5 February 2015
This week, Camden and Islington residents are being asked to take five minutes to talk to friends, neighbours or colleagues to find out how they are doing.
'Time To Talk Day', Thursday 5 February, is a national campaign by charity Time To Change aimed at tackling the stigma around mental health.
One in four people will experience mental health problems - C&I mental health trust, Camden and Islington NHS and public health teams are all supporting the initiative to get more people talking about their feelings.
The Islington and Camden iCope team, based at Finsbury Health Centre, EC1, provide NHS services for people with common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.
Rebecca Minton, Senior Psychological Therapist from iCope explains: "We all have mental health, like we all have physical health. One of the simplest and most powerful ways we can help maintain our mental health is by talking to someone about how we are feeling. A simple 'how are you doing?' and a listening ear can make such a difference to someone who is having a hard time."
Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council's executive member for health and wellbeing said:
"We are committed to improving residents' mental health because it's such an important contributor to overall wellbeing, and poor mental health is also a key driver of health inequalities. Proper diagnosis and support can bring life-changing improvements to sufferers and their families.
"But we have to tackle the stigma first. Creating an atmosphere where people can discuss their mental wellbeing as easily as they would a physical illness can help prevent residents from falling into crisis, and ensure people access the services and support available."
To find out more about iCope services go to www.icope.nhs.uk.