Dr David Crichton’s blog: Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week

In Doncaster, we’re committed to work with patients and members of the public to keep them well and healthy. There’s a range of services in Doncaster that are available to provide treatment and support for people suffering with their mental health.

Dr David Crichton – Chair of Doncaster CCG

Recently, we held a dedicated week of action to raise awareness of mental health services across Doncaster. More than 400 people told us what they thought of services, how they are accessed and if they were aware of the wide range of mental health services should they need to use them in the future. The valuable information obtained from these surveys will be used to inform and improve services moving forward.

During Mental Health System Perfect week we saw organisations coming together across health and care organisations in Doncaster to look at what works well and what could be improved. This not only involved organisations such as Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Doncaster Council, it also included a number of voluntary organisations such as Doncaster’s People Focussed Group.

A powerful blog from Glyn Butcher described how he has suffered with his mental health for the last 25 years and how he turned to drugs and alcohol as a way of coping and dealing with his mental health. Fortunately, the help, support and advice he has and continues to receive has supported him to rebuild his life. He is now a peer and patient ambassador supporting others to rebuild their lives.

Glyn shared how things were very different back then, highlighting how mental health services and support were typically clinically focused and wrapping services around individuals didn’t always happen. Glyn’s powerful message ended with the importance of a conversation – somewhere for people to go and talk to like-minded people that have been through to reduce loneliness and isolation, to build networks and form friendships.

The People Focused Group provides peer support; a dedicated group operating from the Wellness Centre offering vital information, support and advice with people they can confide in. The Wellness Centre is open Monday to Thursday’s 9:00am until 4:00pm and Friday, 9:00am until 2:00pm.

This week, Doncaster’s People Focused Group are hosting a variety of activities, encouraging people to get involved and create a brand new wellness garden, enabling people to practice the ‘five ways to wellbeing:’

In addition to the activities led by People Focused Group, a number of other key activities are taking place across Doncaster to raise awareness about mental health and the support that is available.

A brand new Doncaster borough wide campaign launched today, helping to raise awareness of the help, support and advice for men to reduce the number of male suicides. Latest figures show that in 2017 alone, 33 people in Doncaster took their lives through suspected suicide and across the UK there were 5,821 suicides registered. In the UK, men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women are.

The ‘Another Way’ campaign aims to get the message across to men that there are avenues for them to seek support and that talking to somebody will help.

Please do get involved in the conversations taking place this week. If you’re on Twitter, use the hashtag #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and/or like the Doncaster CCG Facebook page.