Speak up this World Mental Health Day

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In conjunction with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, health bosses in Sandwell and West Birmingham are encouraging people to look after themselves and open up about any issues they may be dealing with.

Most people will confront some sort of mental health difficulty in their lifetime. The state of your mental health can be affected by factors such as drugs and alcohol, work-related stress and grief – among other things.

Dr Ian Sykes, GP and Chair at NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We need to look after our mental health just like our physical health. It’s really important that you speak to someone if you notice a change in your mental health such as feeling more stressed, unhappy or disengaged.

“Sharing how you are feeling by speaking to your GP or even a friend or family member, will help you to feel better. Activities such as meditation, exercise and breathing techniques have also been shown to enhance your mental health.”

In extreme circumstances, people will experience a mental health crisis. This often means that you no longer feel able to cope or feel in control of your situation. You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, can’t cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hear voices.

In these cases, you should contact NHS 111 for help.

Dr Sykes, added: “World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to have a chat with a friend, family member or colleague to ask them how they’re feeling. Opening up the conversation around mental health will encourage those around you to be more aware of how they’re feeling and reach out for support.”

To find out more about the help available for anyone struggling with their mental health, visit the NHS website.