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Reach out for help for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week

“Try to reach out, in any way possible” is the advice from one Cornish resident to people across Cornwall for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.

Beth Robinson, who appeared on Channel 4’s SAS Who Dares Wins, has shared her mental health experiences, from the first signs that something was wrong, through to experiencing feelings of suicide, getting a diagnosis and then, with support, exploring different ways she could manage her condition.

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“I became quite sort of angry and numb. I was never really sad in the way that people think of when you’re depressed” said Beth, aged 28 from Camborne. “I would then experience ‘hypermania’, associated with the condition I was later diagnosed with: bipolar disorder”.

As part of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week Beth wanted to share her experiences in five short videos so that other people might become more aware of their own feelings, or be aware of behaviour in others, so that they could then reach out and get the help and support they need.

Cornwall Council’s Public Health team, in partnership with Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust has help available for anyone who needs support and advice on how to cope with a mental health problem.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health, Sally Hawken said: “We’re so grateful to Beth for sharing her story so that others could hear about her journey and hopefully relate to what she says. She has proved that, with the right support, you can overcome low points in your life, even when it seems as though there is no way out.”

She added: “I know that people right now especially, will be feeling extreme pressure, whether that’s through money worries, feelings of loneliness or struggling to cope with their mental health condition in the strange situation we all find ourselves in. It’s so important that people know about the support that is available to them.”

Cornwall Council’s Interim Director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth said: “We have pulled together a wealth of information on the Council’s website, addressing the different sorts of issues that people might be facing with advice on where to go to get support. Our mental health and emotional wellbeing affects how we think, feel, and act, as we cope with life. It’s only when things don’t feel right that we realise how important it is.  

 “I’d also like to thank Beth for coming forward and sharing her story. I hope that as many people as possible watch her videos over the coming week and are able to find some comfort in those shared experiences, as well as finding the courage to ask for help.”

Beth reached out for help from Outlook South West, a service provided by Cornwall NHS Foundation Trust. Mike Sandercock, a cognitive behavioural therapist and clinical manager at Outlook South West said: “Now, more than ever, we are seeing how our physical wellbeing and our mental health are so closely interlinked. There will be so many people struggling with a whole range of psychological difficulties, some directly as a result of the pandemic, and others who were facing an ongoing daily struggle even before the emergence of COVID-19. The important thing is that people know there is help and support out there. Taking that first step to reach out, even to a friend or family member, is such an important one. We are accepting self-referrals online and by phone and we urge anyone who is struggling with anxiety or depression to take those initial steps towards recovery by seeking that help.”

To hear more about Beth’s story please visit Cornwall Council’s Facebook or Twitter page from Monday to Friday this week.

To find out more about support for mental health then please visit Cornwall Council’s website

You can find out more about Outlook South West on their website 

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has also recently launched a new 24/7 open access telephone service for anyone worried about their mental health.  Support is available to anyone, regardless of age, all day every day, by calling free on 0800 038 5300.

Story created on 18 May 2020