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About Mental Health

We provide a wide range of mental health, substance misuse and social care services for people of all ages in north Essex, some parts of Suffolk and beyond. One in four people will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lifetime. We have specialist doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who provide care and treatment to children and young people, adults of working age and older adults. There are various types of mental illnesses and you can find out more about them here.

  • Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal. However, some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily life. Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions, including panic disorder, phobias, post traumatic disorder, stress disorder and social phobia.
  • Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a condition that affects moods, which can swing from one extreme to another. Some people with bipolar will have periods or episodes of depression – where they feel very low and lethargic or mania – where they feel very high and overactive. Symptoms of bipolar disorder depend on which mood you are experiencing. Each extreme episode of bipolar disorder can last for several weeks (or even longer), and some people may not experience a "normal" mood very often.
  • Dementia is not a disease but a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain. These symptoms can be caused by a number of conditions. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Common symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia include memory loss, especially problems with memory for recent events, such as forgetting messages, remembering routes or names, and asking questions repetitively. Other symptoms include increasing difficulties with tasks and activities.
  • Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. We all go through spells of feeling down, but when you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it's not a sign of weakness or something you can "snap out of" by "pulling yourself together". The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery.
  • Reproduced with kind permission from beat - beating eating disorders. Eating disorders are complex; there’s no single cause and not all symptoms will apply to all people. Some people also find they are affected by other mental health issues, an urge to harm themselves or abuse alcohol or drugs. A whole range of different factors combine such as genetic, psychological, environmental, social and biological influences. People will respond differently to treatment and can take different amounts of time to recover. More information can be found on the beat website www.b-eat.co.uk on various forms of eating disorders. They also provide comprehensive help and advice as well as how to get help support.
  • Depression after a baby is born can be extremely distressing. Postnatal depression is thought to affect around one in 10 women (and up to four in 10 teenage mothers). Postnatal depression usually occurs two to eight weeks after the birth, though sometimes it can happen up to a year after the baby is born. Symptoms such as tiredness, irritability or poor appetite are normal if you've just had a baby. But these are usually mild and don't stop you leading a normal life. Someone with postnatal depression may feel increasingly depressed and despondent. Many women suffer in silence but help is available.
  • Psychosis is a general term to describe a mental health problem in which a person experiences changes in thinking, perception, mood and behaviour which can severely disrupt their life. Relationships, work and self-care can be difficult to initiate or maintain. The main psychotic diagnoses are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychotic depression, schizoaffective disorder and drug-induced psychosis. Some symptoms of psychosis can include; feeling suspicious, hearing or seeing or feeling things that other people don’t. Feeling withdrawn, not wanting to spend time with friends and family. A change in behaviour, such as difficulties at school, disturbed sleep and eating problems.
  • Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It is a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress. Sometimes when people self-harm they intend to die but often the intention is more to punish themselves, express their distress or relieve unbearable tension. Self-harm can also be a cry for help. Treatment for people who self-harm will usually involve seeing a therapist to discuss your feelings and thoughts and how these affect your behaviour and wellbeing. If you are self-harming, you should see your GP for help. You can also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for help.
  • Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms, including: hallucinations - hearing or seeing things that do not exist. Delusions - unusual beliefs not based on reality which often contradict the evidence. Muddled thoughts based on the hallucinations or delusions and changes in behaviour. Doctors often describe schizophrenia as a psychotic illness. This means sometimes a person may not be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality. The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown. However, most experts believe the condition is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  • Although PD is seen as a common condition, there is considerable variation in severity, and in the degree of distress and dysfunction caused. The North Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust have jointly produced a strategy that sets out the vision and provides a detailed explanation of the standards and course to commissioning and delivering personality disorder (PD) services across north Essex. You can get more information by visiting the Haven Project's website or click on the blue tab above. http://www.thehavenproject.org.uk
  • The King's Fund has produced an animated video which is an alternative guide to mental health. This short animation is designed to help people understand mental health services in England and how they integrate with physical health, social care and other public services. It also reminds viewers of the importance of co-designing all health and care services to meet physical and mental health needs - and how all health professionals have a part to play in helping people get the right support at the right time.
  • CALM is a project that was set up by team mates of Alex Miller, former Sefton Park Cricket Club wicketkeeper following his death. Alex’s team mates wanted to start conversations about mental health to prevent further instances of suicide. There is a short video about CALM which shows that men are three times more likely than women to kill themselves in the UK. The video highlights the importance of talking and seeking help. You can find out more about CALM by clicking on the tab below.