Convention-sized mental health event in City Hall 

By Callum Webb

In the second day of Mental Health Awareness, Cardiff City Hall played host to the first Mental Health and Wellbeing show.  

The event featured many venues, all promoting different methodologies and causes, but all with the core message of promoting ways to handle mental health issues.  

Originally set to begin in 2020, it had been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, with organisers hoping to make the event a regular yearly event going forward.  

Some are conventional such as the Community Advice and Listening Line based in Wrexham.  

Luke Ogden serves as the Line manager for the organisation, “Because we are helpline-based, we tend to get far more people than say things that they may otherwise not want to disclose otherwise.” He said, in regards as to what makes Community Advice unique.    

Luke Ogden, line manager for the organisation

The event hosted venues, but also featured Lord Mayor, Councillor Rod Mckerlich and the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing.  

Others were more unique in their specialisations and areas.  

Maggie Cee, the current administrator of the Co-Alc Alliance, a charity that works to link mental health with the issues of drugs and alcohol abuse said: “The main issue for us is, that people treat drugs and alcohol as social problems rather than what they are, which is often mental ones.

“The people we represent were mostly young people, they had their lives ahead of them, in the prime of their lives.” 

The charity argues that the effects of mental health linking with drug and alcohol is far more than simply individual circumstances, and that it comes from a proven change that occurs in the brain when the two substances are mixed, which creates a new chemical in the brain known as cocaethylene, which stays in the body for weeks and months after the substance is taken. 

She said: “The problem goes hand in hand after that. Add stress, general mental health issues and this becomes terribly predicable.”

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