Chair's blog

Time to reflect on our mental health

03 October 2019

10 October is World Mental Health Day, an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our own mental health and perhaps that of those close to us as well. This year, the day focuses on suicide prevention. Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide – a sobering statistic.

Suicide is often the culmination of a long history of mental health issues, and getting through to potentially vulnerable people before they reach a point where they consider such drastic action is a major priority for the NHS. Help and support is available and the NHS website has advice on free helplines you can call and tips for coping right now.

Not all mental health issues lead to suicidal thoughts, and we must dispel any notion that problems aren’t serious until they manifest themselves in this way. One in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year, and their nature and severity can vary significantly.

It is often unclear, even to close friends and family, when someone may be experiencing these issues. Letting people close to you know that they are not alone, and that you are there for them, can often mean the world to someone who is struggling.

If you or a loved one need help and advice urgently, you can call Mental Health Direct on 0300 555 1000 at any time of the day or night. You can also refer yourself to the free Talking Therapies service (, which provides a wide range of treatments and services.

And always remember: you are not alone.