This World Mental Health Day, our clinical lead for mental health is encouraging people across Kent and Medway to reach out for support if they need it.
Dr Jihad Malasi, a GP in Ramsgate and clinical lead for mental health at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said “It’s OK not to feel OK, so if you feel you need support with your mental wellbeing, just reach out.
“There’s help available online and by phone, and you can self-refer to talking therapy services across Kent and Medway.
“All this can be accessed for free, without having to see a GP first. However, should you need to contact a GP, they are available to you.”
In the sections below you can find out about some of the specific services available for children and young people, adults and older people in Kent and Medway.
There is also information is available at www.kent.gov.uk/wellbeing for people experiencing a range of mental health issues and a specific to help families with children or young people who might be experiencing difficulties at www.kent.gov.uk/wellbeingfamilies
If you are concerned about a young person’s mental health and are not sure what extra help is needed, in Kent you can call the Single Point of Access (SPA) for Kent on 0300 123 4496. If in Medway, please call 0300 300 1981 to be put through to the Medway Young Persons' Wellbeing Service. These services are there to help young people find the most appropriate response to your concerns.
Alternatively, if your child is aged four-to-19 and struggling with their emotional health, you can access support from the Kent Child Health Children and Young People’s Counselling Service. Go to www.kentcht.nhs.uk/school-health.
Online support for mental wellbeing is available via:
- KOOTH - Aged between 10-16 in Kent and 11-25 in Medway and need mental health support? Kooth is #HereForYou. Please visit www.kooth.com to register for our supportive online community where we have lots of guided support courses and resources for you.
- Mood Spark - provides mental health support to young people in Kent and their website is full of useful resources and service information for parents and teachers too: www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk
- ChatHealth - If your child is aged 11-19 years old and struggling with their emotions, they can text Chathealth to 07520 618850 for mental health support and to find out a number of ways to help them, or visit www.kentyouthhealth.nhs.uk.
Release the Pressure
If you're feeling under pressure call 0800 107 0160 to get free advice from expert therapists and counsellors or use the Release the Pressure text service that provide 24-hour mental health crisis support, text “Kent” or “Medway” (depending on where you live) to 85258.
You can refer yourself to a Talking therapies service without seeing your GP. Talking therapies can help with anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, phobias and other related problems.
Therapeutic appointments are available weekdays and evenings and some weekend appointments are available. All services are operating remotely via phone and online.
You can search the NHS website for psychological therapy services close to you here: Find a psychological therapies service.
County-wide and area specific mental health services are available for older adults and people living with dementia.
Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) provides a 24-hour helpline (0300 222 0123) for urgent mental health support, advice and guidance.