How you can look after your well being for World Mental Health Day

It's World Mental Health Day this Wednesday, and this year's focus is on the problems faced by young people.

Friday, 5th October 2018, 2:26 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th October 2018, 9:09 am
Anyone can suffer from mental health problems - but help is available.

Good mental health is essential for good physical health and well being, as well as strong relationships.

Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time - they don’t discriminate between young and old.

Around 850,000 children and young people aged five to 16 are battling a mental health problem, and well over 500,000 people in England are suffering from dementia.

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So what are the options if you, or a member of your family, has a mental health problem?

Many mental health and counselling services are available via the NHS, but you may need a referral from your GP to access them.

A few services - including those for drug or alcohol-related problems and some psychological therapy services - allow people to refer themselves.

If you’ve been feeling low for more than a few weeks, or anxiety or stress is affecting your daily life – perhaps stopping you going to work or socialising – you should make an appointment to see your GP.

After an initial assessment, your GP may offer advice and/or treatment and, if necessary, make a referral to either a therapy or specialist mental health service.

If your mental health difficulty is work-related, you could ask your employer what occupational health services are available to you.

If you are at college or university, mental health care may be available to you via student support services.

Children and young people may need help with a range of issues at different points in their lives, and parents may also need advice on how to deal with emotional or behavioural problems.

The NHS provides specialist services that work with children, young people and their parents and carers.

CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) teams are arranged regionally across the UK, and usually have their own website with details about access and referrals, as well as contact details.

By Dr. Alexandra Phelan

Dr Phelan is a GP with the NHS and Pharmacy2U, an online service which provides free, fast and convenient delivery of NHS repeat prescriptions.