Mental health

It's easy to think that mental health issues don't concern us, but in fact a quarter of us will have problems with our mental wellbeing at some time in our lives.

Mental health problems are equally common in men and women, but the types of problems differ. Women are one-and-a-half times more likely to be affected by anxiety and depression, while men suffer more from substance abuse (one in eight men is dependent on alcohol) and anti-social personality disorders. Men are also more prone to suicide: British men are three times more likely than British women to die as a result of suicide.

Serious mental health problems are also more common than you might think. One person in 100 has a severe mental health condition such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

All these figures are based on people who have sought help for their mental health problems. Many more could be living with undiagnosed mental health issues, according to mental health charity MIND.

If you're worried about your mental health, or if someone in your life is affected, there are plenty of ways to get help including contacting mental health charities such as The Samaritans, Sane and the Mental Health Foundation or talk to your GP.

East and North Herts CCG supports Time to Change, England's biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination.

The Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health and social care services including Adults of Working Age, Older Adults, Children and Adolescents and Specialist Learning Disabilities services.

Drug and alcohol services are commissioned by Public Health Hertfordshire, part of Hertfordshire County Council.  There is a wide range of drug and alcohol services available in Hertfordshire, although not all services are available in all districts, and some people may have to travel to other areas to get the service they need. Some of these need a referral from a professional, such as a GP or support worker, others have open access to whoever needs them.

The Wellbeing Service (IAPT)
The Wellbeing Team at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust delivers Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in east and north Hertfordshire. The service provides psychological interventions for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders.  The service aims to help people to access psychological therapy and social care support towards achieving better psychological health and well-being, enabling them to gain or remain in employment and to participate in daily living activities.

The service offers rapid access, via self referral or your GP, to a range of short term interventions. The Wellbeing Team consists of experienced mental health professionals including Health Professionals Council (HPC) Registered Psychologists, High Intensity Workers and Psychological Well-being Practitioners, who offer a variety of different types of help.

If you feel that you could benefit from this service talk to your GP or visit the The Wellbeing Service pages on the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust website for more information.

Spot the Signs and Save a Life
Spot the Signs is a new suicide prevention project from Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust funded by the Strategic Clinical Network East of England and East and North Herts CCG.


World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is the annual global celebration of mental health education, awareness and advocacy.  Every year - on 10 October - a spotlight is shone on a particular aspect of mental ill health and the theme in 2015 is "Dignity in Mental Health".