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World Mental Health Day 10 October

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day on 10 October is ‘mental health in an unequal world’ and prompts us to think about issues that cause mental health inequality both locally and globally.

The events of 2020 combined with ongoing stigma and discrimination towards those with mental health issues is a key reason for inequality with many people’s mental health negatively impacted because of their race, ethnicity and even gender identity.

Did you know that:

  • In 2020, 1 in 6 young people had a mental health problem compared to 1 in 10 in 2017
  • People in the poorest fifth of the population are twice as likely to be at risk of developing mental health problems as those on an average income
  • Black people are 4 times more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act than white people
  • 58% of people receiving benefits said their mental health was poor according to Mind in 2021
  • People with severe mental illness (SMI) are at a greater risk of poor physical health; in England people with SMI die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population

Across the globe, access to mental health services remains unequal, with between 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better where a lack of investment in mental health services creates a gap in support. 

Here in Norfolk and Waveney, commissioning teams at the CCG are working hard to transform mental health services across Norfolk and Waveney so that people have better outcomes and feel more supported with their mental health. Teams are working with organisations from the voluntary sector to develop more local based services so people can access support more easily and closer to home.

The CCG’s aim is to bring partners and providers of mental health care together to work on improving the wider determinants of ill-health (for example the impact of unemployment and poor housing), reduce inequalities and offer support earlier, reducing the risk of people reaching crisis and helping people feel empowered to look after their mental wellbeing.

In line with that idea, for this World Mental Health Day, the Better Health - Every Mind Matters campaign is focusing on “What works for me”, demonstrating how different actions can help us with our mental wellbeing, with a variety of simple tips offered by the NHS endorsed Mind Plan quiz that shows ‘there are little things we can all do to look after our mental health’.

The Every Mind Matters website has lots of information to help you look after your mental health including a dedicated section to Coronavirus and the impact it might be having on your mental wellbeing.

If you are a parent or carer, you may find the children and young people section helpful including top tips to support younger people and their mental wellbeing.

This World Mental Health Day, help end the stigma around mental health by opening up conversations and normalising the discussion of mental health and wellbeing in your life.

It has now been more than 18 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and in some countries, life is returning to some kind of normal; in others, rates of transmission and hospital admissions remain high, disrupting the lives of families and communities.

There’s no doubt that the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health wellbeing and it’s really important to know that there are many things you can do to help yourself feel better, and to know there are services and organisations out there to help too.

For more information about mental health wellbeing and support available across Norfolk and Waveney please visit the NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG website.

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