Labour and Lib Dem councillors are encouraging residents across the city to seek help and support this Mental Health Awareness Week.
This week (15-21 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual event by The Mental Health Foundation which aims to get people talking about their mental wellbeing.
This year’s theme is anxiety. Most people feel anxious at some point in their lives, but sometimes it can get out of control and become a mental health problem.
According to The Mental Health Foundation, anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health problems people face, as figures show up to 1 in 20 people in the UK have generalised anxiety disorder.
Councillor Emily Darlington, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing, and Healthy Communities, said:
“Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety from time to time but living with an anxiety disorder can be difficult as it starts to interfere with people’s daily lives. That’s why it’s so important to make residents aware of support available to them. The City Council is committed to improving access to mental health services and that’s why we’ve investing millions of pounds in mental health support for adults and children.”
Last month the City Council also announced young people’s mental health organisations will receive an extra £75,000 this year to ensure young people can access free drop-in sessions for their mental health without referral or appointment.
This comes as the cost-of-living crisis is wreaking havoc on peoples’ mental health. A recent poll conducted by The Mental Health Foundation found that the most reported cause of anxiety was being able to pay bills, and those aged 35-64 years old were most anxious about finances.
Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Inequalities, added:
“People can often feel anxious during times of uncertainty and with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, money worries are at the front of people’s minds. We have some fantastic charities and local projects in Milton Keynes that can provide people with the valuable support they need, so we want to take this opportunity to reassure residents that support is available, and nobody should suffer in silence.”
Last year the City Council invested £110,000 in local projects to tackle mental health inequalities across the city.
If you want to seek advice and support for your mental health, there are several local charities and organisations who can help:
· Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust offer mental health services across Milton Keynes for people of all ages
· Bedford, Luton & Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group directory has information on mental health services and resources in Milton Keynes
· Milton Keynes Talking Therapies Service (IAPT) are effective and confidential treatments delivered by fully trained and accredited NHS practitioners. They can help with common mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression.
· Citizens Advice or Step Change provide support for money worries – a common cause of anxiety is money. If you’re worried about not being able to pay bills, struggling to repay debt or aren’t sure if you can cover your living costs, seek help.
To find out about mental health services available in Milton Keynes you can access this using the dedicated mental health and wellbeing page on the City Council’s website.
If you, or someone you know needs crisis support you can also:
Call Samaritans on 116 123 or email email@example.com
Call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87
Call NHS24 on 111