Here's to your good mental health
Mental health is in the news at the moment. In some ways, that's a very positive thing, because it means the stigma is fading, and people, including celebrities, are sharing their experiences.
Unfortunately another reason mental health is getting noticed, is that so many people are having problems, often as a result of worries about money, housing and the future both for themselves and their families. National health facilities are stretched to the limit, and people are often simply labelled as depressed because doctors don't have time to dig deeper.
This page look as different aspects of mental health and offers some advice and alternative contacts. A mass of advice is available online, but clients may not have easy access to computers or browsing skills, so they may need some help or guidance. In some cases, they may need pages printed out for them.
Time to Talk Day February 5
Time to Change is England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. It has named Thursday 5 February 2015 Time to Talk Day, and is asking the nation to take five minutes to have a conversation about mental health. See more on the website or on Twitter @timetotalk
Manifesto for Better Mental Health
This document has been written together by Rethink Mental Illness, Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Network, Mind and the Royal College of Psychiatrists. It sets out five key actions these organisations are calling on all political parties to commit to if they are elected in 2015. Read more about the campaign, or download a pledge card to send to your MP here
Tool to assess money worries
The Money Advice Service has provided a tool on the Quids In! magazine website which helps people assess how money worries are affecting them, and gives practical information about how to get their finances under control. Click here to try the test, then suggest clients give it a try.
Mental Health and Debt Guide
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has produced a free Mental Health and Debt Guide. This 44-page PDF booklet supported by Mind, Rethink, CAPUK and others, offers help for people with mental health problems and those caring for them. It covers how to handle debts when unwell, work with banks, free debt counselling, specific tips for bipolar disorder or depression sufferers, whether to declare a condition and more. Download the booklet from the website
Kids' mental health is parents' top worry
Forty per cent of parents worry about their children’s mental health more than any other health issue, says Action for Children. Its poll of 2,000 UK parents found that mothers are particularly likely to worry about their children’s mental and emotional wellbeing; with almost half (47%) saying it was a concern, compared to a third of fathers (32%). Read more on the website.
An inquest into the death of 17-year-old Kesia Leatherbarrow, who hanged herself after being held in police cells for 36 hours, has begun and is expected to last for five weeks.
Medical reports stated Kesia had mental health issues and had undergone extensive psychiatric assessment earlier in 2013 after displaying ‘suicidal thoughts’. Her death followed the suicides of Joe Lawton and Eddie Thornber, also 17, just after they had been released from police custody. The families of all three teenagers backed a successful campaign by Just for Kids Law to change the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill and stop most 17 year olds being detained overnight in police cells. Read the Mirror story here
Schizophrenia and employment
SANE is working to support improvements in employment rates for people with severe and enduring mental illness, through the commissioning of employment support services locally. To support this initiative, the organisation is looking for people with schizophrenia or other serious mental illness to share their experiences of the support received within the NHS from health professionals and programmes such as Individual Placement and Support (IPS) and Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), as well as any barriers encountered.
If you think your clients would like to participate, and would like to be involved in raising awareness (including media activity), please e-mail Nicola at firstname.lastname@example.org. See more about the campaign here
Off the couch
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has expressed concerns about the impact of Welfare Reform changes on people with mental health problems and those with learning disabilities. Read its briefing here
Who can help?
Click on the image to download a comprehensive directory of schemes set up to help people struggling to pay their bills. Organised by region and supplier it is produced by Auriga.
Quids In! magazine's Top 10 tips to protect mental health are on the website, click here
Access Granted in Bath offers a list of helpful contacts for people suffering from a range of mental conditions. The project is based in Bath, but many of the contacts are national, and the advice is universal. Read more
NHS web pages have a wealth of information about mental health and access to services. Click here to start delving through them.
Mind, mental health charity
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. The organisation campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
Click here for more.
Anxiety UK is committed to raising the awareness and understanding of anxiety disorders and helps with research where possible. Helpline 08444 775774. Click here for more.
Mental Health Foundation
The organisation offers advice to people suffering from mental health, their families, their communities or their work. It also aims to influence policymakers and advocate for changes in services. Read more
Relate helps people having problems with their relationship, which can lead to stress and mental issues. The organisation offers support, advice and mediation. Read more
Depression Alliance brings people together to end the loneliness and isolation of depression. The organisation also campaigns to end the stigma of depression and to raise awareness of what it means to live with it. Read more here
Samaritans offer an ear 24 hours a day, in confidence, whatever the problem - callers do not need to be suicidal to be taken seriously. See their website here