Where to go for mental health help

Actor Stephen Fry has backed a Scottish mental health awareness campaign.

The actor, who has spoken openly about his own mental health problems, has given his support to SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health)’s Know Where To Go campaign.

A new YouGov poll, commissioned by SAMH, found that more than 800,000 adults in Scotland wouldn’t know where to go for support for mental health issues. The survey highlighted that almost one in five adults (19 per cent) based in the south of Scotland didn’t know where they would go for help with a mental health issue.

All you have to do is look up www.SAMH.org.uk and find out about it, and see if someone can help you.

Having the support of Stephen Fry for our Know Where To Go campaign is fantastic. We know that mental health problems have an enormous impact on our society so Stephen’s backing is extremely welcome in helping raise awareness.

The Know Where to Go campaign aims to empower people in Scotland to seek and find help when they have concerns about their mental health. We want to educate people about their rights to fair and effective treatment, and target specific groups within society that face specific barriers to getting help.

The YouGov research also highlighted a lack of awareness is higher among men and young people. Of men surveyed, 24 per cent said they wouldn’t know where to go and among 18 to 24-year-olds asked, the figure rose to 45 per cent. The survey supports the charity’s own recent findings that 26 per cent of people wait more than a year before seeking help after developing concerns about their mental health.

According to the Office for National Statistics, one in four people in Scotland experience a mental health problem each year, with SAMH research calculating the cost to the Scottish economy of poor mental health as £10.7billion.

SAMH will work with GPs, the NHS and local authorities to ensure information is available to everyone who needs it on all the support and treatment available in an area for someone with a mental health problem.

The charity is also asking people with experience of mental health problems to create online videos to share their stories of getting help for their mental health, using the Twitter hashtag #knowwheretogo.

Billy Watson

(chief executive, Scottish Association for Mental Health)