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Mental health awareness week-what we can all do.

This week is Mental health awareness week. This year it’s worsened by the lockdown.

As this week ends let me give you some resources and some basics that the general public need to know.

I speak as a former doctor. There is still a terrible stigma against mental illness. At some stage of our lives one in four of us will have a mental illness. What I say here applies doubly to our children.

Here is a video from UK MP Jess Phillips coming out admitting she has had mental health problems in the past. (1)

Now I don’t always agree with London mayor Sadiq Khan but on this occasion by saying what he has here on mental health issues he’s done a great public service. (2) (3)

Many people have committed suicide because the mental illness became very severe. In near enough all cases had the patient gone and seen their family doctor (GP) sooner the patient could have been saved. When I was a medical student and junior doctor I lost a few friends who were professional colleagues who had mental health problems, they did a damn good job of hiding it! Yet we only ever found out when we saw the suicide note or seen them in the mortuary about to undergo an autopsy.

Imagine how I felt when I went to attend an autopsy and when they uncovered the body to find it’s one of my friends!

In such cases, these medical staff did a really good job of it! I each case the suicide note said that they were too afraid to seek help. So negative comments are far from helpful.

So what can we do about it?

Firstly a lot of people don’t know what to look out for so please check this out this video called 10 Mental Illness Signs You Should Not Ignore. (4.)

Now that you know what to look out check out when you should seek help (5.)

The kind of person who is at the highest risk is as follows.

  • Male.
  • Middle aged.
  • Lives alone.
  • No partner.
  • Recently separated or divorced.
  • Severe financial difficulties.
  • History of drug or alcohol misuse
Suffers from one or more of the following mental illnesses.
  • Psychoactive substance abuse.
  • Schizophrenia.
  • Affective disorders.
  • Certain neuroses such as post traumatic stress disorder.
  • Certain personality disorders.

The sooner you seek help the better.

The Samaritan are always there to help (6.)

However I would implore you that if you think you are at risk please seek advice from your family doctor. I promise you that you will get tip-top, first class treatment in the strictest confidence. No matter what anyone thinks there are people who would miss you if you died.

Resources

(1) A Cry for Help Warning signs of suicide you shouldn’t ignore. http://jamesbondhealthandfitness.fitpromag.com/11/1/2017/Article/Health4/

Bibliography

(1) Labour MP Jess Phillips reveals she battled anorexia and drug misuse in her 20s and admits she has ‘irrational anxiety’ that makes her ‘assume her children are dead’ if they’re late home https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-8311447/Jess-Philips-opens-anxiety-past-anorexia-drug-misuse.html

(2) Naz Shah thanks Sadiq Khan for openness during TV interview https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/18471464.naz-shah-thanks-sadiq-khan-openness-tv-interview

(3) https://twitter.com/SadiqKhan/status/1264173610962477058

(4) 10 Mental Illness Signs You Should Not Ignore https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B-wTp2PZH8

(5) How do you know when to seek help for depression and mental illness? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwwih-vPs_g

(6) Every hour, every day – Samaritans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUvlPy3mR_c

In call cases the date was checkedon 24th May 2020.

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