With around two thirds of the population said to be suffering from mental health problems, #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek (May 8-14) is a concept designed by the Mental Health Foundation to heighten our understanding of a field that has for too long been sidelined and misunderstood.
Misinformation and archaic attitudes have contributed to both the awareness of mental health illnesses - and those who suffer from them - being wrongly stigmatised.
While we're all proud of our hardened northern exteriors, there's nothing stopping us struggling on the inside; no matter age, gender, location, income or education - because, unlike society, mental health doesn't discriminate.
According to recent statistics compiled by the Mental Health Foundation , an increasing number of us are dealing with anxiety, stress and depression. A quarter of people have admitted to suffering from panic attacks, while four-in-ten said they'd suffered from depression. Worryingly, that same survey alluded to just 13% of people living with a high level of good mental health, with those aged 55 and above more likely to benefit from a better state of mind.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week there will be events being run in conjunction across the country which can be accessed by using this map , including groups taking place in West Yorkshire.
As with any illness or injury, the first port of call is the same for anyone with any mental health complaints, with GPs trained to provide the appropriate prescriptions or, indeed, refer matters along to dedicated specialists within the NHS.
For those in need, or for those wishing to seek advice to help loved ones they might suspect of suffering from mental health related issues, there are access points to the relevant services in Huddersfield available, all for which we've created links to below.
Samaritans is a confidential phone line with a free-to-call number available for those who wish to discuss their mental health related problems without having to disclose any information about themselves, or know the person on the other side of the conversation. There to listen, Samaritans receive a call every six seconds and with a centre available to visit in the centre of Huddersfield there is face-to-face counselling offered to anyone with need for it. No matter is too large or small and with a dedicated group of trained volunteers available 24/7 there's always somebody waiting to answer and speak to you.
Available to call on either 01484 533388 (local call charges apply) or 116 123 (this number is free to call). To visit them in Huddersfield town centre their address is: 14 New North Parade, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 5JP. Alternatively, visit their website at samaritans.org.
A nationwide service much like Samaritans, the mission statement MIND work by is simple - to provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding, and say they "won't give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect." With an information phone line and text number for anyone seeking to learn more about mental health - both their own and otherwise - their FAQ page is a great place to start for anyone interested in their services.
Available to call on 0300 123 3393 or text on 86463, their website - mind.org.uk - is a useful resource for anyone looking to take advantage of their services or interested in becoming a volunteer.
Support To Recovery (S2R)
A local organisation, Support to Recovery is an independent charity based in Huddersfield. Hosting monthly exhibitions of local artwork at their base in the town centre near the Brook Street Open Market. They also provide a variety of creative, outdoors and well-being sessions for adults, with a whole schedule of courses available for those who wish to partake in a group activities and events. They also host sessions for carers, so those who dedicate themselves to looking after other adults can spend time among like-minded individuals.
Available to visit at their 'Create Space' on Brook Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1EB, or to call directly on 01484 539531, they have room available to accommodate people looking to join one of their many groups. Free to email on Contact@s2r.org.uk, their website has more information about their various groups and activities, s2r.org.uk
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
CALM are an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. According to statistics compiled by Samaritans in a 2016 report looking at data up until 2014 it's happening at a rate of up to four times higher than among women. For young men in this country, the most likely thing to prematurely end their lives is themselves, which is a profoundly upsetting reality to confront. With a dedicated helpline and web chat service available, CALM have various ways for men to get in contact.
Their nationwide phone line is 0800 585858, and their web chat facility is available via their website, at thecalmzone.net.