Monday 7 October, saw the launch of Public Health England’s and the NHS new mental health campaign called “Every Mind Matters.” The campaign aims to support everyone to feel more confident in taking action to look after their mental health and wellbeing by self-care.
Doctors in Pennine Lancashire are supporting World Mental Health Day and this year’s focus is on ‘suicide and suicide prevention’.
In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK. Three-quarters of registered deaths last year were among men (4,903 deaths), which has been the case since the mid-1990s. Males aged 45 to 49 years had the highest age-specific suicide rate (27.1 deaths per 100,000 males); for females, the age group with the highest rate was also 45 to 49 years, at 9.2 deaths per 100,000.
There is still a great deal of misunderstanding that surrounds mental health, although more information is available than ever before. Doctors are urging people to break the stigma around mental health by talking about it with friends and family.
Dr Rakesh Sharma, Clinical lead at NHS East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups said:
“Talking about mental health with friends and family might not seem that important, but there are still so many people who suffer on their own, isolated and unwilling to ask for help. Talking about mental health is the first step to a solution, sharing with others is brilliant for your emotional wellbeing and by talking about these issues we can help to crush any remaining stigma and help people get the care they need.”
“Your GP practice is the front door to many other services and if you think you might have a problem, even if you’re unsure, you should book an appointment. Very often, people talk themselves out of going to see a doctor, and this is the opposite of what is needed. Just like physical illness, early diagnosis is really important in the treatment of mental illness, so don’t ignore something you think might be an issue.”
How can I self- care and help myself?
Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems. They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse. Here are some tips for looking after yourself that you might find helpful:
- Stay aware of your mental health – Knowing and telling people what helps, spotting early signs and keeping a diary.
- Nourish your social life – Connecting with friends and family is important and can change your perspective on things.
- Peer support – Talking to others who have had similar experiences helps you to support each other. People often find helping others helps us feel better ourselves.
- Make time for therapeutic activities – Such as taking a relaxing bath, being more mindful and going for a walk outside in the nature are all good for us.
- Look after your physical health – Getting enough sleep and keeping physically active such as going for a walk or swim are good ways to make us feel better. It is important you pick something you find easy and will stick to.
How to access mental health care
If you live in Blackburn with Darwen or East Lancashire area and are concerned you or someone you know might be experiencing a mental health problem, you should contact your GP practice. They will be able to identify any issues you might be facing and can talk you through the treatments options available. Local services may be provided by your GP surgery, a large local health centre, a specialist mental health clinic, or a hospital. Treatments vary from one-to-one to group settings, and can incorporate families or friends.
Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign helps people to take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others: https://youtu.be/Wybow1N5GNs
Talking therapies are very helpful in mild to moderate symptoms of Anxiety and Depression and these can be easily accessed by contacting the service directly:
If you don’t wish to speak face to face with your GP in the first instance but you have concerns about your mental health, or that of someone you know, you can ring the Lancashire Care Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline on Freephone 0800 915 4640. It is available Monday to Friday 7pm until 11pm and on weekends 12 noon until 12 midnight, or visit: https://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Mental-Health-Helpline