Free mental health conference on offer to help people build mental resilience

A Sandwell charity is hosting a free virtual conference to help people better understand mental health and support those who might be struggling. 

The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, a leading mental health charity based in West Bromwich, will host the free two-day Mending Minds Conference between 26and 27 January 2022.

People with a general interest in mental health, including healthcare professionals, students and business owners, are invited to attend to learn more about building mental resilience. 

Keynote speakers from across the world will share their own experiences of mental ill health and the coping mechanisms they have used. Speakers include Former SAS leader and star of SAS: Who Dares Wins, Colin Maclachlan, British Paralympian Wendy Smith and former England Test Cricketer Matthew Hoggard.

Gary Wheway, Head of Business Development and Fundraising said: “The last few years have been challenging for everyone, and it’s never been more important to look after your own mental health and wellbeing.

“Our Mending Minds conference will be home to a number of speakers who each have an incredible story to tell about their own mental health struggles and how they overcame them. There will also be workshops and wellbeing sessions which, in turn, will help you to build mental health resilience.”

Across the two days there will be coping strategy workshops to give attendees guidance and support to help them cope with feelings of anxiety, stress and burnt out. A series of wellbeing sessions will also be delivered by the charity’s own team of experts to help ensure people can look after themselves both now and in the future.

Mental health advocate Petra Velzeboer will be one of the event’s keynote speakers. Petra was born and raised in the infamous Children of God cult, conditioned to believe she was being groomed to save the world.

Having escaped that world, she now talks to audiences about hitting rock bottom, her battle with mental illness including addiction and depression, and her subsequent transformation leading to her founding a mental health business.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to speaking at the Mending Minds Conference hosted by Kaleidoscope Plus Group. It’s my mission to teach people to embrace adversity and turn their biggest weakness into their greatest strength.

“There’s a misconception that if we talk about our mental health at work, we’ll open the floodgates of emotions, and no one will ever get any work done. The reality is that the opposite is true.

“If we normalise conversations about mental health, not just mental illness, then we put in place a system of connection that helps people know who they can talk to when they are struggling, long before they reach crisis point.”

To register for the event and get your free ticket visit kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk/mmgc2021