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Creative session to help others open up about mental health in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:40 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:47 18 January 2020

Chloe Swinton, a counsellor from Norwich showing off one of the origami birds she has made. Picture: Chloe Swimton

Chloe Swinton, a counsellor from Norwich showing off one of the origami birds she has made. Picture: Chloe Swimton

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Origami birds are being used to help people in Norwich open up about their mental health.

Chloe Swinton, a counsellor from Norwich is teaming up ahead of Time to Talk day, to host an event aimed at helping people talk about their mental health. Picture: Chloe SwimtonChloe Swinton, a counsellor from Norwich is teaming up ahead of Time to Talk day, to host an event aimed at helping people talk about their mental health. Picture: Chloe Swimton

Chloe Swinton, a qualified counsellor from Norwich, is joining forces with England's biggest anti-stigma campaign Time to Change to host an event in the city on February 1, ahead of Time to Talk day on February 6.

The campaign is led by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, to offer a therapeutic workshop that helps address the fear and awkwardness people feel when talking about mental health problems.

Ms Swinton said: "The Time to Change event gives the people of Norwich a chance to find out more about mental health from a local qualified counsellor in a safe and supportive group environment and have an opportunity to share wellbeing tips whilst doing something calming and fun.

"This create workshop will bring together people and encourage those all-important conversations to take place. We want to use this as an effective way of breaking down stigma and promoting an inclusive community.

The counsellor, who hails from New Zealand originally, has chosen to create origami birds after taking up a challenge to make 1,000 paper birds.

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The Norwich resident was inspired after visiting Hiroshima and saw cabinets full of the paper art designed by someone who believed if she made 1,000 cranes, she would be cured.

Since launching her own challenge on World Peace Day in 2018, Chloe has made 670 of the birds and says it is relaxing.

The Time to Change event will be held at Re.Source Café, in Timber Hill, on Saturday, February 1.

On the day, participants will be shown how to make the origami birds which they can decorate with positive and supportive messages as a visual wellbeing reminder to take home.

The event will run between 3pm and 4.30pm.

Sue Baker, director of Time to Change, said: "We know that face-to-face contact with someone who has experienced a mental health problem - who can talk openly and confidently about it - is key to transforming our understanding and attitudes and we want to start conversations all over the country.

"Often just asking someone how they are and reminding them that you care can have a massive impact for someone with a mental health problem."

For more information visit www.chloeswinton.co.uk/origami-bird-workshop or www.time-to-change.org.uk.

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