In conversation with Moshe Freedman and Barbara Hume.

This week marks Mental Health awareness week. Over 16 million people in the UK suffer from mental ill health with suicide the largest killer in young people. That’s why awareness of mental ill health and how it can affect people is so important.

We all suffer from ups and downs from time to time. Yet while most of us are able to recover over time, for some people the effects of their mental ill health are debilitating and severely impact the quality of their life. Raising awareness of these issues helps to erode the stigma often attached to mental ill health which can hold some people back from getting the help they need. But how can we help ourselves and others?

Many work places now have Mental Health First Aiders who can provide initial care. Managers can also contact the chaplaincy for help and advice, while employees can self-refer to us for a confidential, independent face-to-face meeting. The chaplaincy team have extensive experience of meeting people from all walks of life who may be suffering challenges to their mental health.

Many people do not require medical or psychotherapeutic intervention, but just need someone to talk to about their problems – a safe place to chat. That’s where we can help. Those of us who experience mental ill health need not permanently suffer in silence. With the right support many can experience a permanent, transformational improvement in their quality of life and wellbeing. It’s about giving yourself the headspace you need and helping others find theirs.