Full line up and timetable for Open Up conference revealed

The Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal discussed grief, death and dying. Picture: Justin Goff

TV presenter Simon Thomas will be part of the second Open Up event. Picture: Justin Goff - Credit: Justin Goff/goffphotos.com

Children’s mental health, mental health in the workplace, mindfulness exercise and a host of real-life stories are amongst the debates and workshops being held as part of our Open Up virtual conference being held on Friday, February 12.
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.
During the course of the day, some 11 different sessions will be held through the popular zoom platform, with people free to come and go as they please.


The day will begin with some early morning exercise tips, after which BBC Radio Norfolk will host the opening debate, which will also be aired live on the radio.
Also confirmed after well-known Norfolk personalities Dr Jess French, Simon Thomas and Humphrey Berney, who will talk about their own experiences of mental health and well-being and take questions from the audience.

TV presenter and veterinary surgeon Jess French. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

TV presenter and veterinary surgeon Jess French. Picture: Victoria Pertusa - Credit: Archant

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.

To sign up for the event https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/open-up-tickets-138246449853



8.30-9am - Early Morning Exercise with Tessa Beecroft
Focussing on some gentle mobility and a little low impact cardio, with some breathwork at the end. Tessa will explain the link between what these exercises/activities will have on mental health and wellbeing. In particular she will be able to relate it to rebalancing the nervous system and how it will reduce cortisol (stress hormones) within the body.  

Tessa Beecroft has founded Give a Ruck to try and encourage the rugby community to talk about mental

Tessa Beecroft has founded Give a Ruck to try and encourage the rugby community to talk about mental health. Picture: Richard Emmerson - Credit: Archant

9-9.45am - Opening debate - Mental health and the pandemic hosted by BBC Radio Norfolk.
Breakfast show host Chris Goreham will oversee a live debate featuring a host of experts to discuss the impact of the pandemic on mental health and what needs to happen next. This debate will be broadcast live on the radio.
10am-10.25am - Mental Health and Me – Dr Jess French
The TV presenter, veterinarian, author and mum will talk about her career, the pressures of lockdown and the challenges of having a young family.
10.30am-10.55am - Mental Health and Me - Humphrey Berney
Humphrey is one third of Brit-award winning band Blake. However, he and his family have experience of mental ill health after his sister took her own life. The singer will talk about his own mental health, the impact of his sister’s suicide and a planned special Norfolk concert in her memory.

From left, Humphrey Berney, Simon Thomas and Galton Blackiston.

From left, Humphrey Berney, Simon Thomas and Galton Blackiston. - Credit: Archant

You may also want to watch:

11am-11.25am - Mental Health and Me – Maire Grieves
Suffering from mental ill health, Maire accessed one of Mind’s mental health services and moved really far along in her recovery. 
She will talk about her story of diagnosis and journey to accessing support and the impact it had on her life. 

11.30am-11.55am - Mental Health and Me – Simon Thomas 
Norfolk TV presenter Simon Thomas has faced his own battle with mental ill health following 
the death of his wife Gemma in 2017. He will talk about his experiences, recovery and tips for others who are struggling themselves.

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Midday-12.30pm - Midday Mindfulness 
Enjoy a session on mindfulness, yoga and pilates. Try out some of them in your own home so you can learn techniques to look after your mental health and well-being 

12.30pm-1.15pm - Mental health and my child - surviving lockdown mark 3 workshop.

The workshop will explore how we make sense of what we are all experiencing. It will consider the most significant challenges posed by the pandemic for both parents and young people (including anxiety and low mood) while also thinking about the most helpful ways to manage these challenges.
1.30pm-2.15pm - #WeveGotThis 

A session aimed at children and young people. Our panel will discuss the pressures they’ve faced over the past 12 months and ways in which the mental health of young people can be improved. 
2.30pm-3.15pm - Mental health and the workplace 

A panel debate on mental health in the workplace. This will discuss the impact of covid but also look at fresh challenges such as working from home. 


3.30pm-4pm - Nutrition and your mind.  
A discussion on why food is important for mental health, after which Norfolk’s TV chef Galton Blackiston will provide a demonstration of a quick and easy recipe that is good for both mind, body and soul.

4pm - Close

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