Every year, at this time, we take a moment to recognise World Mental Health day. The global campaign and initiative that was established by the World Federation of Mental Health, who this year, are celebrating their 75th Anniversary. The World Mental Health Day program was created to help promote mental health and create awareness about the issues associated with mental illness, something Makara happens to also keep front of mind.
This year, I’d like to shine a light on the groups that face greater barriers to good mental health than others. Inequalities in mental health can lead to certain groups facing disproportionately higher rates of mental health issues.
- Children and adults in the lowest income bracket are 2 to 3 times more likely to develop mental health problems than in the highest income bracket1
- Asylum seekers are 5 times more likely to have mental health needs than the general population2
- 38% of people with severe symptoms of mental health problems also have long-term physical conditions3
- Men and women from African-Caribbean communities in the UK have higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide risk4
- Those who identify as LGBTQ+ have a higher rate of common mental health problems and lower wellbeing than heterosexual people4
Although more and more of people are becoming aware of mental health, so many of us still aren’t getting the right support. I want to bring light to some fantastic mental health services around the UK that are helping to break down those barriers and give people in their community a safe space to talk and do something about their mental health:
- Maan Somali Mental Health Sheffield provide culturally sensitive services for those experiencing mental health problems within the Somali community and other BME and refugee communities in Sheffield. They also run male-only and female-only support groups for carers, and their services are available for individuals aged between 16 and 65.
- Passion4Fusion is an Edinburgh-based youth organisation, who have produced story-telling based resources to help young people learn about mental health in culturally familiar and appropriate ways.
- Mothers for Mothers offers maternal mental health and wellbeing support to women, birthing people and their families. This Bristol-based organisation uses art psychotherapy as a key tool to express and make sense of feelings as well as art therapy groups for parents and infants together.
- Sheffield Flourish offers support groups and activities for local people struggling with mental health. These include; a creative arts enterprise, theatre and drama enterprise, music jam sessions and their Brunsmeer Awareness football club, who compete regularly in the Flourish League. This is an example of how being active together can help both mental and physical health.
- Mind Out is a Brighton and Hove-based mental health service run by and for LGBTQ+ people. One of the services include their 50+ wellbeing project, which focuses on reducing social isolation and developing intergenerational activities for older and younger people to meet, learn, and support one another.
- Mind are a mental health charity that will prioritise change, support and connection of minds. They also provide a network of more than 130 local Minds across England and Wales, to offer support and care based on the needs of the communities they support.
- Young Minds is a youth-led movement that offers strategic mental health programmes for all children and young people across the UK. Recently they launched their three-year strategy, ‘You Matter’, with a clear purpose to stop young people reaching crisis point with their mental health.
I am so grateful that at Makara Health, not only is employee wellbeing prioritised and highly supported, but that the range of wellbeing resources available are easily assessable to everyone. In a society where people are struggling to gain the right support, it’s incredible to be a part of a company that has created a safe, respectful, and fair environment. Let’s unite to destigmatize, support, and prioritise mental health wellbeing. Let’s break down barriers, share our stories, and promote a world where compassion and understanding prevail. Because your mental health matters, and so does everyone else’s.
- Marmot, M., Allen, J., Goldblatt, P., Boyce, T., McNeish, D., Grady, M., & Geddes, I. (2010). Fair society, healthy lives: Strategic review of health inequalities in England post 2010. Retrieved from instituteofhealthequity.org/projects/ fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review [Accessed 07/11/16].
- Eaton, V., Ward, C., Womack, J., & Taylor, A. (2011). Mental Health and Wellbeing in Leeds: An Assessment of Need in the Adult Population. NHS Leeds.
- Raj, D., Stansfeld, S., Weich, S., Stewart, R., McBride, O., Brugha, T., … & Papp, M. (2016). Chapter 13: Comorbidity in mental and physical illness. In S. McManus, P. Bebbington, R. Jenkins, & T. Brugha (Eds.), Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital.
- health, C. f. m., 2020. MENTAL HEALTH INEQUALITIES: FACTSHEET. [Online]
Available at: https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/publications/mental-health-inequalities-factsheet [Accessed 18 10 2023].