This year’s World Mental Health Day (October 10) is themed around dignity in mental health.
And a recent event organised by Notts County Council explored this theme.
Health and social care professionals from across Notts looked at what could be done to ensure people with mental health problems can live with dignity.
The conference raised awareness of how thousands of people are living with discrimination and marginalisation as a result of their mental health condition.
Mental health problems in Notts are increasing. Approximately 80,000 adults experience depression or anxiety and 5,000 have a serious mental illness.
I believe we need to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health and this can be done to some extent by the provision of good policy, awareness campaigns and training for professionals.
I have long championed mental health issues and I want to encourage people to speak openly about their condition.
For far too long mental health issues have been treated as the Cinderella service and this must change.
The Notts Health and Wellbeing Board is working with our health partners to ensure people who are experiencing a mental health crisis receive timely access to support and interventions in the community.
The council is also working with community organisations to set up health and wellbeing hubs to offer social space and therapeutic activities for people with mental health difficulties.
This is supporting an ongoing mental health project where we work with people across the county to encourage their creative passions in workshops and group sessions.
Above all low confidence, self-stigma, low self-esteem, withdrawal and social isolation are all by products of mental health issues not being treated effectively; better training and awareness will hopefully help us tackle the issues faster.