November 24, 2020 @ 12:14 by Steven Hugill
A North East mental health tech organisation has revealed its line-up for a “game-changer” conference in the region.
Discova plans to hold the Discova X Con next year to explore today’s mental health landscape.
Set for April, bosses say the event will feature a panel of celebrities, business figureheads and mental health thought leaders, who will share their personal stories and insight.
The line-up will include Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah, ex-Premier League footballer Clarke Carlisle, Scottish artist Alexander Millar and soul singer Beth Macari.
Bosses also say the conference – due to take place in Northumbria University Students’ Union on April 1 – will allow Newcastle-based Discova to unveil its new app, which has been created to offer people mental health and wellbeing support.
Lizzy Hodcroft, Discova co-founder and event organiser, said: “Discova X Con will be one of a kind and a game-changer for the discussion around mental health here in the North East.
“We aim to host a conference that will offer support and solidarity with people who have had a difficult time of late and it will act as a platform to help facilitate wellness and positive action going forward.
“We know the wonderful Chi Onwurah takes mental health seriously and to have her support and her thoughts about how we can improve the landscape is truly appreciated.
“Clarke Carlisle is nothing short of an inspiration and to have with us someone who has overcome so many demons to be the person he is today we hope will resonate massively with our audience.
“Alexander Millar is an artist we all love here in the North East who had to battle mental trauma in his early days before having the strength to establish himself on a global scale.
“Beth Macari is a strong and fantastically talented singer and musical artist.
“We’re lucky to have her and we’ll be hearing about her struggles with anxiety and identity issues. She’ll also be performing during the afternoon and we can’t wait to hear one of the best voices in the business right now.”
Clarke, who suffered from complex depressive disorder throughout his footballing career, played for clubs including Leeds United, Queens Park Rangers and Burnley, and will be joined by wife Carrie to share his life story.
He said: “I’m happy to help move the mental health conversation forward to incorporate competence and confidence in ourselves and the services around us.
“I was a professional footballer for 17 years, and I played the last 13 of those while suffering with complex depressive disorder.
“I encountered many social and personal difficulties during this time.
“The combination of an undiagnosed illness and being emotionally illiterate meant I developed coping strategies that were totally destructive and compounded my depression.”
The conference, hosted by Alfie Joey, will follow a busy year for Discova – which was formerly known as Myndr – having previously received a £300,000 grant from Innovate UK.
Officials say the funding will allow for further development of its app, with help from Tyneside software and app development company Komodo.
For more information about the conference line-up and running order, visit: www.discovahealth.com/lineup/
To buy tickets, visit: www.bit.ly/3f3YIQF