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The Retreat opens its doors for mental health awareness

As part of its activities for mental health awareness week 2015 The Retreat and The Tuke Centre opened their doors to the public and invited them to come and learn more about mental health.

“The Retreat holds an important place in history” says Peter Gorbert, Communications Officer “It was the birthplace of modern mental healthcare over 200 years ago. The Retreat has a huge reputation across the globe, but people walk past it every day and have no idea what goes on inside.”

The ROTA (Retreat Open To All) event, which was named by patients at the hospital, was a five hour event filled with talks, activities and information stands from various mental health providers across the city. It was organised by staff from the Tuke Centre as part of their drive to reach out to York’s community. Amongst the stallholders on the day were York Samaritans, York Healthwatch, York Mind, Switalskis Solicitors and the University of York

“It was such a vibrant, positive event. We estimate that we were able to welcome at least 100 people during the day. There was a constant stream of guests, most of whom commented how much they appreciated having the opportunity to come to The Retreat and find out about what we do, who we are and about our history. We thoroughly enjoyed the event and we’d like to do more to reach out to York’s community and raise awareness” Said Kim Bevan, Tuke Centre Manager.

“The Talks were so interesting that I ended up staying all afternoon” said one woman who came along to the event. “Thank you for opening your doors and sharing your knowledge. I had no idea that you offered so much to so many people.”

The Retreat is hoping to build on the success of this event by holding similar events in the future. Peter Gorbert said “The turn-out last week showed us that there is a lot of interest from members of the public in an open collaborative space where they can learn about mental health and gain the skills to support themselves. Hopefully we can do more in the future”