Alex Tambourides: Everybody has mental health – let’s look after it

alextA guest post from Alex Tambourides, the Chief Executive Officer of Hammersmith and Fulham Mind

There are in excess of 182,000 people living in Hammersmith and Fulham, and every single one of them has mental health. 100% of the population have mental health. Your mental health is like your physical health, it fluctuates and is a non-negotiable component of what you might come to see as your wellbeing.

A quarter of people will be experiencing a mental health issue at any one time. (Those of you that are mathematical geniuses will have worked out that that means 45,500 people in Hammersmith and Fulham).

Despite the huge numbers of people that are affected by mental health problems, and the fact that everyone has something that is mental health it still seems to be an issue that isn’t consciously part of our everyday lives. This needs to change. Your mental health can be thought of as your ability to experience and process your existence, so is there anything more important? The other thing that’s important to highlight here is that your mental health is like your physical health and can fluctuate – it’s a spectrum.

For the 25% of people that experience a mental health problem in any one year, what has happened is that their mental health has deteriorated to the degree that they need to get support, and usually the first port of call for this is their GP.

The vast majority of people that have mental health problems will experience depression or anxiety related issues, but a small amount of people will experience things like schizophrenia. No matter what the diagnosis, a mental health problem can be very debilitating but there is some good news. Just as your mental health can deteriorate across the spectrum of mental health, it can also improve.

Hammersmith and Fulham Mind is dedicated to improving the mental health of people that are experiencing problems, and also working to build resilience to prevent poor mental health from occurring. Because different people are affected by their mental health in different ways, the only way to support people with mental health problems is by providing a person centered and diverse range of services. Hammersmith and Fulham Mind has been doing this for over 25 years locally, but we are part of a national network that has existed for just as long as the NHS itself.

We engage with over 2500 people per year and support them through 17 different services that range from counselling, and advice through to wood work and advocacy! Broadly speaking our activities can be split into three different groups: 1) Health promotion 2) Recovery and 3)Empowerment. You name it, we do it. Lastly, if you want to maintain strong mental health try getting your 5 a day for mental health.

5-ways-to-wellbeingKnown as the five ways to wellbeing doing these activities once a day is known to improve your mental health:

If you have want to address your, or someone you know’s, mental health get in touch:

020 7471 0580

 

 

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