World Mental Health day is on the 10th October, and, though mental health problems can affect anyone, any day of the year, this is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.
This years theme, chosen by the World Federation for Mental Health, is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. Covid has exacerbated inequalities between people of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender. The mental health of the nation has suffered greatly this year, and research shows that people with mental health problems experience a lower quality of care.
Though we have made huge advances in talking and opening up about mental health, there is still a lot of work to be done. Stigma still exists. People with mental ill health are not only likely to have poorer physical health; their educational opportunities, job prospects, and relationships with their friends and families are also affected by stigma around their condition.
We need to work together to change this.
When was the last time you asked someone how they really are? A common response is “I’m fine” or “I’m good” but ask them again. Say “how are you really?”. It may seem like a small thing, but it can make a huge difference to people suffering with their mental health or wellbeing and may even save lives.
If you, or someone you live with or care for, has a mental health condition we’d like to hear from you. We collect feedback from people using health and social care services and make sure that NHS leaders and other decision makers hear your voice to improve care.
Need help now? Asking for help is one of the bravest things you can do! Once you get help, it will get easier. Life will get better. You don’t have to wait to speak to a GP if you need mental health support. You can self-refer to talking therapies online, such as NHS talking therapies, or, for help or more information, contact charities such as Mind, Samaritans, or Young Minds.
If you do speak to a GP, check out our article on what to expect after being referred for mental health support.
Did you know there is a network across Kent to ensure the voice of people who use mental health services is heard?
It's called the Mental Health User Voice Network. Wherever you live in Kent (or Medway), there is a local group near you who can listen to you and ensure your voice is heard by the people who make decisions about mental health services.
Check them out here