Local NHS Trust says join us and tackle stigma


South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust is urging local people to join their Trust as a member to help break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. The Trust is currently applying to become a foundation trust – a different type of NHS organisation which is run locally with local people as members, having a say in how services are developed.

Chief executive Steven Michael explains, "Although one in four of us will have a mental health problem in the course of a year, there is still a lots of stigma surrounding mental illness. Becoming a foundation trust is a fantastic opportunity to work together to combat this stigma, which will make it easier for people to admit they have a problem and seek the help they need. We’d like to encourage local people to join us and make a real difference to the future of mental health and learning disability services in the area."

Here are some interesting facts relating to mental health: • Over an 18 month period, 23% of people in Britain said they received some treatment or service, not necessarily provided by the NHS, for a mental health problem. • Approximately 30% of all GP consultations are related to a mental health problem • It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem. • 1 in 4 families worldwide is likely to have at least one member with a behavioural or mental disorder. • The average age of onset of psychotic symptoms is 22. • People without a degree are almost twice as likely to experience depression as those with a degree. • Depression affects 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 living in the community and 2 in 5 living in care homes. • A person with a severe mental health problem is four times more likely than average to have no close friends. • 1 in 4 people using mental health services has no contact with their family, and 1 in 3 has no contact with friends. (all statistics taken from ‘The Fundamental Facts 2007’ Mental Health Foundation)

The Trust has also launched a competition to find a new name for the organisation if it becomes a foundation trust.

The person who comes up with the most suitable suggestion will win £100 prize money, which has been donated by Trust chairman Sukhdev Sharma and chief executive Steven Michael (from their own money).

A number of suggestions for new names have already been received as part of a public consultation into the Trust’s plans to become a foundation trust. At the close of the consultation (9th July), the Trust Board will consider all suggestions and agree the most appropriate name for the organisation. The £100 prize will be awarded to the person coming up with the winning entry.

To become a member, suggest a new name for the Trust or learn more about the Trust’s plans to become a foundation trust please visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk, call: 01484 343395 or email: membership@swyt.nhs.uk

Local NHS Trust says join us and tackle stigma

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