change Wales Champion Karen Morgan, Guardian Science Blogger Dean Burnett and ATTIC art project curator Julia Thomas.
A performance by Monstrous Productions brought the event to a close. The theatre company performed preview scenes from their upcoming play, an adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s novel Mort, which the group is staging in January to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research.
Professor Ian Jones said “Events like HeadSpace are a fantastic opportunity to engage with the public and raise awareness of a whole range of mental health issues.
“For NCMH it was a valuable opportunity to talk about our research and how people can help us learn more about mental illness, but the event also brought together lots of people with an interest in mental health and helped to make some really useful connections – furthermore, it was also a lot of fun.”