A week-long Epsom festival which seeks to break down the stigma of mental health is underway for the 11th consecutive year.

The Epsom Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival, running from October 6 to 13, sees more than 70 free events available for the public to attend.

These range from tips from trained mental health first aid advisors, theatre arts and performances, talks from university professors, and more.

There have been more than 500 speakers and thousands of visitors at the festival since it was started by charity Love Me Love My Mind.

Chair Sue Bull said: “I think in the same way it's important to look after our physical health, it's important to look after our mental health because our mental health has huge implications for the rest of ourselves.

“It dictates whether we have the energy to get out of bed in the morning or not, or whether we can be bothered to do anything. It has an impact on how we relate to people and how we relate to ourselves, how we work or not, how we survive the day or not.

“The event started with a group of a few people, and we were looking to break down stigma and bring people together and recognise that that we're all on the spectrum of mental health or mental distress.

“It's all free, always has been, everyone who comes gives their time voluntarily and everyone is welcome. It's grown, and grown, and grown.”

The event comes as celebrities and prominent figures across the globe raised awareness of the cause through the 26th annual World Mental Health Day this week (October 10).

Ms Bull, who has been the chair of Love Me Love My Mind for 10 years, also told of how one person appeared to gain a better understanding of mental health through one of the events.

She added: “Many years ago, I happened to be on a train after one of the first mental health weeks and someone came up to me and said they were thinking they needed to remove someone from their employment because they weren't performing well.

“They'd come along to the mental health week and realised that they [the employee] were in mental distress, so instead of getting rid of them they decided they would support and help them.

“That was the turning round of stigma and the turning round of someone's life.”

Epsom Mental Health and Wellbeing Festival will finish on Saturday, October 13.