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Yesterday Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate for London mayor, participated in a balloon release at St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust Recovery College.

The event in Tooting was a premature celebration of World Mental Health Day (WMHD) which is on Saturday! The aim of the day is to raise awareness, through events and social media.

The balloons are carrying messages of hope and a return address so they can be posted back to the hospital. Last year balloons were returned from as far away as Finland.

Speaking at the event Khan, who studied next door at Ernest Bevin College, called for “parity of treatment” going on to say mental health has been a “Cinderella service” and “that needs to change”

His attendance comes at time when awareness of mental health and it’s desperate under funding seems to be growing among politicians. Recent examples include Jeremy Corbyn’s attendance at Camden & Islington NHS Mental Health Fun Day on his first day as party leader. This was quickly followed by the appointment Luciana Berger as the first shadow cabinet Minister for Mental Health on the 14th September.

You can help by engaging in discussion and sharing facts using the hashtag #WMHD

Just in case your were panicking – the balloons are eco friendly.

featured image accredited to Steve Punter