The Mayor of South Tyneside has launched a series of free events taking place across South Tyneside to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
Mental Health Awareness Week (14 to 20 May) is an annual national campaign aimed at raising awareness and to gain a better understanding of mental health and the services available.
This year's theme is Stress: Are We Coping?
The Mayor, Councillor Olive Punchion said: "Mental illness is something that can affect anyone. The challenges and pressures of everyday life can be stressful, but being overwhelmed by stress can have a real detrimental impact on a person's emotional wellbeing.
"Mental Health Awareness Week is an excellent campaign giving us an opportunity to highlight issues around mental health. It gets people talking about it and helps to spread the word about what they can do to maintain good mental health and wellbeing, which is extremely important."
The Mayor was joined by the Mayoress, Mrs Mary French, to launch the week at Cleadon Park Library in South Shields, kick starting a packed programme of activities delivered by the Council's Libraries and Public Health teams in partnership with local NHS and voluntary sector organisations.
More than 150 people turned up for the launch event where the Zing Singers performed feel-good songs and the Change4Life Health and Wellbeing Champions were on hand to give advice on practical steps people can take to improve their health and wellbeing.
Other events on offer during the week include the opportunity to have a head massage at Jarrow Hub and health and wellbeing coffee morning at Primrose Library on Wednesday 16 May. A presentation on spotting mental health concerns is taking place at Hebburn Library on Thursday 17 May.
Cleadon Park Library is also inviting people to contribute to colouring-in a giant colouring book and enjoy the benefits of artistic activities on mental health.
There will also be taster sessions, workshops, healthy walks and green gyms.