ONE in six of adults experience ill mental health. Anxiety and Depression are common conditions which can affect all age groups, over the years there have been efforts to improve the nations mental health and reduce the stigma attached to it.
Southampton has been focusing on mental health over the years, a suicide prevention initiative was introduced in 2016, but has it been successful in improving Southampton’s mental well-being.
The initiative stems from 2012, when the coalition government published a national strategy, which Southampton Council adapted to fit its residents. The initiative identified that tailoring approaches to specific groups, and reducing access to the means of suicide as two out of six key areas that need improvement, with others focusing on access to information and research support.
One way Southampton provided support was by setting up a prevention group, which supports public mental health strategy ‘Be well’. This strategy is run by the NHS and encourages you to seek help if needed, in the leaflet they run though their ten pledges which include lessening the stigma and discrimination that those who suffer with mental health issues are subjected to.
No Limits, a mental health charity, spoke on how they help Southamptoners and where they think needs more improvement: “We still receive a large amount of people who are suffering with their mental health, however, this number has decreased since the initiative has been released”.
It seems the initiative has had some success, but there is still a demographic that needs attention, No Limits said: “Although there has been some success, over half of the individuals we see are middle aged men”. When asked how this could be improved No Limits said they believed more research needs to be done to understand the cause for this high number.
Other groups that are classed as ‘highly vulnerable’ are people that receive care for mental health, those who have a history of suffering with mental disorders, and specific occupational groups such as doctors.
The initiative has enjoyed success so far, the journey to combatting mental health is a long one, which will continue to improve if appropriate help is given.
If you or anyone you know may be experiencing troubles with mental health don’t hesitate to ask for help.
by Abbie Gilboy