Scott Squire, the Carlisle Powerlifter and Claire Bell, Miss Cumbria, have both recently pledged to raise awareness of local mental health charity, Carlisle Eden Mind and actively work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental ill health in Cumbria.
The two have both been in the public eye recently – Claire having been crowned Miss Cumbria in November, and Scott after being chosen to represent Great Britain at the World Powerlifting Championships in April after just 18 months in the sport.
The news of their support for Carlisle Eden Mind comes as Cumbria has been named one of the first Time to Change hubs in England, a new partnership of local organisations and mental health champions committed to improving local attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems.
As the coordinating organisation behind the new Hub, Carlisle Eden Mind will have the capacity to step up their ongoing commitment to combatting the stigma surrounding mental health issues and ensure the voice of people with mental health problems is heard in Cumbria.
The charity’s first campaign involving the pair will concentrate on self-esteem, body image and speaking out about mental health.
Caroline Robinson, Community Engagement Officer for Carlisle Eden Mind said: “There is a hunger to understand mental health coming from all directions and we think the time is right to start to co-ordinate a more consolidated approach to tackling stigma in the county.
Claire and Scott got in touch with us quite independently, both passionate about helping people experiencing mental health problems feel able to seek the support they deserve, without judgement. Between them they will be able to reach a wide range of people in our community.”
Claire said ‘I am extremely excited to be getting involved in Carlisle Eden Mind. I know many people who have suffered with a mental health problem so it is important to me to use my title to promote this fantastic cause. With it being a local charity as well, it means even more to me because it provides help to the people I know and love. I can’t wait to be working with the team and to see what happens over the coming months!’
Scott said “There are far too many people in our community, and nationwide, suffering in silence. Reducing stigma and encouraging discussion regarding mental health is an excellent way of empowering people. I am supporting Carlisle Eden Mind because I want to raise awareness and promote good mental health and wellbeing in Cumbria.”