Charities and community sector partners across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are hosting a number of events during mental health awareness week (15 – 21 May 2023) to provide information, raise awareness, offer practical support and help to break down taboos about talking about mental health.

Run by the Mental Health Foundation, the week is focusing this year on anxiety and how we can stop this lower-level condition becoming more serious, knowing the signs to look out for and then the practical steps we can take.

Dr Vesna Acovski, consultant psychiatrist in adult mental health and clinical director for adult mental health community services and psychological therapies at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust is taking part in the week as a guest speaker at Jamila’s Legacy Event on 17 May – Anxiety Awareness Evening. She said: “Anxiety is such a general term that people use when they start to feel unwell. We want to normalise anxiety as it is part of everyday life. However, we do need to recognise when it starts to affect people’s lives, both physically and mentally, as it can have an impact on their work, relationships and social life.”

“I am looking forward to being part of the awareness week as the more we normalise the language around mental health and focus on ways to stay well, as we would with physical health, then the more we will see people get help much sooner.”

Karen Shepherd from Better Outdoors in Ratby will be running a drop-in evening on 17 May where people can join the team round the campfire for a drink and a chat. Karen said: “This week is an opportunity to highlight the support that the voluntary sector provides in through a huge array of services. Better Outdoors focuses on the importance of nature in helping people to manage their mental health and wellbeing and we’ve recently been delivering a mental health project funded by NHS that focuses on woodcraft and wellbeing, some of which people can find out more about at our event of 17 May.”

Kirit Mistry, Health Inequalities Lead at South Asian Health Action (SAHA), said: “SAHA is passionate about developing co-produced and co-designed mental health services with our South Asian community. For too long there has been a stigma and we want to change that. We are running several events during Mental Health Awareness Week, including two culturally appropriate events on Saturday 13 where I will be welcoming local mental health leaders to engage with our mental health ambassadors with the showing a special screening of ‘A Diary to My Son’ which tells Saroj Patel’s (SAHA Ambassador) story. Everyone is welcome to attend.”

Tanya Hibbert, executive director mental health at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, and a member of the Board for Better Mental Health for All, said: “It is fantastic to see so many of the voluntary sector partners that are working with us to deliver Better Mental Health for All, the mental health strategy for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, hosting events during this awareness week. It demonstrates the importance of community organisations driving the agenda, alongside health and local authority partners, so that information is tailored to all audiences.”

The events that we are showcasing here are only a handful of the activities that are taking place this week and I would encourage everyone to get involved in something that is close to them.”

For more information about where to get support for your mental health, please visit Mental health support – Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (

For more information on support for teenagers in the city, please visit Health For Teens | Everything you wanted to know about health

For more information on support for teenagers in the county, please visit Health For Teens | Everything you wanted to know about health

For more information on support for primary schools, please visit this page Mental Health Awareness Week- Primary School Newsletter

What’s happening during Mental Health Awareness Week: 15 – 21 May 2023
Increasing people’s awareness of anxiety

Overview: Mental health awareness week is a national event held from 15 – 21 May and is run by the Mental Health Foundation
Aims: The aim is to provide more information to people across the nation about how to avoid anxiety becoming a big problem, while also keeping the pressure on to demand change and making sure that improving mental health is a key priority for the government and society. They’re also attempting to remove stigma around mental health and push people to prioritise their and other people’s mental health.

Saturday 13 May

A Diary to My Son, SAHA

Public screen of a documentary exploring

British South Asian mental health plus guest speakers. Introduced by Rachna Vyas, event chair and COO of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICB.

For more information, scan the QR code on the poster.
2- 5pm, Shree Sanatan Mandir & Community Centre, 84 Weymouth Street, Leicester LE4 6FQ ·

Sunday 14 May

Peepul Centre Health & Mental Health Community Day with the NHS & VCSE

Marking Mental Health Awareness Week & Health Awareness, The Peepul Centre has organised a Community Health Day in partnership with the NHS & VCSE. Over 20 stands are participating offering advice, support, and interactive testing: including Neighbourhood Mental Health Cafes

talking therapies, DV support groups, diabetes & heart health, Covid boosters, emergency services, AAA testing and lots more. Keynote presentations will be part of the day.

This is part of a Fun-Filled Family Festival concurrently being held at the Peepul Centre with arts & crafts, rides, foView News Itemod, theatre showcasing & nursery talks.

For more details call Peepul Centre: 0116 261 6000
Sunday 14 May 2023 from 9am – 5pm

Monday 15 May

Lamp 5K Campaign (running throughout MH Awareness Week)

In 2023 we are climbing mountains for mental health.

Overcome your own mental health mountain and support Lamp’s community mental health advocacy work.

The Lamp 5k has always encouraged as many people as possible to do a 5k activity of their choice during Mental Health Awareness Week (15th – 21st May 2023) in a bid to promote the benefits of physical exercise on your mental health. Whether it’s a 1km a day run, a 5k walk, a 50km bike ride, a 5k swim or maybe a 5k roll of any description, any challenge counts. Get involved today and conquer your own mountain.

To get involved:
Monday 15 May 2023 to Sunday 21 May 2023

Health and well-being event by Equality Action

To mark the Mental Health Awareness Week, Equality Action is organising a health event at Loughborough Well-being Centre. Community partners and organisations will be attending the event with screening support, mindfulness taster sessions, mental health awareness presentation and stalls to share information and support the local communities from Loughborough and surrounding areas.

