Last week I went to my first Overview and Scrutiny committee as a councillor: the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee. We covered many varied topics covering care and health issues in Wokingham borough and across Berkshire. One presentation that was particular striking was the Suicide Audit that had been done across Berkshire. The statistics were eye-opening and the main stress was that mental health shouldn’t have the shame and stigma still attached to it and people shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help. This has been a wish across the country for some time and stigmas take a while to lessen but there are numerous campaigns to try to help this cause as well as offering support to those who are struggling themselves. The statistics show that it is still overwhelmingly men who take their own lives and the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a great organisation that promotes street art, music and cartoons to address the issue in an accessible way to men. There’s also a helpline as well as many other projects: https://www.thecalmzone.net/ It is good that the government are focusing on mental health services more but the lack of education surrounding mental health for generations means we are still quite behind in our attitudes to it. Great charities such as CALM are helping forge a culture where people feel more supported and unashamed to ask for help. This is something we can all get behind.