A WOMAN has said she would not be here today if it wasn’t for the help she received from a mental health service.
And Laura Pugh says she is so passionate now about mental health, she wants to work for the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Healthy Minds Service.
The 51-year-old was speaking in support of the national Time To Talk Day, being held today, the campaign encouraging people to talk about their problems and seek help for mental health problems.
Ms Pugh said she sought help from the service after moving to Ross-on-Wye from Hertfordshire.
“It has only been through the help of local services since I have been here that I was diagnosed for the depression I have had for years,” Ms Pugh said.
“I had three lots of brain surgery for epilepsy, which doesn’t help, and one of the side effects was depression.
“Anxiety and agoraphobia has then come along with it.
“You don’t realise these things until it all comes to a head.
“I have been using the healthy mind service for at least three years. One of my GPs suggested it.
“I wouldn’t be here today, in body or soul, if it wasn’t for the healthy minds service
“I would have weekly and then monthly meetings, which was invaluable.
“One of the hardest things is admitting you have a problem, the embarrassment of it.
“I used to think there is nothing wrong with me, I’m crying because it is that time of the month, or I’m having a down day. The mental health services we have round here is amazing.
“Mental health wasn’t talked about among people of my generation.
“But there is still a long way to go.
“I’m studying mental health now, I want to give something back.”
Phill Morgan-Henshaw is service manager for the Healthy Minds Service, Herefordshire and Worcestershire said: “It is all about acknowledging mental health needs are as important as physical health needs.
“Where we need to get to societally is we need to be better at observing mental health dips, and seeking appropriate assistance.
“In the same way you would for a physical aliment that becomes worse, you would seek attention. If you have a mental health issue that becomes worse, then come talk to us.”
Mr Morgan-Henshaw added that the key message was also that even during this pandemic, they are open to business and run virtual group activities at the moment, which you can join remotely from home.
If you think you need some support contact the team on the below numbers. You don’t need a referral from a GP or another healthcare professional first.
- Worcestershire Healthy Minds: 0300 302 1313
- Herefordshire Healthy Minds: 01432 347606