Fashion, sport and wellbeing are centre stage at World Mental Health Day 2019 in Bedford

2018: World Mental Health Day in Harpur Square

World Mental Health Day takes place on Thursday 10 October every year and is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues, tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and promote open and positive conversations.

A free ‘healthy mind and healthy body’ hub featuring a host of interactive activities is being held in Bedford’s Harpur Square to mark World Mental Health Day 2019.

Visitors will be able to try table tennis, ride a smoothie bike, learn about the wide range of exercise opportunities in Bedford and talk to health professionals about how to maintain their personal mental health and wellbeing.

The event is organised by Bedford Borough Council’s Sports Development Team in partnership with East London NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health services across Bedfordshire.

Many other local organisations will be also be present to offer mental health support and advice and promote positive conversations around mental health, including our See The Signs Public Health campaign.

At 4.30pm, Hannah Brown is bringing a fashion show with a difference to the Harpur Centre, promoting positive body image and acceptance.

Stemming from her struggles with an eating disorder, Hannah is hoping to instill messages of confidence, pride and admiration as she takes her message far and wide, reaching the far corners of the borough.

On pieces of fabric, members of the public, together with service providers have been writing their messages of what it means to be confident and proud of their bodies in the face of rising levels of anxiety and low self-esteem, attaching them onto a mannequin.

Over the last few weeks, these fabric squares have been made into garments of clothing, ready to be strutted down the Bedford Harper Centre catwalk in a true celebration of positivity.

“As part of my recovery, I wanted to start raising awareness of some of the themes closely associated with this debilitating illness; self-esteem and body image being two examples,” said Hannah.

“These stunning items of clothing are going to be such a glorious celebration. The fashion show is going to be just incredible and I am so humbled for all the interest and support the community of Bedford have already shown.”

Cllr Doug McMurdo, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said, “This free event is a great opportunity to raise awareness of mental health, to come along to find out more and try out one of our taster sessions.”

Cllr Louise Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing said “This annual event on World Mental Health Day is a brilliant way to raise awareness and encourage positive conversations about mental health. Come down and see what we have to offer in Bedford Borough.”

All visitors are welcome at the free event between 11am – 3pm on Thursday 10 October 2019 in Harpur Square.

To find out more about Sports Development activities, visit

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