As the group representing London’s NHS mental health providers, delivering over 300 different mental health services to 9 million Londoners, we are reminded every day of mental health and its importance. But weeks like Mental Health Awareness Week are an opportunity to make sure this is understood throughout society.
Many of us treat depression, stress and anxiety as part and parcel of daily life. Yet this doesn’t need to be the case. It sounds very simple, but good mental health allows us to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. To build resilience as individuals and communities; to thrive - not merely survive.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week asks why so few of us are thriving with good mental health.
Physically, as a society we're becoming healthier. The same cannot be said about our mental health: if society’s attitudes do not change to meet the reality of mental ill-health, by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of the disease burden globally.
Ensuring that mental health providers can give support, at the right time and at the right level, for those concerned about their mental health is vital. In London, our member Trusts are working hard to ensure mental health moves up our city’s agenda and that the necessary resources are provided to help our services excel.
But we, as a city and a society, can also do much more to help our mental health and pursue measures that prevent mental ill-health becoming a problem that needs a clinical intervention. No one is immune to mental health problems. We all need to recognise the difference between surviving and thriving, and look for ways that look after and improve our mental health.
For more information about Mental Health Awareness Week visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week