Build relationships for better mental health

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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week until 22 May 2016. The theme for the week this year is “relationships”, which can be vital for people who have mental health problems.

Mental illness is something that can affect anyone. At least one in four people will experience poor mental health at some point in their lives, and one in six adults will have a common mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. Many people who experience such problems can feel isolated and alone, so relationships are very important for helping them deal with their condition – and keeping as many as people as possible healthy.

People in mid Essex have a simple way to get support for a range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, stress and panic attacks through the IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) service. They can: 

  • refer themselves online through the Mid Essex IAPT Portal
  • fill in a form on a computer and submit over the internet
  • pick up a self-referral form from their GP (or ask the GP for a referral)
  • call Mid Essex IAPT on 01376 308704 or 01376 308705.

Anyone needing immediate, urgent help can contact their GP or call the Crisis Line on 0330 726 0130.

And children and young people have a separate service dedicated to their needs, called the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS). They can talk to someone during working hours by calling 0300 300 1600.

Dr Caroline Dollery, chair of Mid Essex CCG, has a particular interest in mental health, and is clinical director of the East of England Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health. She said: “It’s important to talk about mental health, as problems can often be ‘hidden’ and people don’t always seek help when they need it. During my career as a GP, I’ve heard many times from patients how hard they are finding it to talk about their mental health. 

“If you’re worried about it, speak to a friend, a neighbour or your GP. There is help available, whenever you need it.”