Health professionals from around Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust were raising awareness of various mental health services as part of World Mental Health Day which takes place annually on 10 October.
World Mental Health Day is led by the Mental Health Foundation and is celebrated across the country. Each year’s celebrations focus on a theme and this year was ‘Living with Schizophrenia’. There are around 26 million people living with schizophrenia worldwide and the illness will affect people in different ways, altering how people act, think and feel. For some people long term medication can help improve the symptoms of schizophrenia and others find that talking therapies can help ease the symptoms.
This year’s celebrations coincided with the release of the results of the second National Audit of Schizophrenia, organised by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This audit provides a detailed look at various areas of treatment into schizophrenia, including physical health, medication and psychological therapies. It also allows service users and carers to have their say on their experience within the services and the care and treatment they receive.
Professor Max Marshall, Medical Director at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We welcome the audit results as they provide a great indication of where we perform well and areas we can improve in. The results show that we have scored the highest in the country in recording physical health for the second year running which is a fantastic achievement. Talking to people about their physical health, including areas such as smoking, diet and exercise is important as people who suffer with schizophrenia have higher rates of obesity, heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. As a Trust we not only cover mental health but also a range of community services across Lancashire. By ensuring this advice is recorded and provided to our service users means they are in the very best place to ensure they receive combined mental and physical health care to improve their overall health and wellbeing.”
With 1 in 4 people likely to experience some form of mental health issue in their life time, such as depression, stress or anxiety, World Mental Health Day provides an opportunity for people to start discussions about mental health to reduce stigma.
Professor Marshall continues:
“World Mental Health Day provides a great opportunity to get people talking about mental health. Encouraging these conversations helps to reduce the stigma that traditionally surrounds this area of health. It is important that anyone who is concerned about their mental health, or that of someone they know, is aware of the services available to help them.”