North Yorkshire libraries host drop-ins for Mental Health Awareness Week

Libraries across North Yorkshire are highlighting the support they give people to combat loneliness by offering places to meet and socialise.

Branches are offering activities as part of Mental Health Awareness Week from May 9 to 15.

The week, coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation, focuses this year on how loneliness is affecting more people in the UK and its huge impact on physical and mental health during the pandemic.

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Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “Our connections to each other and our communities are really important for our mental health and wellbeing. Libraries can play a key role in finding practical ways to tackle loneliness. The week is also an invaluable opportunity for people to talk about all aspects of mental health, with a focus on providing help and advice.”

Chrys Mellor, General Manager of North Yorkshire Libraries, added: “The last two years have made us all more aware than ever of the importance of looking after our mental health. Libraries play a vital role in providing access to information, books and activities to support ourselves and our families.”

Events include coffee, cake and chat drop-ins where people can enjoy a cuppa and cake and meet new and old friends. The drop-ins are happening in libraries in Boroughbridge at 10.30am on Friday, May 13, Harrogate at 10.30am on Tuesday, May 10, Knaresborough, from 10am to noon on Wednesday, May 11, and Ripon, from 10.30am to 11.30am on Friday, May 13.

Musicians from Live Music Now will visit Knaresborough and Selby libraries, and Harrogate library will hold a Deaf Café at 2pm, both on May 12. Regular sessions such as story times and Mates Time for men that provide opportunities to meet people will continue during Mental Health Awareness Week.