World Mental Health Day

Friday 9th October, Free, Online

Welcome to our World Mental Health Day festival!

We are marking this year’s World Mental Health Day with a programme of online talks, activities and workshops, brought to you by some of the projects we support, across South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London and the local south London community.

The theme this year is ‘Mental Health for All‘. As the psychological impacts of Covid-19 become clear, now more than ever it is vital that mental health support is available to everyone. We have been busy this year working with SLaM to ensure staff and patients are receiving the help they need, read more about our Covid-19 work here.

Watch our video below featuring Rebecca Gray, Chief Executive of Maudsley Charity, and David Bradley, Chief Executive at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, discussing some of the challenges presented by Covid-19, and the ways in which we are working together to support those with mental ill health.


Thank you for attending our World Mental Health Day festival. 

The online events were conducted on Microsoft Teams. You do not need to download the app to watch them, unless you are accessing them via your phone or tablet. Please contact us on if you have any questions.

*Please note that all photography and filming on this page was conducted pre-Covid-19.

Speakers: Claire Margaret, Prof. Wasantha Priyadarshana and Matthew Aldridge

In this session we will introduce the Buddhist Āyurvedic approach to mental health. We will start with an introduction to its historical development and origins in South Asia, and also share footage of Ayurvedic oil making in Sri Lanka at a centre which has specialised in mental health care for over 350 years.

We will then outline our work within the Recovery College since April 2020 introducing our online “Ayurveda Way to Wellbeing” programme.

Joining us from Sri Lanka to discuss and answer questions, we have Prof. Wasantha Priyadarshana, who is a leading professor in the field of Buddhist Ayurvedic Counselling & Psychiatry in Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.

Claire has been a peer recovery trainer for several years at the SLaM recovery college with a particular interest in creativity.  She has co produced many courses including: Ayurveda way to wellbeing, nutrition and a hearing voices workshop. She is also a big advocate for the benefit of exercise to improve mental health. 

Prof. Wasantha obtained his PhD from University of Kelaniya in 2008 with a dissertation untitled “Buddhist Therapy of Mental Disease” (A Study of Psychoanalysis and Behaviour Therapy as Depicted from Tipitaka Literature). He is currently a Professor of Buddhist Culture of Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies (PGIPBS), University of Kelaniya (UoK), Sri Lanka, and was the Head of Department of Buddhist Culture of PGIPBS, UoK. He is a visiting Professor at The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong and has been a speaker at National and International Conferences on Buddhism, Buddhist Psychotherapy and Counseling. He is conducting various programmes related to Buddhist Psychotherapy.

Matthew is a practitioner trainer within the SLaM Recovery College, he is a registered nurse and has worked within SLaM for over a decade. He is also a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and completed an MA in Buddhist Studies. He is the first Westerner to have been awarded a diploma in the field of Buddhist Āyurvedic Counselling & Psychiatry (BĀCP) in Sri Lanka, and is currently preparing a PhD proposal for the continuation of work in this field at Kings College London.

Speaker: David Luck, Archivist, Bethlem Museum

Ever wondered where Bethlem Museum of the Mind keeps all its archive collections? Take part in its archive lottery, and wonder no more! See behind the scenes and find out about the archives by taking part in a lottery – you call out a number, staff will pick out the corresponding object and everyone will work together to discover what it is.

Please join the IMPHS team, a Maudsley Charity funded project embedded within the Mind & Programme at King’s Health Partners, to learn about their role in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust – and hear how some parts of their project are working towards improving the physical health of SLaM service users. The session will cover the following:

  • An overview of the Integrating our Mental and Physical Healthcare Systems (IMPHS) project at SLaM. Presented by Ray McGrath –  Lead Nurse, IMPHS Project
  • Introducing BETH: a new way to communicate and collaborate online, and how it will promote physical health. Presented by Damian Larkin – Digital Health Nurse Lead & Clinical Safety Officer, SLaM
  • Learn about Health Champions – our recently launched research project to support service users in the community with their physical health. Presented by Ubong Akpan – Health Champions Volunteer Coordinator
  • How do we use technology to improve our physical health? – Future research questions for the IMPHS project. Presented by Dr Julie Williams – KCL Centre for Implementation Science, KCL & IMPHS Research Co-ordinator

Mind and Body

Speakers: Karen Bracegirdle, CBT Therapist and Karen Mcilwain, CBT Therapist

Hear about how CUES-Ed adapted their classroom-based program during Covid-19 and worked flexibly with local schools, to ensure every child had access to materials that would support them to manage the uncertainty, by focusing on the things they could do to look after their mental health.

