New campaign launched as NHS urges people with mental health worries to seek help

Date added: 24 November 2020

NHS England has launched the first national campaign on mental health services as there never has been a more important time to look after the mental health of the nation.

One in four adults will be affected by mental ill health in their lifetime, meaning you or someone you know will experience a mental health condition at some point in life. It’s important to remember that the NHS is here for mental health too, even during the pandemic and urges people with mental health worries to seek help.

The ‘Help Us Help You – Mental Health’ is a two month campaign which encourages anyone experiencing stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health problems to seek help for assessment and treatment through NHS talking therapies, also known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), a confidential service run by fully trained experts. People can access the service by visiting their GP or refer themselves online.

Some people have experienced mental health issues for the first time during the pandemic and lockdown while others have seen them return. Common anxiety problems seen include (but are not restricted to) panic attacks, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive problems, generalised anxiety/worry, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The campaign aims to reach people and communities who are the most at risk this winter of needing mental health support including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups and people struggling with unemployment.

Here at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) we offer a number of different talking therapy services.

The East Kent Personality disorder service in Folkestone offers a one year group community therapy programme for up to 24 people at any one time offering talking therapy, art therapy, a writing group, studio time and the leavers group.

Members can make use of three group rooms including a large community and art space studio space and a good sized kitchen and dining room with an adjoining lounge area. Some rooms overlook the park and every effort has been made to try to make the setting comfortable. Referrals are accepted from your local community mental health team.

The team at the Brenchley Unit in Maidstone provide specialist therapeutic community treatment for people with severe or complex personalities difficulties. Following assessment, service users attend a weekly therapy group for one year in their local area, before moving on to the therapeutic community group. The group offers a years’ group-based therapy programme for up to 24 members at any one time and runs three days a week. The community is based at Oakapple lane, close to Maidstone Hospital.

The unit offers a welcoming and comfortable environment and a number of group rooms including an art studio, a well equipped kitchen and a lovely garden. A mixture of talking and creative therapy groups run each day. Referrals are accepted from your local community mental health team.

After completing the year in the Therapeutic community, a once weekly leavers group is offered to prepare people for the next steps in their lives and, discharge. This group lasts for a further year.

Open Dialogue is a community-based and integrated way of engaging with families, or a person’s social network, from the very start ensuring that there is an immediate response at the point of crisis (within 24 hours), that the same care professionals are involved throughout someone’s care and all clinical discussions being undertaken in the presence of the person’s family.

As a Trust we are delighted to have developed our own Peer Supported Open Dialogue team, who are based in Canterbury. It involves paid support workers with lived experience becoming part of the network meetings.

The service consists of a multi-disciplinary team of Open Dialogue-trained clinicians who have undergone one year of Peer Supported Open Dialogue training. Every individual and family/network will have the opportunity to have access to a peer support worker employed by KMPT and trained in Open Dialogue. Peer support workers have lived experience of mental health issues and experience of having engaged with community mental health services.

The team receive referrals from Single Point of Access (SPoA) for new episodes of care sought by adults in specific GP practices in the Canterbury and Coastal area. As this is at pilot stage the Trust can only accept referrals from those living in the Canterbury and Coastal areas.

Anticipated outcomes include reduced hospital admissions and lengths of stay, increased wellbeing for clients and families, increased user satisfaction and high staff satisfaction.

The NHS is here to help. To find out more about talking therapies, you can visit the NHS website:

You can also follow the campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #HelpUsHelpYou