CAMBRIDGE City Council is lighting The Guildhall pink and blue to mark Baby Loss Awareness Week (11 to 15 October) and purple on 10 October to mark World Mental Health Day.
World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is a World Health Organisation campaign aiming to improve the quality and accessibility of mental health services for all. The council is taking part in the ‘Light Up Purple’ initiative where landmarks and structures across the world are lighting up purple on World Mental Health Day with the promise of continuing the conversations around mental health.
For people needing support with their mental health, the council’s webpage on how people can look after themselves in the context of the coronavirus pandemic contains lots of useful links to support and advice available: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/coronavirus-look-after-yourself
Cambridge City Council also:
- Provides a range of free and low-cost fitness activity sessions aimed at people experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental ill health issues.
- Awards Community Grants to local projects helping to reduce social or economic inequality in Cambridge. In 2021/22 this has included grants for projects relating to mental health by Cambridge Community Arts, Centre 33, Illuminate, Ormiston Families and Richmond Fellowship.
- Provides support to council tenants whose tenancy is (or could be) at risk due to mental health issues.
- Runs training sessions for staff on mental health awareness and around supporting their own health and wellbeing.
- Is signed up to Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind’s STOP Suicide pledge, which is an award-winning suicide prevention campaign. As a signatory the council promotes the STOP Suicide message throughout the organisation, and encourages staff to sign up to the personal STOP Suicide Pledge, and reach out to others, including customers, if they are worried about them. It also runs STOP Suicide workshops for staff on how to be alert to warning signs of others having suicidal thoughts or behaviours, gain confidence to speak directly about suicide and understand how to help someone stay safe for now.
Baby Loss Awareness Week
Baby Loss Awareness Week is a national campaign, run by various charities who support people affected by pregnancy loss and baby loss. The week raises aims to:
- Support bereaved parents and families and to unite with others to commemorate their babies’ lives and lost pregnancies.
- Raise awareness about pregnancy loss and baby loss.
- Campaign for improvements in care and support for anyone affected and in the prevention of pregnancy loss and baby loss.
People who need counselling for miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal losses can find support from the local charity Petals. For this support people can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 688 0068.
The council’s Bereavement Service supports families who have lost a child by not charging for cremation of anyone under the age of 18 and not charging for internment of anyone under the age of two. Employees of the council who have experienced the loss of a baby or who suffer a stillbirth after pregnancy are offered a period of paid leave.
Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “I’m really pleased that we are lighting up the Guildhall to mark these two really important campaigns.
“Both mental health and baby loss affect so many of us, but can also be incredibly hard to talk about. In taking part in these campaigns, we hope we’ll be playing a small part in encouraging people to talk about what they are going through and to feel more able to seek help and support. We also want to give a clear sign of solidarity with all those who are struggling and all those who have suffered loss.”