World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

Mental Health Chief Executive Simon Barber is preparing to take to the roads on a hand cycle to mark World Mental Health Day.

The annual global celebration of mental health education and awareness takes place on Saturday 10 October and this year’s theme is dignity in mental health.
5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is sponsoring ‘The Journey of League’s Extraordinary Gents’ – a challenge which supports people who have experienced mental health and physical injuries.

Starting on 5 October, the team, led by former rugby league player Jimmy Gittins, will use wheelchair hand cycles to travel from Hull to Manchester. They will finish at Manchester United’s stadium, Old Trafford, on 10 October – World Mental Health Day – also coinciding with the Rugby Super League Grand Final.

The challenge is in aid of national charity The Steve Prescott Foundation which raises funds and awareness for The Christie Hospital and Try Assist – the rugby football league’s benevolent fund to support players whose lives are affected by serious injuries.

The teamwill follow the same route that founder of the charity and super league international Steve Prescott MBE took when he completed a 199-mile walk for the foundation before he died in November 2013.

Chief Executive of 5 Boroughs Partnership, Simon Barber, will be taking part in the challenge, alongside former rugby league players, Danny Sculthorpe, Ryan Glynn, Mike Burnett, Owen Cotterell, and co-founder of national charity State of Mind, Dr Phil Cooper.

Simon said: “The work both The Steve Prescott Foundation and State of Mind do to help those with mental and physical ill health is admirable. The least I can do is show my support by getting stuck in for part of the route. It will be a physical and mental fitness test for all those involved, but nothing in comparison with what those who are struggling with their mental or physical wellbeing go through.”

Dr Phil Cooper, who is a nurse consultant at 5 Boroughs Partnership, has been training hard for the event and believes it will be an opportunity to understand more about the realities of being in a wheelchair.

He said: “It will make people realise that everyone is on a journey and we are all going to experience ups and downs the size of the Pennines from time to time, but living life well can improve the quality of everyone’s lives.”

In addition to supporting ‘The Journey of League’s Extraordinary Gents’ The Trust will be holding a number of events to mark World Mental Health Day.

Friday 9 October

Information stalls about the Trust’s mental health services will be at Tesco Extra, Ashley Retail Park, Widnes, 10am-4pm.

Saturday 10 October

The Trust will be hosting its fourth free Festival of Arts at Peasley Cross Hospital, St Helens. Running from 12noon until 4pm, the annual event will showcase how to live life well with exhibits, workshops, singers and comedians.

Tea and talk events will be taking place on wards at Hollins Park Hospital throughout the day for service users, patients and their families and carers.

There will also be information stalls at Whiston Hospital with Later Life and Memory Services staff on hand to answer your questions about mental health between 12noon and 5pm.

For more information about World Mental Health Day, visit

To donate to ‘The Journey of League’s Extraordinary Gents’, visit

For more information about any of these events, visit