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Keeping Mental Health in Mind

October 10, 2020 11:38 AM

World Mental Health Day 2020, on 10 October, is the most important one yet. This year has been a tough one for so many. According to research by the mental health charity, Mind, conducted with over 16,000 people, more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown. Many have developed new mental health problems as a result of the pandemic and, for some of us, existing mental health problems have got worse.

The Liberal Democrats have been leading champions of effective mental health services for a long time. Sir Norman Lamb, who worked tirelessly as the Liberal Democrat health minister to bring mental health high up the government's agenda in the coalition years, is still campaigning hard. He recently became the Chair of the Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition. Sir Norman said: "I know from my time in the field that mental health is affected by so many factors. We need decision makers, statutory bodies, families and the voluntary sector all working together for our children and young people. That's why I'm so excited to be able to Chair the Coalition, working across the sector. It's never been more important to make sure that we are cooperating, collaborating and innovating to ensure all children and young people's mental health is prioritised. I can't wait to support the Coalition and further its goals in improving mental health across the country ". Fuller details can be found at https://cypmhc.org.uk/about-us/

To mark World Mental Health Day 2020, Buckinghamshire Mind is launching a free video providing top tips for starting a conversation about mental health. This video can be accessed by anyone on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BucksMind from 9am on World Mental Health Day, Saturday 10th October.

The aim is to support the inclusive message of this year's theme: 'Mental Health for All: Greater Investment - Greater Access. Everyone, everywhere.' With the situation changing on a daily basis, it's more important than ever that we all look after our mental wellbeing and help others to do the same. You can view the video on World Mental Health Day for tips and advice.

To put the impact of poor mental health in context, the World Health Organization stated in 2018 that every 40 seconds someone dies by suicide. Annually, this represents over 800 000 people that die by suicide, which is more than people dying by war and homicide put together. For every suicide, there are many more people who attempt suicide every year. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds.

In practice there are a great many ways in which we can look after our own mental wellbeing and support others in doing the same. There are great tips to be had on mental health websites, such as Bucks Mind at https://www.bucksmind.org.uk/

Whatever we each decide to do, it will make a difference, for ourselves as well as others.