St Albans Cathedral illuminated in blue to shine a light on mental health

St Albans Cathedral is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by illuminating in turquoise.

St Albans Cathedral is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by illuminating in turquoise. - Credit: St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral is being illuminated turquoise to mark this year's Mental Health Awareness Week.

The initiative is also to show support for local mental health awareness charity It's OK To Say, which uses this colour, and encourage people to take a walk around the Cathedral and consider their own mental health and whether they need any support.

It's OK To Say prides itself in helping remove stigmas by actively encouraging people to talk openly about mental health on a day-to-day basis and through various campaigns and projects.

Canon Chancellor at the Cathedral, the Revd Dr Kevin Walton said: “The Cathedral is delighted to show its support for the charity It’s OK To Say by lighting our building blue. There are times when any of us might be carrying within us a burden which is unseen or unspoken, so it is good to bring to light the reality of mental health."

Charity founder Stacey Turner said: "For the last three years, the Cathedral has illuminated in the charity's colour, to offer comfort and remind people to consider their own mental health. It’s a time of reflection, and of course to encourage people to reach out for support.

“We hope people will embrace this week and be reminded of how important and precious they are, even when they don’t feel like it. Us humans can be fragile with emotional hurt and pain invisible, often going unnoticed. Even if you have never considered yourself to need the help of a professional, we also offer casual coffee chat sessions where you can come in, have a cuppa and enjoy the comfort of the office.

“Now more than ever and in particular due to the short-term and long-term effects of Covid, many people require support after being impacted by both the illness, lockdowns and restrictions. There is still a sense of hopelessness, a loss of confidence and in some cases, grief over what has been lost by many in our community. This year's theme of loneliness is so fitting, as it provides an opportunity to try and encourage connection in order to support this.”

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The charity is holding a coffee morning in Abbots Kitchen Café at the Cathedral this Thursday May 12 from 10am-12noon.