Cues Ed

Speaker: Colin Gale, Director, Bethlem Museum

Join Bethlem Museum of the Mind for an interactive guided tour of its temporary exhibition All Consuming, which look at the relationship between food and mental health. In this lottery tour, you call out a number, and our Director, Colin Gale, will take you to a corresponding work of art and uncover the story behind it.

Speakers: Isobel Mdudu, Volunteer Services Manager; Penelope Doue, Peer support Project Coordinator; Karen Ashby, Joseph Kiguwa, Sinéad Brown

Hear from the Volunteering teams at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, to find out more their different programmes and how to get involved.

Isobel and Penelope will introduce the Volunteering programme and how they adapted their services to offer support during Covid-19. Sinéad oversees the new CAMHS mentoring project, and Joseph manages Msaada  (a Swahili word meaning “giving back”) – a volunteering programme for people from the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities who want to support BME people who are living with a mental illness. There will also be opportunities to hear from volunteers in each of the programmes and ask questions.

Lewisham walking

Speaker: Beth Hopkins, Artist

Materials you will need: Biro, Postcard

Join artist Beth Hopkins to relax, play with pattern and draw your own postcard. Bring along a biro and paper and discover the range of tones you can make. We will be exploring your space to find patterns to use in your drawing.

Beth has been collaborating with researchers at Kings College creating biro identity drawings as part of her work on Bethlem Gallery’s Mental Health and Justice project.

Musicians: Kieran Plunkett, Bison Bisgambiglia, Collin Chace, Tony O’hagan

Good Vibrations is running an interactive Loophole Music experience. Musicians Kieran, Jerome, Lolly, Collin and Tony will create a brand new track together combining vocals, acoustic instruments and technology… but they will do it with help from an online audience charged with making decisions about instrumentation, tempo, structure, texture and lyrics.

This is an improvised, experimental experience for which enthusiastic audience participation is required! Who knows what they will create together.

The idea is to give audiences a sense of what goes on during a Good Vibrations Loophole Music session at Bethlem Royal Hospital, where the charity works, funded by Maudsley Charity and The National Foundation for Youth Music.

Speaker: David Jahans

This session explores the experience of Self-Compassion and how it can lead us to a greater sense of self-acceptance and empathy with ourselves and other people.

We will begin by exploring the central concepts of Self-Compassion, move on to practise two self-compassion exercises, then reflect on our experiences.

We hope that this course would be of interest to and benefit anyone who might struggle with perfectionism or self-criticism. It also feels particularly relevant during these difficult times as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to challenge our lives. We also warmly welcome anyone curious about this course, and who enjoys reflecting on what it means to be human.

David Jahans BA Hons (Oxon); PGCE (Cantab), Senior Peer Recovery Trainer

Following a twenty-six year teaching career in South London, David’s own experiences of mental health recovery led him to peer work. Before joining SLaM Recovery College in December 2019, he worked for three years in Cardiff CMHTs as a Peer Support Worker running recovery-based groups. At this time, he completed two years of attachment-based psychotherapy training at the Bowlby Centre. He is a passionate advocate of the centrality of learning to mental health recovery and personal growth. He has trained in mindfulness practice and has extensively studied self-compassion which combine to inform the webinar offered today.

Recovery College Self compassion

  • SLaM Volunteering

    Funding from the Maudsley Charity and SLaM supports volunteering services across the trust’s many different sites in South and South East London.

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    SLaM Volunteering

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    Funding from the Maudsley Charity and SLaM supports volunteering services across the trust’s many different sites in South and South East London.

  • Bethlem Gallery

    Maudsley Charity recognises the essential role the arts play in health, recovery and education. We fund projects like the Bethlem... VisualV1 - ArrowCreated with Sketch.

    Bethlem Gallery

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    Maudsley Charity recognises the essential role the arts play in health, recovery and education. We fund projects like the Bethlem Gallery and Museum which enable access to the arts in a mental healthcare environment and engage audiences in learning and debate.

  • Mind and Body

    We are bringing together physical and mental healthcare through our funding of NHS staff, patients and scientists. The projects we... VisualV1 - ArrowCreated with Sketch.

    Mind and Body

    VisualV1 - CrossCreated with Sketch.

    We are bringing together physical and mental healthcare through our funding of NHS staff, patients and scientists. The projects we support range from the 3-year Mind and Body programme, to an outdoor gym for patients and the community.

More WMHD Events and Resources

Hear Us Join Hear Us online as we celebrate World Mental Health Day - A chance to get together (virtually), have some fun & celebrate creativity.

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Dragon Cafe in the City Keep your mind, eyes, ears and hands occupied, get creative, and have fun! Discover the Dragons Cafe's arts and crafts resources.

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Maudsley Learning Webinars Join Maudsley Learning for weekly conversations about Covid-19, the brain and science news

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