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intu Eldon Square and intu metrocentre to get visitors chatting about mental health on time to talk day

intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre will be encouraging visitors to both shopping destinations to stop and chat for Time to Talk Day (Thursday 6 February) as part of the national campaign to start conversations around mental health. 


A new seating area located outside New Look in St Andrew’s Way at intu Eldon Square and outside Deichmann in Platinum Mall at intu Metrocentre have been turned into ‘Chatty Chairs’ where visitors can speak to each other or local charity Tyneside and Northumberland Mind about mental health.


At intu Metrocentre The Body Shop will be providing complimentary hand massages to visitors. Those visiting intu Eldon Square are encouraged to take a selfie outside its flower wall for a chance to win a £100 intu Gift Card; visitors should tag @intueldonsquare on social media along with the hash tag #timetotalk.


Wagamama is encouraging visitors to take part in its colouring in wall as well as offering sampling on the malls at both shopping destinations.


The Chatty Chairs area will host other mental health events during 2020 and remain on the mall throughout the year to encourage more conversations between visitors. The initiative is being launched at intu centres nationwide under intu’s strategy to raise awareness of mental health among its visitors and staff.


Claire Cannon, community manager at intu Eldon Square and intu Metrocentre said: “This forms part of our commitment to reducing the stigma around mental health and encouraging more open and honest conversations around mental health and wellbeing.

“intu destinations sit at the heart of communities and reach more than half the UK’s population and so it is important that we support causes that really matter to our visitors and provide destinations that are truly accessible and welcoming for all. Working with important organisations on initiatives such as Chatty Chairs is one way, we feel that we can make a real difference to the million people a day who visit our centres.”


Alex Wilson, CEO of Tyneside and Northumberland Mind, said: “Mental health problems affect one in four of us, many people are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless because of this. On Time to Talk Day the aim is to get the nation talking about mental health. We know that talking about mental health can feel awkward, but it doesn't have to. This year, use the popular game 'Would you rather?' to help break the ice and get the conversation flowing.”


In December, intu’s chief executive Matthew Roberts signed The Time to Change pledge, a growing social movement run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to transform attitudes to mental health in the workplace.