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GPs in Greenwich urge people to take time to talk for World Mental Health Day​


GPs in Greenwich are encouraging people to "take time to talk" with their friends, colleagues and loved ones ahead of World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10 October)

The focus this year is suicide prevention – and ensuring those at greatest risk of taking their own life know that help and support is close at hand.

Across the world, suicides account for a lost life every 40 seconds but they are often the culmination of a long history of mental health issues.

Getting through to potentially vulnerable people before they reach a point where they consider such drastic action is a major priority for the NHS. It is important people know that help is available from a number of sources – including their GP.

Although around one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year, many will try to keep their feelings and emotions hidden – often because of fears over how others might react.

World Mental Health Day aims to address this by encouraging everyone to talk about their own mental health, thus reducing the stigma that people suffering may feel.

Dr Vivienne Chai, local GP, GP clinical commissioner and clinical lead for mental health and learning disabilities for NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:

"It is often unclear, even to close friends and family, when someone may be experiencing these issues. Letting people close to you know that they are not alone, and that you are there for them, can often mean the world to someone who is struggling.

"Not all mental health issues lead to suicidal thoughts, and it is important to dispel any notion that problems aren't serious until they manifest themselves in this way.

"Help and support is available and the NHS website has advice on free helplines you can call and tips for coping right now. It's important to remember you are never alone."