As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May), the NHS in Northumberland is highlighting the importance of reaching out and getting help when needed.
NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which looks after the planning and buying of NHS services in Northumberland, is concerned that people may be apprehensive about seeking advice for mental health problems, for many reasons, such as being unsure how to access services or even feeling too embarrassed to come forward. Yet, one-in-four adults and one-in-ten children experience mental illness during their lifetime, and many more of us know and care for people who do.
Dr Kathy Petersen, GP Lead for Learning Disability and Mental Health for the CCG, said: “A lot of us will be feeling extra pressure brought on by COVID-19, which is totally understandable, and this can have a huge impact on our mental health. Pressures of family life mixed with worries about work and contracting the virus itself can all play a part in effecting our emotional wellbeing.
“There’s still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health and that really needs to stop. Everyone has mental and emotional health, just as they have physical health, and there shouldn’t be any shame in coming forward. No one should put off seeking help when they need it.”
The CCG has been working closely with service users, carers, other national NHS bodies and key partners such as social care and the voluntary sector. It is urging the public to get help if needed and is advising that services are open for business for a range of conditions, including support with mental health problems, learning disabilities, autism and dementia.
Dr Petersen continued: “We want people to know that they can get help and they can do so safely. A lot of services have a self-referral option and patients can speak in confidence to trained professionals, online or over-the-phone, for a range of different issues. The NHS continues be here for you through throughout this uncertain and ever-changing period.”
If you need urgent help right now, you can use the NHS 111 online service or call 111. If you are concerned about the mental health of your child, please contact your GP or check online self-referral options for under 18 year olds at www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/.
The following services are available offering a range of support if and when you need it.
Support for children and young people.
- British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)
Pregnancy termination and counselling.
Mental Health and Wellbeing services.
- Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW)
crisis, inpatient, specialised mental health services.
Telephone counselling services and rapid response.
- Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Children and young people’s Primary Mental Health Workers.
- Talking Matters Northumberland
Keeping People Connected.
- Grace Rape Crisis
Counselling service for victims of sexual abuse.
Domestic Violence advice, 24 hour, 7 days a week.
- If U Care Share
Support for those affected by suicide.