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Check on your mental wellbeing this World Mental Health Day

Sunflower in the sunAt some point in our lives, we all struggle with our mental wellbeing. Whether it is stress, depression or anxiety, many people have experienced mental-ill health.

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, there is a range of resources available across Birmingham and Solihull to get the necessary support.

Speaking to your friends, family or employer is a good place to start if you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health. Reaching out, and having an honest conversation, may help relieve some of your worries. It is important to remember that you’re not alone; one in six people experience mental illness in England each week.

If you’re nervous about having this conversation with the people you see in everyday life, then using an online tool to identify how you’re feeling may be more suitable. Public Health England’s ‘Every Mind Matters’ provides practical tips, expert advice and creates a plan to help you deal with your emotions in a healthy way. If necessary, the tool may advise you to speak to your GP to seek further help.

Some people may benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which can help you find new ways to behave by changing thought patterns. In Birmingham, you can self-refer to some services, including Birmingham Health Minds and Living Well Consortium. In Solihull, self-referral is available to Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust. These services are free, and may suit you as an alternative to medication, or additional support alongside it.

Tom Howell, Head of Joint Commissioning for Mental Health at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, said: “As an organisation, we are committed to improving the mental wellbeing of people across Birmingham and Solihull, as well as our colleagues within the CCG.

“Within our organisation, we now have 13 members of staff who are trained mental health first aiders, to identify when colleagues are in need of help, and are able to offer support.”

Angela Brady, GP and Clinical Director for Joint Commissioning including Mental Health for NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, added: “I am aware how diverse an area it is, with people of different backgrounds and different needs. In order to help our patients, there is also a need for our partners across education, employment, health and social care and also members of local communities to continue working closely together.

“I truly believe that caring for our mental health should be top of everyone’s to-do list. Everyone in Birmingham and Solihull deserves to have positive mental wellbeing.”

If you want to talk to someone right away, the Samaritans helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for people who want to talk in confidence. Call 116 123 for free.

If you have had thoughts of self-harming or are feeling suicidal, contact someone you can trust immediately, such as a GP or a friend or relative.

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