Southwark doctors have urged people to take time to talk to their friends and loved ones on World Mental Health Day today.
This year’s theme is suicide prevention – and local GPs want you to know that help and support can be found in the borough.
Across the world, a life is lost to suicide every forty seconds, often the culmination of a long struggle with mental health problems.
Dr Nancy Kucheman, the lead for Mental Health at Southwark’s Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is often unclear, even to close friends and family, when someone may be experiencing mental health issues.
“Letting people close to you know that they are not alone, and that you are there for them, can often mean the world to someone who is struggling.”
Although around one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, stigma and concerns about how others might react mean some try and keep their feelings hidden.
World Mental Health Day, held on October 10 every year, aims to battle the stigma around mental health conditions by encouraging people to talk – and to reduce the stigma that some suffering may feel.
“Not all mental health issues lead to suicidal thoughts, and it is important to dispel any notion that problems aren’t serious until they manifest themselves in this way,” added Dr Kucheman.
“Help and support is available and the NHS website has advice on free helplines you can call and tips for coping right now.”
More information about mental health support in Southwark can be found here.
Information and resources can be found on the Mind website here.
The confidential listening service Samaritans can be contacted free at any time whatever you are going through on 116 123.