For more information please email:
Monday 15 May 2023 from 11am – 2pm


Tuesday 16 May

Wellbeing bus – LLR MIND

LLR Mind’s Wellbeing Bus will be by the Clock Tower in Leicester city centre, providing a drop-in cafe for people to talk about mental health issues.

Tuesday 16 May 2023 from 11am – 4pm
For more information:

Wednesday 17 May

Leicester Community Links wellbeing walk

LCL will have a walk and talk session on practical ways to address anxiety in our lives.

For more information:

Wednesday 17 May 2023 from 10:30am to 11:30am

Leicester Community Links

LCL will be supporting MH awareness week by delivering a creative workshop
with Vita Minds/Equality Action at our community hub.

For more information:

Wednesday 17 May 2023 from 12:30pm to 3pm

Somali Development Services CIC

Anxiety awareness session.

At Ileys Centre – 39 Abingdon Road, Leicester, LE2 1HA

For more information:

Wednesday 17 May 2023 from 10:30am to 12:30pm

Jamila’s Legacy Event

Anxiety Awareness Evening. Q&A with Leicestershire

Partnership Trust consultants Drs Vesna Acovski, Sanjay
Rao and Sam Hewitt.

St Philips Church, Evington Rd, Leicester LE2 1HN

For more information: or email: Wednesday 17 May 2023 from 5.30pm – 8.00pm


 Better Outdoors

Drop into our evening meet up in
Burroughs Wood at Ratby to experience just how good nature can be for your mental health. 6-8pm at Burroughs Wood, just turn up for a brew and a chat.



Thursday 18 May

Comedy Wellbeing Workshops

Fun and relaxing workshops based around humour. We make up

stories, tell jokes and laugh a lot.

  • Newbold Verdon Library Main Street, Newbold Verdon, LE9 9NP – 11am – 12.30pm
  • Burbage Library Church Street, Burbage
    LE10 2DA – 2.30pm – 4pm


Friday 19 May

Leicester Community Links boat trip

LCL will be working with the Canal and River Trust and holding a workshop on a boat exploring how water activities and being in nature are good for anxiety and our general wellbeing.

For more information:
Friday 19 May 2023 from 10am to 3pm


Saturday 20 May

Special Talk on Anxiety – SAHA

SAHA join forces with YAHA life India to present a talk on anxiety.

The meeting is on Zoom and is in Gujarati.

Booking in advance. Please use the QR code on the poster.


 Sunday 21 May

The Angel and the Devil – SAHA

Documentary from Sandeep Saib revealing the mental health and suicide challenges in the British South Asian Community.

Plus a round table discussion afterwards.

For more information, scan the QR code on the poster.

Guru Tegh Bahadur, 106 East Park Road, Leicester LE5




Programme of Events from the Carers Centre for the whole of May

We have extended the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week across the whole of May within our Together We Care (Self Advocacy and Support) Groups for carers. Please see below for details of sessions with a mental health theme in May. All sessions can be booked through ringing 0116 251 0999 or emailing


Date Time Group Topic
2nd 10-11.30am Together We Care Group  Parents/Carers of under 25s


Supporting young people who self-harm with guest speaker from Harmless
3rd 1-2.30pm


Together We Care Group

Rutland Carers 


‘Understanding self-care and why it is so important
5th 11-12.30pm


Together We Care Group

City Carers

Dealing with difficult behaviour whilst caring
9th 10-11.30am Together We Care Group  Parents/Carers of under 25s ‘The lived experiences of an English education on autistic adolescent girls’

with guest speaker

10th 10.30-12pm Together We Care Group North Leicestershire Carers Dementia Adventure talk ‘Understanding Dementia Better’ and Carers Catch up
10th 10.30-12.30 Dementia Carers Session  ‘Understanding Dementia Better Session’ with

Dementia Adventure

16th 10.30-1pm Together We Care Group  Parents/Carers of under 25s Parent Carer Well-being Workshop:

Learn about ‘Supporting young people who are anxious’ from a Sr Educational Psychologist

Take some time for yourself with a relaxing craft session

16th 2-3.30pm ‘Caring for Carers’

Mental Health & Wellbeing Project (Rutland)

Coping Whilst Caring:

how to manage with the stresses of caring

17th 10.30-12pm Together We Care Group North Leicestershire Carers ‘Singing for Wellbeing’ with guest speaker from Thrive Singing Café
17th 1-2.30pm Together We Care Group Rutland Carers Find out about Vitaminds counselling service with guest speaker
17th 7.30-8.30pm Together We Care Group

Working Carers


How self-compassion can help soothe the inner critic
19th 11-12.30pm Together We Care Group

City Carers

Find out about Vitaminds counselling service with guest speaker
23rd 10-11.30am Together We Care Group  Parents/Carers of U25s How parents can be kinder on themselves
24th 10.30-12pm Together We Care Group North Leicestershire Carers Poetry Pharmacy

(‘Prescribing’ poems for well-being)

26th 11-12.30pm Together We Care Group

City Carers

Learn about The Recovery College with guest speaker
31st 10.30-12pm Together We Care Group North Leicestershire Carers Me First – ways to prioritise ourselves every day

or Mini-gratitude notebooks

31st 1-2.30pm Together We Care Group Rutland Carers Mindfulness led by guest speaker