GPs in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge urge people to take time to talk for World Mental Health Day

09 October 2019

GPs in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge (BHR) are encouraging people to “take time to talk” with their friends, colleagues and loved ones ahead of World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10 October). 

The focus this year is suicide prevention – and ensuring those at greatest risk of taking their own life know that help and support is close at hand. 

Across the world, suicides account for a lost life every 40 seconds but they are often the culmination of a long history of mental health issues. 

Getting through to potentially vulnerable people before they reach a point where they consider such drastic action is a major priority for the NHS. It is important people know that help is available from a number of sources – including their GP. If you or a loved one need help and advice urgently, you can call Mental Health Direct on 0300 555 1000 at any time of the day or night. 

Although around one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year[1], many will try to keep their feelings and emotions hidden – often because of fears over how others might react. A recent survey of the East London Citizen’s Panel found more than one in four (26 per cent) of those replied felt they were struggling to cope with things, while 23 per cent reported “feeling low or down”.  

World Mental Health Day aims to address this by encouraging everyone to talk about their own mental health, thus reducing the stigma that people suffering may feel. 

Dr Raj Kumar, Clinical Lead for Mental Health for BHR CCGs, said:

“It is often unclear, even to close friends and family, when someone may be experiencing mental health issues. Letting people close to you know that they are not alone, and that you are there for them, can often mean the world to someone who is struggling. 

“Not all mental health issues lead to suicidal thoughts, and it is important to dispel any notion that problems aren’t serious until they manifest themselves in this way. 

“Help and support is available and the NHS website has advice on free helplines you can call and tips for coping right now. You can also refer yourself to the free Talking Therapies service (, which provides a wide range of treatments and services.”