Local NHS support World Mental Health Day

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Mental health and wellbeing is receiving more attention than ever before in the media and from politicians. That is why NHS Southend and NHS Castle Point and Rochford are supporting World Mental Health Day today. This follows the recent launch of Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ campaign promoted across the NHS. The theme of World Mental Health Day this year is suicide prevention.

Conversations about mental health and wellbeing are in the media and political spotlight more than ever. This is in no small part thanks to the work of mental health charities such as Mind and Rethink and their successful Time to Change campaign, encouraging people to talk about their mental health with the aim of eliminating the stigma associated with having a mental health problem.

These conversations are working – recent data suggests that public attitudes are changing towards mental health with a significant shift within the last decade.

Within the county of Essex there is one death by suicide nearly every two days. Globally over 800,000 people die every year through suicide, representing one person every 40 seconds. For every one suicide, 25 people make a suicide attempt.

A number of factors have been shown to increase the risk of suicide including previous suicide attempt or previous self-harm, unemployment, physical health problems, living alone, alcohol or drug dependence, and mental ill health. Those who have been bereaved by suicide may also be at higher risk of suicide.

Suicide is a significant cause of death in young adults and is a major issue for society and a leading cause of years of life lost. Suicide is often the end point of a complex history of risk factors and distressing events, but there are many ways in which services, communities, individuals and society as a whole can help to prevent suicides.

Patterns of suicide in Essex are similar to national trends:

  • Men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women
  • Suicide rates are highest amongst men aged 45 to 49 years
  • Local data suggests that men aged 20 to 29 also have a higher prevalence of suicide
  • People among the most deprived 10% of society are more than twice as likely to die from suicide than the least deprived 10% of society

Tricia D’Orsi, Chief Nurse for NHS Southend and NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG said:

“Suicide prevention is all about recognising that we all have a part to play in people’s health and wellbeing. Preventing suicide is not just a health or mental health issue, but something that requires a whole community approach and promoting the message that it is safe to talk about suicide, because saying something is safer than saying nothing. Our aim locally is that people in need of emergency mental health support will know exactly what they can do to get support.”

Through the NHS Long Term Plan the NHS has also set out how it is driving towards an equal response to mental and physical health with the two being treated together.

The Link Programme led by Anna Freud Centre and funded by the Department for Education will further strengthen local provision by working with all local schools and mental health services so that children and young people can get the help they need, when they need it.

The NHS Long Term Plan will build on the achievements of the £1.4bn transformation programme to improve NHS mental health care for children and young people. The NHS is on track to provide mental health support for 70,000 more children and young people by 2021 and aims to ensure that by 2023/24 at least a further 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 can access support, including via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams. Over the coming decade the goal is to ensure that 100% of children and young people who need specialist care can access it.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services are already helping many people but the aim is for even more to benefit. This includes exploring ways to improve access and support in safe and high quality care for pregnant women, new mums and for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis.

People with serious mental illnesses experience a 15-20 year shortfall in life expectancy. To ensure people with a mental illness are as healthy as possible, the NHS is looking at how to provide good health promotion and long term disease care such as promoting Learning Disability Health Checks.

The 24/7 Mental Health Emergency Response Service will be launched in April 2020 to make sure that those in crisis can get the support they need at any time of the day. By phoning NHS 111, they will know that they will speak with trained call handlers that will be able to direct them to the service best able to help them, quickly and seamlessly.

Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services can be accessed by anybody aged up to 18, living in the Southend, Rochford or Castle Point areas, and is free at the point of entry.

The service is also for young people with special educational needs (SEN) up to the age of 25. Any young person experiencing emotional wellbeing or mental health problems, or any parent, guardian, professional or teacher of a child who is experiencing emotional wellbeing and mental health difficulties, may access the service.

Call 0300 300 1600 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Adults should in the first instance contact their GP, call 0300 123 0808 for Crisis Support help or Samaritans free on 116 123 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org