Help end the stigma about mental health problems

16th May 2016

This week (16-22 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, and people are being urged to bring the subject out of the shadows.

Dorset HealthCare – the NHS Trust which provides a range of mental health support services across the county – is backing the Mental Health Foundation’s campaign to tackle discrimination and promote greater understanding of the issue.

It is estimated that one in four people experience mental health problems each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, dementia, post-traumatic stress and eating disorders.

The Trust joined Help for Heroes, the Samaritans, Bournemouth University and other organisations at Bournemouth Railway Station today (Monday, 16 May) to promote some of the support available locally.

In partnership with the Dorset Mental Health Forum, the Trust also runs the Recovery Education Centre. This offers a series of practical courses at locations around Dorset designed to help people with mental health problems – and their carers – on the road to recovery.

The courses are free of charge, and jointly led by a person with lived experience together with a qualified mental health professional. Topics range from understanding depression and anxiety and fatigue management to coping in a crisis and care planning.

The summer term began last week, and runs until 22 July. To find out more information and obtain a full list of courses, visit the Recovery Education Centre page or call 01202 584478.

In addition, mental health carers can find out how to access advice, information and support at a special event in Poole next month. ‘Building Carer-friendly Communities’ will take place from 10am-3pm on Monday, 6 June, at Branksome Dene Community Room in Pinewood Road, Canford Cliffs.
Staff from Dorset HealthCare will be present, alongside representatives from the Dorset Mental Health Forum, and there will be a light buffet lunch. To book a place, contact or call 01202 443261.

And the Trust is also encouraging its own staff with experience of mental health conditions to talk openly about the impacts on their lives – and use this knowledge to help inform the care they provide to members of the public.

Phil Morgan, Dorset HealthCare’s lead for recovery and social inclusion, said: “We believe that lived experience is an essential ingredient in supporting the wellbeing of all our staff, as well as improving the experience of people who use our services.”

More information about Mental Health Awareness Week is available

You can also find out useful tips about how to look after your mental health on Twitter @DorsetHealth #MHAW16.

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