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With the “young Royals” opening up in recent weeks, as part of the Heads Together campaign, mental health problems have been front page news. Whilst huge strides have been made to break down the taboos, we still need to keep talking to ensure we’re helping those in need in our communities.
In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week will have experienced a common mental health problem, ranging from anxiety to depression. Raising awareness of mental health issues for everyone is important, but for those recently diagnosed with a serious illness or battling through treatment it is essential to talk about what you are going through mentally, as well as physically.
This week (May 8th) marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and this year is focusing on the theme of thriving or surviving. Good mental health is more than the absence of a mental health problem. This year, rather than asking why so many people are living with mental health problems, the Mental Health Foundation wants to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health.
Here at London Medical Concierge (LMC), mental health is something we help all our patients with, whether it is when they are going through treatment, if they have just been diagnosed with an advanced illness or come to us seeking help with an existing mental health problem.
Dr Raj Persaud, Consultant Psychiatrist and one of London Medical Concierge’s network of doctors, comments: “Being diagnosed with a disease such as cancer can be very difficult for patients – and their families - to come to terms with, especially where they may have been relatively healthy and fit for the majority of their lives. We see many patients who are going through treatment or have recently been diagnosed, struggling with mental health issues.
“Everyone copes differently, so there are no set rules on how you should feel or how you should deal with your emotions. Naturally, it will take a while to process and absorb the information you have been given and your feelings can vary from depression, anger and anxiety. We’ve found that some patients struggle with telling their friends, families and loved ones about what they are going through and how they are feeling because they are scared about the way they will react and upsetting them.
“On top of dealing with an illness and going through treatment for it, mental health problems can make you feel as though there is not light at the end of the tunnel. If you are feeling depressed, please make sure you speak with your doctor as they will be able to provide you with medical advice and support. You aren’t alone in what you are going through and other people, charities and support groups are available to provide you with information and care.”
Kirsty Ettrick, CEO and Founder of London Medical Concierge, adds: “The expert team at LMC have spoken with many patients who are struggling with their diagnosis and/or treatment plan and have developed mental health problems such as depression and anxiety because of this. We are fully supporting Mental Health Awareness Week as it raises awareness of the condition across a variety of spectrums and aims to get us talking about our mental health. We are always here to listen to our patients and point them in the direction of the right care for their condition.”