Mental health problems must be kept in spotlight

The Rev Canon Bob White with representatives of the groups involved in our Christmas campaignh run with churches in Portsmouth - Comfort and Joy

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The opening of any centre that helps to promote mental wellbeing is always to be applauded.

But Solent Mind’s newest venture has been opened on a rather pointed date – October 10 was World Mental Health Day.

Since it was set up in 1992 by the World Federation for Mental Health, the date has been a fixture in the calendar.

And this year the WFMH set a theme of Dignity In Mental Health – Psychological And Mental Health First Aid for All.

Its goal is to take mental health out of the shadows so that people feel more confident in tackling the stigma, isolation and discrimination that continues to plague people with mental health conditions, their families and carers.

With one in four people in England experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, it is a quiet epidemic.

Mental health doesn’t necessarily manifest itself in obvious physical symptoms. And because of this it can be harder to spot.

Even close friends and relatives of those suffering can miss it, but its impact can be devastating.

It’s a point that we have raised before, and will, sadly, more than likely raise again. But just because a person with mental health problems doesn’t look ill, it doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering terribly.

According to the World Health Organisation, if urgent action isn’t taken, then by 2030 depression will be the leading illness globally.

Solent Mind is running drop-in sessions at the new Palmerston Road, Southsea centre throughout the week to let people see what kind of services is available.

The Wellbeing Centre will be running mindfulness workshops, employment support, art therapy and drop-in sessions.

So please take up the offer and find out what it can do.