World Mental Health Day: New guide launched

By on 08/10/2012 in Cllr Bedser, News, Video News

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A new guide aiming to help people with mental health problems access advice and services in Birmingham is set to be launched.

Birmingham City Council has teamed up with the NHS to produce the “Rights and Entitlements” pocket guide, which will be launched on World Mental Health Day (10 October).

The guide will direct people to service information, providing them with more control and responsibility over the services they wish to access.

Over 140,000 (around one in ten) people in Birmingham have mental health problems, with around 50,000 currently not accessing the services or treatments they are entitled to.

Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, said: “Everybody has a right to access the services and treatments they need to help them live their lives to the fullest and it's not acceptable that many people with mental health problems are likely to have their physical health needs unrecognised or poorly managed.

“Studies across the UK show that those who use mental health services are less likely to be offered blood pressure, cholesterol, urine or weight checks, or to receive opportunistic advice on smoking cessation, alcohol, exercise or diet and physical activity, they are also less likely to access services that can mitigate fuel poverty, and so on.

“We've recognised this issue in Birmingham and I'm proud we are now launching the Rights and Entitlements guide to help people with mental health problems help themselves.”

Dr Adrian Phillips, Director of Public Health for Birmingham added: “We know that someone's physical health and mental health are inextricably linked. Poor mental health is associated with an increased risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, while good mental health is a known protective factor.

“Poor physical health also increases the risk of people developing mental health problems. The life expectancy of an individual with mental health is 25 years less than the general population.

“It is well documented that people with Mental Health problems suffer from discrimination, stigma and are often denied vital health and social care services. We simply cannot stand by and allow this to happen any more, and I am glad that Birmingham has decided to tackle this issue with the launch of this new rights and entitlements pocket guide.”

The rights and entitlements card is free and will be handed out to everyone with a mental health condition across the city. It will be available in GP practices, community hubs venues, leisure centres and Birmingham City Council venues.

If you would like to find out more information about World Mental Health Day, simply visit: http://bit.ly/wmhd2012

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