We launch our third We Need To Talk podcast which focuses on mental health
- Credit: ARCHANT
In the third episode of our We Need To Talk podcast, we address the topic of mental health and wellbeing.
The podcast has been put together by Hunts Post editor Debbie Davies and reporters Clare Butler and Alex Collett and it discusses the challenges around mental health, both for individuals, health care professionals and charities.
We know currently around one in four people are experiencing mental health issues each year, and at any one time, one in six people of working age will have symptoms associated with mental and emotional ill health.
There is no doubt among health professionals that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a hugely negative impact on many people’s lives. Work schedules have changed dramatically as more people are working from home; and the lockdown restrictions have affected our ability to socialise, spend time with loved ones and even care and say goodbye to loved ones.
The constant uncertainty of not knowing when life will return to some level of normality has taken its toll and left many people struggling to cope. A patient survey carried out by Healthwatch Cambridgeshire in 2020 showed that one in three people admitted the coronavirus pandemic had a 'high' or 'significant impact' on their mental health and wellbeing.
In terms of what is being done to address the issues and support those who need help, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group say allocating funds for services that support mental wellbeing is one of its main priorities right now.
In the podcast we spoke to Dr Emma Tiffin, clinical lead for adult mental health at the CCG, who told us: “We have seen a lot more depression and anxiety than before,” Dr Tiffin said.
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“People phoning in really worried about feeling incredibly anxious and struggling to work or take care of family.
“Patients can be very tearful, have a low mood, be angry, lacking in energy and just not enjoying things like they used to do.
For those who experience anxiety and depression, life can be an endless struggle and it takes courage to speak out in order to help others. We spoke to journalist Katie Ridley who face problems as a teenager and admits she had no idea what was happening to her as she became more anxious and suffered severe panic attacks.
We also spoke to Scott Hardiman about the worrying trend in the number of men who are experiencing mental health issues. The Office for National Statistics reports that of the registered suicide deaths in 2019, 4,303 were men compared with 1,388 women.
According to The Samaritans, men aged 45-49 remain at the highest risk of suicide. The suicide rate for men in England and Wales in 2019 was the highest for two decades, the official figures show.
Scott, who suffered low self-esteem and lack of confidence throughout his teenage years and early twenties, retrained and now offers confidence training and support to other men as a qualified fitness and confidence and progress coach.
ABC Life Support is a St Neots-based social enterprise company that offers mental health first-aid courses which train people to take care of their own or other people's physical and mental health.
They told us they are working with charities across Cambridgeshire, including the YMCA and Barnardo’s, and much of their work is focused on the rise in mental health concerns in young adults and children during the pandemic.
Danielle Bridge, from ABC, believes people have never been under so much pressure. The company's range of courses are aimed at parents, those who work with children and workplaces.
Mental health charity Mind believes replenishing energy, life balance and speaking out are all key to protecting our mental health.
Chloe Humphrey, service manager of the Good Life Service at Cambridgeshire and Peterbrough Mind, offers advice on the podcast and talks about the community initiatives in Cambridgeshire, aimed at encouraging connectivity, and increasing wellbeing skills that enable people to stay well.
The We Need To Talk...Mental Health podcast is available to listen for free via our host Audioboom online at: www.podfollow.com/need-to-talk or on the Apple and Spotify podcast platforms.
You can listen here: https://pod.fo/e/bc6c8