It’s the iconic image people immediately think of when they hear the word Birmingham. But for the first time since his arrival 20 years ago, our beloved bull will be out of public view.
The famous statue – allegedly the third most photographed monument in Britain – will disappear next week for a very important reason. Working with NHS Birmingham and Solihull, Birmingham Mind and Living Well UK, the Bullring encourages people to talk openly about their mental health without a ‘bull’.
The change will be part of a Mental Health Awareness Week campaign. It will see the Bull locked in a box pointing people to places to seek help managing their mental health.
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Bosses say the Bullring will also gain a new addition in the form of a wellness centre. Run by Birmingham Mind, the hub in the former GAP retail unit will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday, giving passers-by the chance to drop by and chat.
Helen Wadley, CEO of Birmingham Mind, said: “I’m sure we can all agree that it’s time to ‘No Bull’ when it comes to wellness. Since launching our one-stop mental health phone line for residents of Birmingham and Solihull during the first Covid lockdown, we have seen a steady increase in calls, which we hope is a sign that people feel more confident, secure, and ready to reach out than ever.
“Mental health does not discriminate and you – or those around you – may have more bad days than good ones. For anyone who wants to talk about the challenges they face, rest assured that our team is friendly, supportive and want to hear from you.”
Lisa Stalley-Green, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Nursing at NHS Birmingham and Solihull, added: “We can all have issues with our mental health. Just like with our physical health, we can benefit from taking the time to take care of our well-being.
“One of the best things we can do is share how we feel. No matter what we’re going through, talking to those around us – whether it’s a friend, a member of the family or a colleague – can really help improve our mental health during difficult times.”
The Bull will be covered from May 9 and will return on May 16. For mental health and wellbeing crisis advice, support, advice or help, call the 24/7 helpline on 0121 262 3555.
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