Norwich church to host mental health awareness night
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
A Norwich church is aiming to raise awareness of mental health problems at an event this weekend.
SOUL Church, in Mason Road, has invited former Norwich City footballer Cedric Anselin and leading psychiatrist Dr Hans-Rudolf Pfeifer to talk at the event, in the hope they will encourage others to talk about mental health.
Pastor Jon Norman said people all too often were afraid or reluctant to speak about mental health problems.
He said: 'We want to get people talking about mental health issues and how we can support those who are struggling.
'There can still be such a stigma attached, so people are afraid to admit they're suffering and this puts lives at risk.'
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Former Canary Cedric Anselin is a prime example of this silent suffering.
The midfielder spent 14 years quietly battling depression, losing his wife and children in the process, which ultimately led to him planning his own suicide.
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He said: 'Depression is vicious. I became selfish and tried to control people. I didn't want to go out because I was scared. I was pretending to be happy but I was grumpy and miserable with my wife and children. I stayed at home because I trusted those four walls.'
But in recent years, Mr Anselin has started to talk about his illness, in the hope it will encourage others to do the same.
He said: 'For me to talk is difficult, but if I can help anybody it is worth it. Unfortunately there's a lot of people who don't admit it. I was one of those people.
'I lost confidence, lost my self-belief and lost my family. I am taking small steps now and I am not ashamed to admit my illness.'
Dr Pfeifer will be supporting Mr Anselin's personal account with lessons from his career as a psychiatrist, giving his thoughts on how best to support people struggling with their mental wellbeing and advising of ways to encourage sufferers to seek assistance.
The event is free and starts at 5pm on Sunday, January 21 at SOUL Church and everyone is welcome.
• For help with managing stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression, call The Wellbeing Service on 0300 123 1503 or visit www.wellbeingnands.co.uk• For confidential, non-judgemental emotional support, call Samaritans on 116 123.