Lewisham GPs shine spotlight on mental health
Every year, around 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem, and yet the condition is still something that many people don't understand or want to talk about. That's why GPs in Lewisham 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 and see it as something to be afraid of" explains Dr Marc Rowland, local GP and Chair of NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group.
"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 high levels of anxiety, low happiness and life satisfaction and low worthwhileness. In fact, it's estimated that almost 1 million people of working age (16-64) within the capital suffer from a common mental disorder, such as anxiety, depression or OCD. In Lewisham the number of people diagnosed with a common mental health condition is 37,757.
The Mental Health Foundations is encouraging people to have a 'tea and talk' event on 10 October to raise awareness of mental health and raise vital funds to help provide support for people living with mental health disorders. More information is available at www.mentalhealth.org.uk/get-involved/as-a-fundraiser/teaandtalk.