Mental Health Awareness Week in London: Free Virtual Events

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 18-24 May 2020, and while we won’t all be gathering for any special events, you can still beam a brilliant podcast with Stephen Fry straight into your home, or join in a global meditation or yoga class – all for free

Lead image: Tower Bridge Yoga *Not* in the Walkways

1 #OurCityTogether
From 19 May
Our City Together is a new digital cultural season launched during Mental Health Awareness Week by the City of London Corporation. Bringing together London’s world-class arts, culture and heritage across the Square Mile, the free programme will feature an inspiring, positive and thoughtful mix of archive and contemporary digital content including podcasts, playlists, artworks, photography, films, talks and museum collections. The programme will open with the theme of ‘Kindness’ for Mental Health Awareness Week, kicking off on Tuesday 19 May at 2.30pm with a virtual panel discussion focusing on the important roles creativity and culture play in wellbeing and mental health, chaired by Mike Clewley, Head of Cultural and Visitor Strategy at the City of London Corporation (watch here). The season will tie in with a programme of upcoming digital interactive and spectator events for summer 2020, delivered in collaboration with THRIVE LDN and in partnership with a number of major cultural organisations including the Barbican Centre, Museum of London, Guildhall Art Gallery and London Symphony Orchestra.

2 The Calm Together Global Meditation
21 May
In celebration of World Meditation Day on Thursday 21 May, meditation and sleep app Calm is hosting a global meditation event on YouTube to bring the world together and to connect in a peaceful moment. The virtual event offers people from all over the world the chance to find stillness together, encouraging people to look after themselves and each other, in other words, to be Calm Together. Taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week on Thursday at 6pm, the free livestream will be available on the Calm YouTube channel, hosted by Head of Mindfulness at Calm, Tamara Levitt. You can also find a variety of free content, from sleep, meditation, music and mindful movement to breathing exercises and journaling prompts online at

3 Barbican Launches New Digital Content for Mental Health Awareness Week 
From 18 May
Inspired by the Barbican’s international arts programme, a curated mix of podcasts, playlists, films, videos, talks and articles offers continues access to the Centre’s rich and varied programme. To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, the Barbican has launched a new Spotify playlist – Music for healing and head space – inviting listeners to find a moment of calm. Composer Erland Cooper and filmmaker and photographer Alex Kozobolis will take over the Barbican’s Instagram channel for a week, projecting films onto the concrete walls around the Barbican estate accompanied by music from Erland’s three albums. Plus, in the third edition of the Nothing Concrete podcast series, The Art of Change, Stephen Fry talks about his work for gay rights, as well as prostate cancer and mental health advocacy (available on Wed 20 May). In episode two, Fry talked honestly about his struggles with bipolar disorder and his own suicide attempt.
For more see

4 Free Mind & Body Workouts with Digme Fitness
20-24 May
Digme Fitness has created a series of feel-good classes and workshops designed to workout your mind and body – all free to book at The classes include Breathwork, Finding Balance Webinar, Restorative Yoga & Sound Bath. Breathwork is a 45-minute class taking place at 8pm on Wednesday 20 May – you do it about 23,000 a day, but are you breathing properly? Conscious breathing inspires natural healing and a sense of calm, so this is the perfect class to restore equilibrium mentally, physically and emotionally. The Finding Balance Webinar, taking place at 3pm on Thursday 21 May, explores how and why movement and mindfulness are an anecdote to stress. Restorative Yoga & Sound Bath at 3pm on Sunday 24 May is a 90-minute class of breath-led vinyasa flow, restorative yin yoga and live voice and song. There’s also a Virtual Run Club at 9am Saturday 23 May as well as a Mind Gym – a series of IGTV videos to demonstrate how fitness, kindness and community can all have an impact on your mental health.

5 Tower Bridge: Yoga ‘Not’ In The Walkways
20 May
This month, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Tower Bridge is taking its famous yoga class direct to your home for free. Normally teaching from the iconic Tower Bridge Glass Walkways, you can now join London-based yoga teacher Billie (co-founder of Mojo Yard) on Instagram live, where she’ll have you striking the perfect downward facing dog through energetic vinyasa-flow yoga classes that will help kick-start your day from home. Join via Instagram Live on Wednesday 20 May at 8am and 1pm for 30 minutes of energising yoga. This is an all-abilities class and all are welcome to join.

Kate & William Mark First Anniversary of Crisis Text Line Shout

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have marked the first anniversary of Shout85258, the UK’s first 24/7 crisis text line, by speaking to five of the organisation’s crisis volunteers about their experience of providing support to the thousands of people who have texted Shout over the past 12 months.

The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spearheaded Heads Together, a mental health initiative that combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.

If you need urgent help, Samaritans is available to offer support 24/7 on 116 123.

You can also text SHOUT to 85258 anytime day or night and chat by text.