Busker on board Leeds buses to shine a light on mental health

PIC: Bruce Rollinson
PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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A musician from a Leeds arts group performed on buses and at the city’s bus station to promote mental wellbeing on ‘Blue Monday’.

Art & Minds Network performer Sean T Hunter entertained passengers to highlight the effects of positive music on mental health on a day that has been dubbed the year’s most depressing date.

Yesterday, Leeds Samaritans reminded people of the seriousness of mental illness and asked them to celebrate the day as ‘Brew Monday’, by taking time out to share a cup of tea or coffee and a chat with a friend or loved one who might be struggling.

Tom Bailey, development worker at Arts & Minds, said: “It’s our belief that talking about mental health is beneficial to everyone, and what better way to start the conversation than with some music or art. Working with First Leeds means we can get our message across to people all over the city.”

It comes as the YEP is calling on people in Leeds to help combat the damaging stigma surround mental health as part of our #SpeakYourMind campaign.

First Leeds managing director Paul Matthews said: “According to research by the University of Cardiff, today is the most depressing day of the year, but we want to change that and help brighten the spirits of our customers by bringing music on board our buses.”

Alwyne Greenbank, director of Leeds Samaritans, said: “Difficult feelings don’t work to a calendar and external circumstances are only one part of what can makes life feel overwhelming. Forget Blue Monday and instead join us for Brew Monday, meet up with a friend, pop into a neighbour or call us, we’ll be ready to listen to whatever you need to talk about.” Mental health charity Mind called on people to ignore the ‘Blue Monday’ hype, and to take depression seriously.

The YEP launched our #SpeakYourMind campaign in October 2016.

As part of the campaign, people can pledge their support by using the hashtag #SpeakYourMind on social media. We want to raise awareness, so share your experiences and views about mental health with us.

If you need to talk to someone in confidence about issues, Leeds’s Samaritans free support service can help on 116 123.