This World Mental Health Day on Saturday 10 October, health and social care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire have come together to raise awareness of the local mental health support available. Mental health doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone at any time.
One in four people will be affected by a mental health disorder at some stage in their lives and the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that every 40 seconds someone dies from suicide. The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has also had a big impact on the mental health of the population with an increase in anxiety, stress, low-mood and loneliness.
This year’s theme is ‘mental health for all’ and health organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire want to highlight the mental health support available and encourage anyone who may be struggling with their mental health to get in contact, the support is there for you, don’t suffer in silence.
Dr David Spraggett, GP and Chair at NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Health organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire want to help put an end to the stigma and misconceptions of what mental health problems are. It’s ok not to be ok and help is available.
“The most important thing to do is to talk to someone about how you are feeling so that you can be supported and can receive the help you need. This can be a friend, family member, your GP or you can contact mental health support charities and organisations if you would prefer to talk to someone else.”
Anne Prendergast, Lead for Clinical Risk and Suicide Prevention at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust said: “If you feel you are in crisis, support is available. You can contact our urgent mental health crisis service on 0300 200 0011 which is available free and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust crisis service is aligned to their home treatment team. When a member of the public contacts them they will explore the nature of the crisis and assess if they need to make a home visit. The service is operated by a range of experienced NHS staff and clinicians with specific expertise in crisis and de-escalation interventions. The team can give guidance on the service offers available across Coventry and Warwickshire.
For anyone struggling with the demands of life or finding things particularly hard during the pandemic, help is always available. Coventry and Warwickshire local authorities and health services have developed a new suicide prevention website, www.dearlife.org.uk. The site provides a range of support and signposting to vital services for residents who are desperately seeking support for themselves or anyone who is worried about a loved one or someone they know.
Warwickshire County Councillor Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said: "World Mental Health day provides an opportunity to talk about this issue and its far-reaching impact. It gives us further opportunity to remind people about the work the council does in partnership with health services to offer support to anyone struggling with their mental wellbeing and urge them to seek support.
"It is important for us to have conversations with each other about how we are feeling, the challenges we face and the effect of these things on every aspect of our lives. The coronavirus pandemic has made things particularly difficult for people who may be feeling lonely and confused, facing hardship or addressing concerns about their general health. It is important that people know they are not alone and that services are here to help.
"We have developed a online resource to help people who are finding it hard to cope. I strongly recommend anyone with concerns for themselves or someone they know to visit dearlife.org.uk, to help them find the right services to address complicated and negative thoughts and feelings. Life is dear, hold on to it."
Coventry City Councillor Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for Public Health and Sport, said: “This World Mental Health Day we and our partners are continuing to focus on working to reduce the rates of suicide in Coventry and poor mental health. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been so incredibly challenging for many of us. The new Dear Life website is a fantastic way to help everyone in our city to feel they have somewhere to go for advice at a time they or someone close to them is struggling.
“Therefore, it is important when addressing this and the surrounding stigma around mental health that we make sure people’s stories are heard, and that everyone in our city feels they have someone to talk to and knows there is help available.”
Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG added: “COVID-19 has impacted us all and we have had to adjust to the ‘new’ way of life. Connections and having a conversation remain vital and are more important now than ever before.
“There may be a need for physical distancing still, but this should not impact our connections. Pick up the phone, send a text or check in on your neighbour but remember to keep social distancing in mind.”
The following local and national mental health support and helplines are available:
- NHS Mental Health Crisis service: 0300 200 0011, free 24/7 service
- Rise (for children and young people) call 02476 641 799 (Hours of operation: 8am-8pm) 0300 200 0011(8pm – 8am)
- Dimensions Tool offers immediate tailored self-help support and signposting to local services.
- Mental Health Matters Coventry and Warwickshire call 0800 616 171, free 24/7 and confidential
- Chat Health is a free service that enables 11 – 18 year olds across Coventry and Warwickshire to send confidential SMS text messages to School Nurses who will provide impartial advice and support.
For Warwickshire, text 07507 331 525
For Coventry, text 07507 331 949
If you believe or are concerned someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 999.