A departure from the more familiar events put on by Norwich City Fans Social Club was no less successful than usual, as a crowd of well over 100 people attended an evening dedicated to finding out more about mental health issues.
In a moving and fascinating evening, the audience heard former Canary and now Norfolk County Council’s mental health ambassador, Cedric Anselin, talk about his 14 year battle with depression, the way it is not addressed in professional football and how he came back from rock bottom.
Also on the stage with event host Michael Bailey, was North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who described how his family tried to cope with his then-teenage son’s diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder. He had been horrified at the lack of provision for young people needing treatment and, as a consequence, when he became health minister, introduced maximum waiting times for young people’s mental health treatments.
Both Cedric and Norman’s son, Archie, are now doing well so, far from being a gloomy evening, it was full of laughter and inspiration as other guests and audience members shared their stories.
After the Q & A from the floor, there was a fantastic opportunity to hear more directly from the professionals and charities involved in a huge range of support groups and mental health provision. The fact the last guests and audience members left Carrow Road’s Top of the Terrace room three hours after they arrived says much about how interesting all involved found the event!
If you want to know more about the wonderful groups who came along on the night, here’s a list: