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​​​​​​​​GPs in Merton are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2016​

16-22 May

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is focused on relationships.  Good relationships help us live longer and happier lives with fewer physical and mental health problems. These are the supportive connections we share with friends, family and our community - investing in these relationships is critical to our health and wellbeing.  

Dr Andrew Otley, a local GP and clinical director for mental health at Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “If you're having mental health problems, you're not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives. 
“Remember, mental health is just as important as your physical health. Life changes, such as getting a good night's sleep, keeping to a healthy diet, reducing your alcohol intake and getting regular exercise, can help you feel more in control and more able to cope.”   

In Merton, a new service to support people with mental health issues launched in October 2015.  The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)  is a free, confidential service to provide help for people who are experiencing mild to moderate/severe mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, low mood and stress. If you are registered with a GP in Merton, you can self-refer or ask your GP to refer you.

Services include a range of NHS evidence-based interventions and treatments, such as counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and group work, and can be accessed at a number of GP practices and community venues. The service is provided by the national charity Addaction. 

Dr Otley added: "There will be times when we find it hard to deal with emotions or experiences on our own, so please remember that help is available. Our talking therapies service can help you develop ways of coping, be more in control and find ways to overcome stress, low moods or emotional difficulties."

Addaction staff will be out and about at local events ​in Merton during the Week. Look out for their stalls, presentation and talks:
  • Tuesday 17 May, 2pm - 4pm, Merton Dementia Hub, 67 Whitford Gardens, Mitcham, CR4 4AA (formerly the Cumberland Day Centre).
  • Wednesday 18 May, 10am - 3pm, Merton Campus, South Thames College,  London Rd, Morden SM4 5QX
  • Thursday, 19 May, 1pm - 3.30pm, Merton Centre for Independent Living, Wandle Valley Resource Centre, Church Road, Mitcham, CR4 3BE
  • Friday, 20 May, 10am - 2pm, Commonside mini-market

For more information visit the miapt Merton mental health pages​ or call 020 3823 9063.

​Information about support and help for young people can be found at the NHS young mental health webpage​, a hub for young people with advice on depression, anxiety, self-harm, stress, bullying and eating disorders.​

Note to editors
Mental Health Awareness Week is organised by the Mental Health Foundation and aims to raise awareness of mental health to fight discrimination and stigma and promote good mental wellbeing. To find out more about Mental Health Week visit The Mental Health Foundation website​.