Worthing Pride 2022

July 2022

We marched, we danced, we supported, we sang – and celebrated diversity and inclusivity in the heart of our community. What an amazing, unifying and inspiring weekend

We are proud of our strong presence at Worthing Pride this year, where our staff, volunteers, service users and peer supporters came together to talk to our LGBTQI+ communities, make important connections, raise awareness about mental health and have fun.

We had a stand right near the stage throughout the event. We invited people to share how they look after their mental health on a well-being board; we gathered ideas about how we can make our services more inclusive to LGBTQI+ communities; we listened to inspiring stories about people’s mental health struggles and how they are now managing their mental health; and we gave out lots of info about our support and some fabulous goodie bags.

On Saturday morning, our LGBTQI+ staff, service users, volunteers, peers and allies came together for the Worthing Pride march. This year’s theme was “be what you want to be”, and we donned our brightest outfits and accessories, held our placards high, and marched to the sound of the Wave Drummers from Waves Music Therapy, who joined us on the prom. It was a truly inspiring and unifying experience at the heart of our community, waving and chatting to people we knew along the route.

Left to right: volunteer, Chris; operations manager, Kate; and trustee and peer supporter, Kirk

On Saturday's Pride march

Mental health support workers, Katie and Laura (left and right), with our well-being reflections board

One of our key aims this year was to get feedback from our LGBTQI+ communities about what good mental health support looks like and how we can improve our offering, so many thanks to all those who helped shape our ideas. We had some really interesting conversations.

“Worthing Pride was an amazing opportunity for us not only to engage with and gather feedback from our LGBTQI+ communities, but also to show very strongly that we are a safe and solid source of mental health support for people,” said Louisa Hernandez, Communities and Inclusion Manager at West Sussex Mind. “We understand the impact that stigma and discrimination can have on people’s mental health. Being out in the community – talking, challenging and listening – helps tackle stigma and enables people to be their authentic self, something we all have the right to be.”

"We were inspired by the diversity of the event and with the generosity and openness of people sharing their thoughts with us about what supports positive well-being and ways we can be more inclusive," said Will Newman, deputy service manager for our Pathfinder Worthing support hub.

As part of West Sussex Mind’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion action plan, we want to gather views, ideas and collaboration opportunities to help us develop our offering for LGBTQI+ communities. If you would like to be part of this conversation, please contact Louisa at Louisa.hernandez@westsussexmind.org