In the midst of ongoing challenges, isolation, fears and worries that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought to homes all across the country this year, the issue of mental health is more important in our society than ever before.
World Mental Health Day takes place on Saturday 10 October 2020, with Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub keen to speak out against the stigma of mental health and let local people know that help is available for those who need it.
Introduced in 1992 by World Federation for Mental Health, World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. The theme of World Mental Health Day 2020 is ‘mental health for all – greater investment, greater access’.
Our mental health is just like our physical health – everyone has it and we need to take care of it. Mental health problems affect around one in four people in any given year. They range from common problems such as depression and anxiety, to rarer issues such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, commented:
“It’s true indeed that there is no such thing as good health without good mental health. Many people face some kind of mental health challenge at some point in their lives.
“If it’s something you are going through right now, remember that you’re not alone and that with the right support most people get well again or find a way to cope and live a normal life again.
“It doesn’t matter how successful you are or how much you seemingly have going for you in life – mental health problems can strike anyone.
“It’s not a sign of weakness or failure in any way, it’s an illness. And like any illness or injury, with the right treatment things can get better and you can become stronger again.
“Once upon a time it might have been an unusual step for someone in the public eye to speak about their mental health, but now so many well known faces have taken the step to talk about their own experience of mental ill health and encourage others that they can get better.
“Prince Harry, JK Rowling, Ed Sheeran, Leigh Griffiths, Frank Bruno, Ant McPartlin, Alastair Campbell and Ruby Wax are just some of the names you might recognise who have spoken of their own mental health problems. It really is much more common than you might think.
“The thing about mental health is that it is invisible. It doesn’t matter how perfect someone’s life might seem on the outside – how beautiful a body someone might appear to have, how good their family life might appear to be or how much they always seem to have everything together and in order – the truth is we don’t always know what is really going on in their lives.
“So remember to show compassion and be understanding to everyone you come across today. They might just be struggling with something that is hidden and need someone to talk to or be there for them.”
Cornerstone House Centre is an advocate of helping the people of Cumbernauld to improve their mental health. Indeed, the organisation is a provider of free courses such as Living Life to the Full, an award-winning programme which aims to help people experiencing low mood, depression and anxiety by using the approach of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
There are many other excellent services available which can be accessed easily and free of charge by people living in Greater Cumbernauld experiencing a mental health challenge, as highlighted below.
Support Services for People Facing Mental Health Challenges
Anxiety UK – Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition. Telephone the organisation on 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm) or visit their website at www.anxietyuk.org.uk.
Bipolar UK – A charity helping people living with manic depression or bipolar disorder. Visit their website at www.bipolaruk.org.uk.
Breathing Space – A free, confidential helpline for anyone in Scotland aged over 16 that is feeling low, anxious or depressed. The service can be accessed by phoning 0800 83 85 87 (Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 2am and Friday 6pm to Monday 6am).
Clear Your Head Scotland – A website which provides a range of tips and ideas to help people cope during the coronavirus pandemic. This can be accessed by visiting www.clearyourhead.scot.
Men’s Health Forum – This is a 24/7 stress support service for men by text, chat and email. Visit their website at www.menshealthforum.org.uk.
Mental Health Foundation – Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities. Their website is www.mentalhealth.org.uk.
No Panic – A charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Offers a course to help overcome phobias or OCD. Their telephone number is 0844 967 4848 (daily, 10am to 10pm), and website is www.nopanic.org.uk.
OCD Action – Support for people with OCD. Includes information on treatment and online resources. Their contact number is 0845 390 6232 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm), and their website is www.ocdaction.org.uk.
OCD UK – A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments. The organisation can be contacted on 03332 127890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or online at www.ocduk.org.
PAPYRUS – Young suicide prevention society. The HOPElineUK number is 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm, and 2pm to 5pm on weekends), and their website is www.papyrus-uk.org.
SANE – Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. A textcare service is available by visiting www.sane.org.uk/textcare. A peer support forum can be accessed at www.sane.org.uk/supportforum.
YoungMinds – Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services are provided for parents and professionals. The Parents helpine can be contacted on 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm), and the organisation can be visited online at www.youngminds.org.uk.
There are also a range of organisations and services available which offer support to those experiencing abuse, people dealing with domestic violence, those facing addictions, people going through bereavement, individuals who are victims of crime, people experiencing eating disorders, and those facing relationship or parenting difficulties.
Signposting to a mental health service suitable to you in the Lanarkshire area can be obtained by contacting Well-informed on 0800 073 0918 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, a range of local mental health resources can be accessed by visiting the Elament website at www.elament.org.uk.
If you or someone you know needs help, advice or simply someone to talk to as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions, please contact the Cumbernauld CHaT Service on 07940 569527 (between 9am and 9pm) or email email@example.com.
A member of the team will discuss via telephone or email the need that you have and seek to help in the most suitable, practical and compassionate way.