Night opens minds to mental health

24 September 2019
An event aimed at destigmatising mental health is being held at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) next month.

Singer-songwriter, Alice WalkerThe Open Mind night – a play on the phrase ‘open mic’ night – is being held at the Frank Lee Centre between 7pm and 10pm on Thursday, October 10, and will mark World Mental Health Week and raise money for the mental health charity, MIND.

The event aims to prompt discussion about mental health and will include thought-provoking performances from singer-songwriter Alice Walker, who is an A & E nurse, Broadside, a local band featuring Addenbrooke’s safety advisor Steve Elvie, Campus Sound, the Addenbrooke’s choir, and folk singer Roary Skaista.

There will also be comedy from Alex Jackson, a long-serving senior radiographer at the hospital, a performance from poet, artist and advocate, Leo George, and an exhibition from Cambridge Community Arts.Championing the cause, Chris Folkard

The night has been organised  by some of CUH’s 20 Time to Change ‘champions’, who range from clerical staff to consultants, and is open to the public as well as  hospital staff and volunteers.

One of the champions, senior neurology radiographer, Chris Folkard, said: “This night is all about prompting discussion, improving attitudes towards mental health, raising money for MIND, and having a great evening.

“While many people think it will never impact on them, statistics show that one in four of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year. For that reason we should not be afraid to discuss it, or fear that we may be treated differently because of a mental health problem.”

•    Anyone interested in going along is asked to register their interest on the event’s dedicated Facebook page listed below or at  There is a suggested minimum donation of £3. 

•    Chris is running a series of races this year to raise more money for MIND, culminating in the Yorkshire Marathon on October 20th.  He can be sponsored at the Just Giving page listed below. 

•    For more information on becoming a Time to Change champion visit their website, listed below.