Mental Health Awareness Week

The impact of mental health illness cannot be underestimated. To coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week on 11- 17  May 2015,  the NHS in Waltham Forest is keen to raise awareness of mental health services that offer support for people struggling with common mental health problems such as stress, depression, obsessive behaviour or anxiety.

One of the ways of doing this is through talking therapies. Talking therapies are a useful way for people who have feelings of depression, anxiety, phobias and/or stress after a traumatic time in their life to explore difficult feelings with a trained professional. This can help people deal with specific problems, cope with a crisis, improve relationships, or develop better ways of living.

North East London Foundation NHS Trust (NELFT) run Waltham Forest’s improving access to physiological services (IAPT) – it provides talking therapies.

NELFT IAPT will be a Selbourne Walk shopping centre for Mental Health Awareness Week (from 11-17 May) to talk to local people about talking therapies and giving local people the opportunity to meet some of its staff.

Chris Bright, NELFT, service director of IAPT said, “Mild depression, phobias and obsessive behaviours can be warning signs that all may not be well emotionally or mentally.

“We shouldn’t ignore these signs or put up with them because there’s plenty of evidence showing that if left untreated, they can become more serious in the long-term.

“These general mental health conditions can be treated and with our help some people’s symptoms have completely faded away.”

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, supported by the Mental Health Foundation, is about mindfulness. That is paying attention to the present moment, without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future.

NHS Waltham Forest CCG is committed to improving access to tools that support people to improve their mental health and to achieve higher levels of mindfulness.

Dr Anwar Khan, local GP and chair of NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said, “Mental health is something that affects us all – how we think and feel about others and ourselves, how we cope with difficult situations and how we manage our lives.

“This Mental Health Awareness Week we’d like to remind the people of Waltham Forest that there is help for mental health issues available, whenever they need it. Sharing your feelings with other people, whether online or face to face, having someone to listen and having a safe space to do it can provide very real relief.”

Waltham Forest IAPT service offers different therapies for individuals and couples, who live in the borough, are over 18, have a local GP and are not already being treated elsewhere.

For more information about talking therapies please contact Waltham Forest IAPT on 0300 300 1554.  Alternatively people can email the service on walthamforest.iapt@nelft.nhs.uk  or online at www.iaptportal.co.uk/nelwalf.html