North-Essex Cluster

Accessing Mental Health Services

Our last session that took Place at Plume Avenue United Reformed Church was titled “Accessing Mental Health Services In North Essex” and was addressed by Gareth Walton Manager at The Lakes Mental Health Unit, Colchester. He spoke about how the system works and that the Mental Health Trust have to prioritise severe mental health problems. He emphasised that those with lesser risk to life problems should consult their GP with A& E a last resort. There is also the option of contacting “Health in Mind” direct (they provide a range of therapies and also signpost to other agencies) or use various phone lines for support.

When there is an immediate threat to life (suicide or self harm) then the Trust has a major role to play. People in crisis can have their needs assessed at A&E by the Assessment Team who if necessary can admit individuals to Inpatient care or offer support in the community. The problem of self harm and suicide is a challenge today and is particularly prevalent among young people. The downloaded presentation describes how such crises can be managed.

The mental health team are under enormous pressure today with one in four people in the population likely to experience mental health problems. Anxiety and depression being the most common cause in our increasingly stressful society.

Those reading this need to take time to familiarise themselves with the presentation and also look for signs and symptoms among friends and family. Note Helplines are available particularly Samaritans which is not only for those contemplating suicide but anyone feeling unable to cope with life as it is.