TV presenter added to bill for mental health and well-being conference

Television presenter Jess French, who will be at the Wild About the Wensum event at Pensthorpe Natur

Television presenter Jess French, who will be at the Wild About the Wensum event at Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham. Picture: PENSTHORPE. - Credit: Archant

TV presenter, conservationist, vet and mother-of-one Dr Jess French has been added to the bill for a special virtual conference on mental health and well-being.

Open Up will see a series of virtual workshops take place online through Friday, February 12, with people being offered the opportunity to watch the sessions free of charge.

The event, run by this newspaper, comes a year after the first Open Up conference, which took place at the former Open charity venue last March and was attended by more than 500 people.

Dr French will take part in a question and answer session titled Mental Health and Me at 10am, where she will discuss the various challenges of lockdown and balancing her career with the pressures of being a parent.

Daniel Majid who is training for the Invictus Games. Pictured with his partner Jess French and their

Jess French with her partner Daniel and their daughter. - Credit: Archant

She said: "I’m delighted to be taking part in this initiative. Opening a dialogue about our emotions is vitally important. Times are really hard just now and I’m sure we could all do with a little help to weather this storm.

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"As a working mum with a toddler and a baby at home, my juggle has been physical, metaphorical and emotional. It has been a lot. I don’t profess to have all the answers but sometimes it can be helpful just to know that you are not alone. 

"Nature has always provided sanctuary for me, but with two kids to get ready and freezing temperatures outside, even our daily walks have felt like an effort recently. It’s so worth it once you make it outside though! Fresh air, new sights and sounds... you can’t beat it. Over the last year I’ve been more grateful than ever to live in beautiful Norfolk."

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Dr French is a qualified vet, currently working in a small animal practice in Norfolk. She also works as a presenter for CBeebies, a children's author and a teacher for school groups interested in animals and the natural world.

Open Up is run in conjunction with Norfolk County Council, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group and Mind Norfolk and Waveney.

Also confirmed is an early morning session starting at 8.30am on exercises you can do around the house that are specifically tailored towards maintaining good mental health and a lunchtime session, starting at noon, on mindfulness and yoga.

To sign up for the free event visit

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