08 May 2017

The Chief Executive of one of London’s most diverse NHS mental health trusts has launched a week long self-care campaign to mark Mental Health Awareness Week by saying “it’s ok to talk about mental health and say I need help”.

West London Mental Health NHS Trust will run a social media campaign on Twitter (@WLMHT) throughout the week that includes self-care messages, as well as information about getting support and the services available. In addition, the trust will highlight the beneficial role gardening plays in patients’ recovery through showcasing the allotment club in our Thames Lodge medium secure unit.

The trust is also working with the Wellbeing Network in Hounslow to launch the Human Library project, a series of events based on the tradition of borrowing a book from a library, but instead involves ‘borrowing’ a human. Your borrowed human becomes a human book and will tell you their story for 15 minutes, followed by a discussion. The idea is to connect and communicate within the community and in doing so, challenge stereotypes. For more information, click here http://www.wellbeing-network.org/

Finally, later this week, staff from the trust will gather to support the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, the Green Ribbon Campaign and together #EndTheStigma.

Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, said:

“Here at West London Mental Health Trust, of course, every week is important for the mental health and wellbeing of our patients and the communities we serve.

“But this coming week brings a special public focus during national Mental Health Awareness Week 8-14 May.

“Our clinical teams, nurses and allied health professionals, like occupational therapists, help people week in week out across the spectrum of mental health and physical wellbeing. We are dedicated to removing the stigma associated with mental illness and welcome the many positive changes that have happened recently to put the spotlight on mental health and encourage people to talk about it openly.

“Our services at the Trust range from helping mums before and after birth so that they stay well and know where to come for help, to encouraging young children and adolescents to increase confidence, positive body image and health eating, and give them practical help with topics like exam stress.

“We run medium, low and high secure units, including Broadmoor Hospital, providing expert support to patients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide physical health services in Ealing under the banner of ‘One you Ealing’.

“So during Mental Health Awareness Week, I hope we can get across the message about how diverse our services are and how we help tens of thousands of people in the three boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hounslow.

“Our activities for Mental Health Awareness Week will include joining in the City of London Mayor’s ‘green ribbon’ campaign to show public support for mental health and the really great initiative in Hounslow Library to borrow a ‘human book’ where a person is loaned out to a library-goer to tell their human story.  It’s a great way to demonstrate the value of talking therapies and that it’s ‘OK to say’.

“We’ll be releasing a series of videos showing our professionals, service users and carers at work, whether it be demonstrating the therapeutic value of gardening for wellbeing or filming from the human book initiative.

“Every week matters for mental health – but raising awareness during next week will give even greater emphasis to the vital work our staff and partners do every day. It’s ok to talk about mental health and say ‘I need help’.”

The Single Point of Access (SPA), also known as the 24/7 Helpline, is a telephone- based service which manages all adult mental health referrals as well as providing telephone support to patients, as well as their families or carers.

If you feel unsafe and in crisis, at risk or unable to cope without professional advice, trained mental health advisors and clinicians at the Single Point of Access will work with people to enable them to manage their difficulties without having to access other services. It can be accessed on 0300 1234 244.


WLMHT contact details:

For further information, please contact West London Mental Health NHS Trust’s communications team on communications@wlmht.nhs.uk or 02084832283.

Follow us on Twitter @WLMHT