I wanted to focus my message this week on mental health as this Wednesday (10th October) was World Mental Health Day. A chance for all of us to show support for better mental health and this year’s focus is on young people and mental health, as half of all mental health illnesses begins by the age of 14.
We can all be touched by mental health issues in one way or another and one in four of us will be experiencing a mental health problem at any one time in our lives.
As well as activities happening across the organisation, many actions were taken nationally including; Teresa May pledging more resources for mental health, more support in schools, bringing in new mental health support teams and offering help in measuring students' health, including their mental wellbeing and for the first time ever a minister for mental health inequalities and suicide prevention was appointed - Jackie Doyle-Price.
As a Trust we are committed to supporting the mental and physical health and wellbeing of patients and colleagues which is clearly demonstrated in our new Trust strategy using our vision, aims and objectives.
As providers of care and treatment I am sure we are all committed to delivering holistic individualised care, looking at the whole person, approaching all patients with a parity of esteem - valuing mental health equally with physical health. We are actively working on this in collaboration with our mental health partners across Surrey Heartlands to ensure that access to mental health facilities and treatments is equitable to that established for physical health.
We also have the same commitment to our colleagues as a healthy, happy and productive workforce needs support physically and mentally.
Earlier this year in May our Chairman Andy Field and I signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge committing to further challenging stigma around mental health, normalising conversations and making sure colleagues facing these problems feel supported and access to appropriate support.
We now have Time to Change Champions across the Trust raising awareness of mental health and playing a leading role in ending stigma and the culture of silence in the workplace.
On the day the Trust highlighted various projects and initiatives for both patients and colleagues to name but a few:
- Launching a Women’s Well-being forum (and soon to launch a Men’s Well-being forum too)
- Promoted the new Employee Assistance Programme
- SAMS Wards held Afternoon Tea parties to highlight the issue of mental health
- Carer and Staff Support information session were held
- In Abbey Wing the team were promoting the new Perinatal mental health team and specialist midwife
Many thanks and take care of your physical and mental health.
With best wishes,