Kirklees Council is helping tackle mental health issues head on by bringing real experiences to life with a ‘Human Library’ to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9-13).

The ‘Human Library’ takes place on Thursday May 12 at Huddersfield Library and will help people overcome stigma, combat prejudice, challenge stereotypes and discrimination through conversations about real life experiences.

Guest speakers will share their personal stories, including those who have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression or have supported a loved one through their time of need.

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, strategic director for public health at Kirklees Council, said: “As a council tackling poor mental health in our communities is a key priority.

“We need to be able to talk openly and honestly about what we’re going through to challenge the stereotypes and stigma out there.

“I would like to thank the speakers at these events for doing just that. We hope that, by sharing their experiences, they will in turn, encourage others to come forward and seek support so they can improve their mental health and wellbeing.”

The ‘Human Library’ is a free event and is open to anyone who wants to come along. The day starts at 9.30am with refreshments. Those attending can speak to mental health support providers on the day.

Here’s what’s happening throughout Kirklees during Mental Health Awareness Week:

‘Human Library’ Event, Huddersfield Library, May 12

The Human Library event aims to help overcome the stigma, combat prejudice, challenge stereotypes and end discrimination around mental health through conversations with guest speakers who will share their own personal experiences of how mental health has affected their lives. 

Event schedule

9.30 am – 10am                Arrival for tea/coffee/refreshments

10am – 10.15am                Introduction to the session

10.15am – 10.35am           Human Book story

10.45am – 11.05am           Wellness Team Presentation

Break – Tea/Coffee/Refreshments

11.20am – 11.40am           Human Book tells their story

11.45am –12pm                Presentation

12pm – 12.15pm               Human Book story

12.15am – 12.30am           Human Book story

12.30am – 1pm                 Mindfulness activity

1.30pm                              Close

This is a free event and there is no need to book, just turn up on the day.

Community Plus Bus

The Kirklees Community Plus team will be out and about in the bus, handing out information on mental health and wellbeing support. Helping people feel more connected, independent and healthier. The bus will be at the following locations:

Monday May 9, 11am-2pm at Sycamore Street, Golcar

Wednesday May 11, 11am-2pm at Cliffe Street car park, Dewsbury

Wednesday May 11, 1pm-4pm at Tesco, Batley

Friday May 13, 11am-2pm at Berry Brow, Huddersfield

Everybody Active Time to Talk Walks – Wednesday May 11

Walking is a simple way to improve your mental health. Join a walk leader and meet other people with shared experiences. These are steady walks on mainly flat terrain. Walks will take place at Wilton Park and Greenhead Park.

  • The Café at Wilton Park, Batley. Meet at 12.30 pm. Contact Andy Cook for further information 07815 117853. 
  • The café near the tennis courts at Greenhead Park. Meet at 12.30 pm. Contact: Alex Craddock for further information 07968 702024

Curated books and resources

Throughout the week, Kirklees Libraries are promoting books and resources to help adults and children understand and manage their feelings. Their “Reading Well” selection has been curated by health professionals. Topics include anxiety, depression, mindfulness and living well.

Here is the full list of curated books, available to borrow.

E:book collection is available to download for free.  

Check out this specially selected collection of children’s books about mental health and wellbeing.  

Social Prescribing

Kirklees Council’s Social Prescribing Link Workers work with patients who have been referred through their GP practice. They have dedicated Mental Health Link Workers so if you feel you need support with your mental health, please contact your GP.

Free Wellness Service

Kirklees Council’s Wellness Service offers a free, one to one support service and help develop a personal health and wellbeing plan to help improve your mental health and emotional wellbeing, increase social contact and community engagement and develop self care techniques.

Become a volunteer

It has been proven that volunteering can help improve our mental health whilst meeting new people and supporting your local community. There are lots of different roles available. Apply online via the Third Sector Kirklees website or give them a call on 01484 519053.

Mental Health Support online

If you need mental health support, visit Kirklees Council’s dedicated Mental Health webpages. With advice on how to take care of your mental health and wellbeing or if you need support in a crisis.