Belfast Telegraph

MLAs sweep out mental health stigma

Assembly members have grabbed brushes at Stormont for an event aimed at sweeping away some of the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

Health Minister Edwin Poots joined other MLAs in the Great Hall of Parliament Building as they tried to steer marbles around an obstacle course using only their brooms.

The task was provocatively named Don't Lose Your Marbles in a bid to draw attention to an issue organisers Action Mental Health (AMH) insist is all too often ignored.

AMH is the Northern Ireland Assembly's chosen charity of the year and the event was timed to coincide with World Mental Health Day on Wednesday.

The charity's chief executive David Babington said: "We are very pleased that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission has chosen to focus on and support mental health and well-being this year and we are delighted to be named as Charity of the Year.

"Our team in AMH is already hard at work organising a number of fundraising activities and events here at Parliament Buildings, and we look forward to working with, and having the support of the Northern Ireland Assembly staff as well as the MLAs.

"We will also be running a number of joint initiatives with the Northern Ireland Assembly to raise awareness, tackle stigma and promote positive mental health, so today is really only the beginning of taking action on mental health."

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