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'Can you see us now?' - Campaigners to line seafront for Cromer mental health demonstration

PUBLISHED: 13:57 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 07 May 2019

Campaigners are expected to line the seafront at Cromer pier to raise awareness about mental health services. Photo: DENISE BRADLEY

Campaigners are expected to line the seafront at Cromer pier to raise awareness about mental health services. Photo: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A charity campaigner organising a protest to highlight issues with mental health services in north Norfolk has urged "anyone that can be there" to attend.

Jess Fairweather, left, with his brother Sam, on Cromer Pier. An inquest found that the 20-year-old, from North Walsham, took his own life at UEA last year. Picture: COURTESY OF SAM FAIRWEATHERJess Fairweather, left, with his brother Sam, on Cromer Pier. An inquest found that the 20-year-old, from North Walsham, took his own life at UEA last year. Picture: COURTESY OF SAM FAIRWEATHER

Protestors are expected to line the promenade along the seafront at the town's pier from midday on Wednesday, May 8 to highlight the number of people affected by mental health issues and call for more services in the area.

And organiser Jenna Bedwell, from new charity Share As One, said she hoped up to 250 people will attend the demonstration, called Can You See Us Now.

It follows a number of suicides by young people in north Norfolk, including 20-year-old UEA student Jess Fairweather who suffered from depression since 2014.

An inquest held in Norwich in February found Mr Fairweather took his own life just three weeks into his law degree.

READ MORE: 'He didn't think there was anything they could do': Former law student stopped seeking help for depression a year before suicide

In a post shared on the event's Facebook page, Miss Bedwell wrote: "It's time we stop fighting alone and stand together.

"To make a point to those who have the power to make change this really needs all of us.

"Many of you have really had to fight for help for yourselves or your loved ones.

"This our chance to make a stand but it will only work effectively if enough of us get behind it."

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Speaking ahead of the protest, she said: "We're hoping anyone that can be there will be there."

She added that the event's Facebook page has "just under 250 [people] at the moment, but I know there's quite a few who aren't on the group who are coming."

"It's a case of turning up," she said. "We've got a local singer coming down so there's a bit of music going on and we've got a microphone on, in case anyone wants to say something.

"We're also hoping people will bring down placards."

Charities including Share As One, which offers drop in support groups for people with mental health issues in the Cromer area and Cromer OCD and Anxiety Peer Support (COAPS) will have stalls at the event, which will include a silence and tributes to those who have lost their lives.

The protest, which is being filmed for a documentary about mental health, is expected to last from midday to 2pm.

READ MORE: 'Three suicide attempts and 27 months on a waiting list': Brave 15-year-old shares her mental ill health struggle

- Contact Wellbeing Norfolk and Waveney via 0300 123 1503 or www.wellbeingnands.co.uk

- Call the free Samaritans helpline on 116 123 from anywhere in the UK.

For more information, visit the Facebook page for the Can You See Us Now demonstration.

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