To raise awareness of Mental Health Awareness Week we’re putting on a series of blogs exploring the subject. Here’s the first of those:
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a campaign hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and signalled by the wearing of a green ribbon. Their research has shown that two-thirds of us experience a mental health issue in our lifetime so it is important to bring mental health out into the open; too many people have suffered in silence over the years.
The focus of Mental Health Awareness Week this year is stress, which has a major role in triggering mental health problems but mental ill-health can strike anyone at any time. It can be hard to know where to turn for help but there are a number of local services – delivered by both the NHS and charities – offering both crisis and long term support in our area.
Taking the first step
If you suspect you might be suffering from mental ill-health, your first stop should be to your GP who will be able to offer treatments and refer you to other services under the umbrella of Bristol Mental Health. These might include Wellbeing Therapy Services talking therapies or more intensive treatment delivered by the Assessment & Recovery Service.
Help in a crisis
If you or someone you know is in mental health crisis, there are a number of places you can turn to. Bristol Mental Health has a crisis service which is available 24/7 but you can also ring Bristol Samaritans on 0117 983 1000 or 116 123 or drop into them at 37 St Nicholas Street BS1 1TP (7am to 9pm).
Bristol Mind has a number of different helplines that offers the opportunity to just open up and talk to someone about the issues you are facing. One in five new mums experience mental health issues so the Bristol Mindline & Mothers for Mothers helpline is invaluable. Bristol Mind can also support those struggling with Trans+ issues with a helpline answered by specially trained volunteers.
If you’d like to take steps to improve your own mental health, Second Step’s Wellbeing College offers courses and workshops covering a number of different subject such as coping with anxiety, building confidence or managing depression. They also offer wellbeing activities such as art, walking or simply the chance to chat with others at the Wellbeing Café.
Mental ill-health can strike at any time but it is important to remember that there are a range of support options available in Bristol and to never be afraid to take that first step and talk to someone about how you feel.