Nicky Jerome was Labour’s only Councillor in Wokingham until March 2016 when she decided to step down due to mental health issues. After more than a year of battling with anxiety and depression the mother-of-two at the time said: “Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I have been receiving therapy since then and trying to keep on top of everything. I need to recover and I feel that now is the right time to step down. I am now going to get more involved with mental health charities and work to promote mental health issues. It’s very important to me”. Nicky is now one of the leaders involved in supporting the Brighter Berkshire initiative and after seeing what amazing resources are out there to help people like music, art, physical activity, social connections and more, she describes having a Year of Mental Health with connected activity is just what is needed to help people in this area. Nicky is also a musician and seen first hand the health benefits of music on mental health and says ‘Im quite excited by the possibilities of more music opportunities for people which could be generated from connecting people through this project because I have seen first hand the positive impact music has on mental health’.