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Healthwatch Leicester Briefing on Mental Health at EAVA FM

Added: Friday 3rd June 2016 04:05:11 AM

Healthwatch Leicester Briefing on Mental Health at EAVA FM

Mental Health matters to us! The second Healthwatch Leicester show on EAVAFM had focused on mental health and the importance of positive wellbeing.

Date: 31st May 2016, Venue: EAVA FM Studios, Leicester.

David Barsby from Healthwatch Leicester alongside of his guests Yasmin Surti, the Lead Commissioner for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities at Leicester City Council and Andy Murtha, a service user of local mental health services took to the airwaves to talk about the way mental health services are being provided in Leicester. The show also aimed to raise awareness of mental health among the diverse radio listeners.

Why Mental Health is important to us?

Mental Health has remained one of Healthwatch Leicester’s key priorities since the Healthwatch was introduced in 2013.

Leicester communities have a huge level of diversity, which can also provide an additional challenge when it comes to providing services for mental health. There are many cultural differences in the way mental health is accepted. Moreover, still in most communities mental health remains a subject which most people prefer not to discuss.

By working with communities and local partners, Healthwatch Leicester aims to help reduce some of the stigma around mental health by explaining that everyone has ‘mental health’, and that everyone’s mental health will fluctuate as time goes by.

Key facts about Mental Health

- 1 in 4 people will be experience a mental health problem in any given year

- 20% of people may have a mental health problem but will never seek help

- People with a mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence

- The majority of people who experience issues with mental health lead what is considered to be a normal lifestyle

- It is expected that 34,000 to 38,000 people in Leicester may have a common mental health condition with depression being the most common and more likely to affect women

- Estimated number of people with serious and enduring mental illness in Leicester is about 3,400 working age people and 400 people aged over 65 years

Influencing the Mental Health Agenda in Leicester

Healthwatch Leicester aims to build better access to all services and create wider and more holistic approaches in care and treatment journeys for patients. That is why Leicester had provided oversight for the recent Mental Health Summit as a way of supporting this approach. The Summit brought all relevant people and organisations together to share and discuss plans for local services, with people who have ‘lived experience’ of accessing local mental health services.

Healthwatch Leicester has also been involved in other successful events aiming to raise the awareness of mental health to the wider public. The events hoped to demonstrate the link between mood and wellbeing and how beneficial it can be by simply asking someone if they are feeling ok. Together, Healthwatch Leicester has worked with other local organisations that offer support for people experiencing poor mental health. Those public hosted events badged as ‘RU OK’ events have been held at the train station for World Mental Health Day during last October and most recently around Mental Health Week in the City Centre.

The events aimed to provide people with information and guidance available to them, and also an opportunity to speak with trained counsellors should someone need support immediately to which a number of people took advantage of.

Recognising the symptoms

Everyone can feel sad, lost or confused from time to time but it is important to recognise when you may need help. There are in general two types of services. The first one is provided by local NHS organisations, such a GP or the hospital trust, focusing on medical aspects of the treatment and usually requires a referral from a professional. The second type of services are delivered by local voluntary or community groups, which generally offer open access and more holistic approach in mental health recovery. Those might include self -help groups, peer support and information and advice for people experiencing mental health distress.

Where to get support?

In Leicester, there are many services available to you. They follow something known as ‘The Stepped Model of Care’. The model is a way of supporting people with the most effective and least costly method first, and only stepping up to more intensive or clinical services when required.’ Having the right service at the right time delivered by the right person’. Your local GP will be the first point of contact if you feel that you are struggling to cope and would like to talk to someone.

Leicestershire’s Mental Health Crisis Service is provided by The Richmond Fellowship in partnership with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which supports individuals in crisis and offers support and helpline for those in emotional distress. You can contact the Helpline on:

Freephone tariff number: 0808 8003302 (open 2pm-9am, Mon-Fri, and 24hrs at weekends). All calls to the helpline are completely confidential and won’t appear on itemised bills.

Alternatively you can contact the helpline by emailing: leicestershire.helpline@richmondfellowship.org.uk.

Healthwatch Leicester can also help people to find out about, access and navigate health and social care services through our Helpline. We encourage people to get in touch with us:

Helpline: 0116 251 8313
Email: information@healthwatchleicester.co.uk
Web: www.healthwatchleicester.co.uk

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