World Mental Health Day – let’s talk
People in Southwark are being encouraged to talk about how they are feeling to help remove the stigma around mental illness.
Many people living with a psychological problem, or developing one, try to keep their feelings hidden because they are worried how others might react. Others without a diagnosed, or diagnosable, mental health problem still struggle to cope with daily life.
As part of World Mental Health Day this Wednesday (10 October), people are being reminded that help is available from a variety of sources – including your GP.
This year, there is a particular focus on young people and the importance of looking after mental health from an early age, as this can prevent problems in later life.
Only a quarter of young people with a diagnosable mental health issue get access to treatment and there is an average delay of 10 years between them showing the first symptoms and seeking help.
Dr Nancy Kuchemann, Clinical Lead for Mental Health and Parity of Esteem at NHS Southwark CCG, said:
"If you're struggling to manage your mental health, don't keep it to yourself – there is no shame in seeking help; bottling up your feelings and hoping they will go away can make things worse in the long run.
"Your local GP practice is there to help with your mental health as well as your physical health. In fact, around one third of all GP appointments are related to mental health.
"Anyone concerned that they have a mental health problem should speak to their GP, who will be able to offer advice on how to deal with your symptoms and talk to you about local specialist support services.
"And if you are experiencing mental health distress and need to speak to someone urgently, you can call the local 24-hour mental health support line for free on 0800 731 2864."
There are simple ways that you can look after your mental health by making small changes to your everyday lifestyle: make time to do activities you enjoy, avoid short term fixes such as alcohol, caffeine and sugar, and try and spend less time in front of a screen.
Find out more about the mental health services available for people in Southwark.