World Mental Health Day
10th of October was the 24th annual World Mental Health Day. The theme of this years event was ‘Dignity in Mental Health-Psychological & Mental Health First Aid for All’. The aim of this years initiative was to enable the general public to feel more confident in combating stigma, isolation and discrimination in the sphere of mental health.
The main message that the World Federation of Mental Health wanted to get out was the need to involve communities and encourage there participation in order to remove stigma. Alongside this, the need for mental and psychological first aid was highlighted. Crisis events that involve trauma and loss occur in communities worldwide. Psychological first aid needs to complement other forms of care in crisis events that take place in different communities.
However, mental and psychological first aid isn’t just for crisis zones. Mental health issues effect many of us, and many of those we love. Around a quarter of us living in the UK will seek help for mental health issues each year. Another point made by the World Federation of Mental Health was the notion that all members of the public should have basic skills to help people with mental health issues. Many people are not we'll informed about how to recognise mental health problems and what the course of action that should follow once an issue has been recognised.
Recent NHS figures show that people of African descent are less likely to seek treatment for mental health issues. The AHPN believes that the barriers to mental health care that exist for Africans and people of African descent living in the UK indicates that there is much that needs to be done to address the problem.