28th Jun, 2022

'Speak up and seek support': NHS experts have say for World Mental Health Day

Les Reid 11th Oct, 2019

WORLD Mental Health Day prompted NHS professionals in the Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire region to urge people to speak up and seek support.

Their key message for yesterday and beyond was: “At some point in our lives, we all struggle with our mental wellbeing.

“There is a range of resources available to get the necessary support.”

The NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group continued: “Speaking to your friends, family or employer is a good place to start if you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health.

“Reaching out, and having an honest conversation, may help relieve some of your worries. It is important to remember that you’re not alone; one in six people experience mental illness in England each week.

“If you’re nervous about having this conversation with the people you see in everyday life, then using an online tool to identify how you’re feeling may be more suitable. Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ provides practical tips, expert advice and creates a plan to help you deal with your emotions in a healthy way.

“If necessary, the tool may advise you to speak to your GP to seek further help.”

Some people may benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), the NHS says, which can help people find new ways to behave by changing thought patterns.

In Solihull, self-referral is available to Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust for free CBT services, and it is said may suit patients as an alternative to medication, or additional support alongside it.

Tom Howell, Head of Joint Commissioning for Mental Health at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, said: “As an organisation, we are committed to improving the mental wellbeing of people across Birmingham and Solihull, as well as our colleagues within the CCG.

“Within our organisation, we now have 13 members of staff who are trained mental health first aiders, to identify when colleagues are in need of help, and are able to offer support.”

Angela Brady, GP and Clinical Director for Joint Commissioning including Mental Health for NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, added: “I am aware how diverse an area it is, with people of different backgrounds and different needs. In order to help our patients, there is also a need for our partners across education, employment, health and social care and also members of local communities to continue working closely together.

“I truly believe that caring for our mental health should be top of everyone’s to-do list. Everyone in Birmingham and Solihull deserves to have positive mental wellbeing.”

Dr David Spraggett, GP and Chair at NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We need to look after our mental health just like our physical health. It’s really important that you speak to someone if you notice a change in your mental health such as feeling more stressed, unhappy or disengaged.

“Sharing how you are feeling by speaking to your GP or even a friend or family member, will help you to feel better. Activities such as meditation, exercise and breathing techniques have also been shown to enhance your mental health.”

The South Warwickshire CCG adds: “In extreme circumstances, people will experience a mental health crisis. This often means that you no longer feel able to cope or feel in control of your situation. You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, can’t cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hear voices.

“In these cases, you should contact NHS 111 for help.”

If you have had thoughts of self-harming or are feeling suicidal, contact someone you can trust immediately, such as a GP or a friend or relative.

The Samaritans helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for people who want to talk in confidence. Call 116 123 for free.

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