Sefton residents who are experiencing common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression have been urged to contact Access Sefton, a talking therapies service which provides help for thousands of people every year.
Last year, around 5,500 people got help from Access Sefton, which is a joint service by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG and run by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust with Insight Healthcare. It was established to improve access to psychological therapies, also known as talking therapies.
Hilal Mulla, clinical lead for mental health at Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Unfortunately, some people are still reluctant to speak out when they are suffering and this can make the situation even worse. It is really important for people who are not feeling well to seek help as early as possible so that they give themselves the best possible chance of recovery.”
It is estimated that around 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental health issues during their lifetime while, each week, 1 in 6 people in England report experiencing a common mental health problem. Common mental health problems include stress, low self-esteem, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-natal depression and other conditions.
Sue Gough, clinical lead for mental health at South Sefton CCG, said: “We have come a long way in our understanding of mental health over the last few years but we still have a lot of work to do. One of the benefits of Access Sefton is that people can refer themselves so I would encourage anyone who is feeling unwell to seek help.”
The importance of talking therapies is outlined in an online animation recently produced by NHS England. ‘Bernie’s story’ shows how people affected by mental health problems can sometimes dismiss their symptoms as just a part of everyday life instead of seeking help.
Access Sefton can be contacted directly by telephoning 0300 303 2708 or by visiting www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton