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​Giving our support to World Mental Health Day

We're raising awareness of World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October – and pledging our support to help people in Lewisham who struggle with poor mental health.

World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health, and this year's day is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health.

The theme for 2019 is the prevention of suicide – a subject that's been in the news recently, because Office for National Statistics data has revealed that the suicide rate in the UK has risen for the first time since 2013.

Dr Charles Gostling, Senior Clinical Director for Lewisham CCG, said: "The rise in suicide rates is worrying, and something we have to challenge. That's why mental health is one of our clinical priorities.

"In September we raised awareness of World Suicide Prevention Day, and this month we're also running (jointly with Lewisham council) a mental health stakeholder event.

"By encouraging people to talk about mental health, we're helping to tackle prejudice and letting the people of Lewisham know that support is available."

Nationally, those in their late 40s remain the age group with the highest suicide rate, but there has been an increase in suicide for young men aged 20-24. There were also increases in young girls and women aged 10 to 24.

Dr Gostling added: "We've all got a part to play in suicide prevention, and we're working together with our partner organisations to make sure that those who need support, will get support."

People in Lewisham can access now access the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) mental health support line via option 3 of Lewisham council's Single Point of Access (SPA) on one number – 020 8314 7777.

They are also reminded they can Freephone 0800 731 2864, which is the 24-hour Mental Health Helpline for anyone living in Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Croydon experiencing mental distress. It is for current patients and for those who have never used SLaM services before.

Copies of the Lewisham crisis leaflet and other resources for patients can be printed from the SLaM crisis page.

Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day, every day on the free number, 116 123.

For young people aged under 19, Childline can be contacted for free on 0800 1111 – the number won't show up on your phone bill.

You can find out more about World Mental Health Day on the Time to Change website.  You can also discover more information on World Mental Health Day and how you can support it on the World Federation for Mental Health website.