Lambeth GPs shine spotlight on mental health
Around one in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in their lifetime, and yet the condition is still something that many people don’t understand or want to talk about.
That’s why GPs in Lambeth are supporting Mental Health Awareness Day on 10 October and encouraging local residents to find out more to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions.
“Many people misunderstand mental health,” explains Dr Adrian McLachlan, local GP and Chair of NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
“Mental health covers a whole range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), phobias, eating disorders and dementia. It also includes the more severe conditions of bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia.
“Fear of stigma or discrimination means that many people with mental health problems are afraid to talk about their condition, which in turn can make them feel very isolated and alone. The theme of Mental Health Awareness Day this year is dignity – both in terms of access to treatment for people with mental health problems and acceptance in wider society.”
Research shows that Londoners generally fare worse than the rest of the UK when it comes to general wellbeing, experiencing higher levels of anxiety, lower happiness and life satisfaction and lower worthwhileness. It’s estimated that almost one million people of working age (16-64 years) within the capital suffer from a common mental disorder, such as anxiety, depression or OCD. In Lambeth the number of people estimated to have a mental health condition is between 40,000 and 50,000.
People in Lambeth with common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression can refer themselves to Lambeth Integrated Talking Therapies – see their website for details.
Anyone concerned about their mental health or that of a friend, neighbour or loved one, can contact their GP or the Living Well Network for information about services. The network is the door to community-based support and works alongside GPs to ensure people in Lambeth can gain access to personalised support.
Lambeth Living Well Network holds open days each month at the Living Well Partnership, 65 Effra Road, Brixton SW2 1BZ. The next open day is 29 October from 11am to 12.30pm.