World Mental Health Day 2020

This year, we are supporting the theme of ‘Mental Health For All’ by highlighting the range of support available to everyone

Saturday 10 October is World Mental Health Day #WMHD2020. This year, we are supporting the theme of ‘mental health for all’ by highlighting the range of support available to everyone.

Everyone has mental health and as with physical health, it doesn’t stay the same. At any given time, around one in four people experience mental ill health. However, this year, the coronavirus pandemic means that many more people are experiencing poorer mental health or a mental health problem. Health concerns, physical and social isolation, job losses and a general atmosphere of change and uncertainty are contributing to this, and while some people will bounce back quickly, others may need support to feel better again.

Dr Gwyn Elias, GP and Clinical Lead for Mental Health for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Anyone from any walk of life can be affected by mental ill health. It’s important to recognise that this year has been particularly hard and that it’s okay not to feel okay.

“As we go into winter, things may be especially tough for some of us. I’d urge everyone to stay safely connected and to regularly check in with friends and family. If you have older neighbours or know someone who may be shielding, ask if they need any shopping picking up. This will not only help them but will make you feel better too.

“Connecting with others in a Covid-safe way is just one way we can boost our wellbeing. Other things like learning to relax properly, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, discovering new hobbies – these can all help improve our mood and build our resilience so we’re better able to respond if life takes an unexpected turn.

“However, if you start to struggle with your feelings, it’s really important to reach out for support. Mental health services across the city are open, as they have been throughout the pandemic, and though they may be delivered a little differently, they’re still there to support people who need help.”

As well as national mental health resources, people in Leeds can access a wide range of support including self-help resources, helplines and crisis services. These include:

  • West Yorkshire 24 hour mental health support line – 0800 183 0558
  • MindWell – the one stop mental health website for people in Leeds. The site includes a helpful coronavirus mental health information hub.
  • The NHS Every Mind Matters website also includes a wide range of resources to help with anxiety, low mood and stress. Audio guides and reading lists to help with stress and anxiety are also available at
  • Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service – is for anyone aged 17+ registered with a Leeds GP and provides support and psychological therapies for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The service also provides online therapy courses and self-management tools which are available at any time day and night to help with a wide range of issues including stress and anxiety, mindfulness, depression and bereavement. If you prefer talking therapies you can also refer yourself through the website –
  • Children and young people can visit the Mindmate website for information and support about their emotional health and wellbeing
  • The pandemic has been particularly challenging for new parents and parents to be. A range of perinatal mental health support is available in Leeds. More information is available on the Mindwell website.
  • Support for anyone concerned about alcohol or drug use is available from Forward Leeds
  • Anyone worried about gambling can find support from the NHS Northern Gambling Service, which provides specialist addiction therapy and recovery to people affected by gambling addiction.
  • Leeds Recovery College delivers a range of education courses that have been specifically designed to increase awareness and understanding of mental health, wellbeing and personal recovery. You do not need a referral to join a workshop. Visit

Support for people in crisis is also available:

  • Connect – a survivor-led local helpline which offers emotional support and information to people in Leeds every night from 6pm-2am on 0808 800 1212. Connect also provides online support through instant chat for people – Connect specialises in working with people at risk of suicide and self-harm and those with complex mental health needs
  • Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (LYPFT) Single Point of Access (SPA) – if you, or someone you’re worried about, needs urgent care or treatment for a mental health crisis call the SPA on 0300 300 1485 (open 24/7, every day)

Anyone whose life is in immediate danger should call 999.

Mental health support for all

Our Clinical Engagement, Access and Inclusion Team provide support to our staff to become more responsive to the diverse cultural needs of the people who use our services. You can watch this film about their role and also how they are reaching out to community groups to better understand local needs.

We believe this is so important in improving our services so that every individual that comes to us for help is able to achieve positive outcomes for their health and wellbeing – ‘Mental Health For All’.

We’d also like to share some real stories from some of our service users about their experience in the hope that this will help break down some of the stigma that exists about talking about our mental health.

Good mental health through involvement

Our Patient and Carer Experience Team actively advocates for and encourages service users and their friends, relatives and carers to get involved in improving the services the Trust provides.

People get involved in a wide range of ways, from responding to a survey, joining an advisory group that works with a particular Trust project or team, being part of a staff recruitment panel, volunteering on an inpatient ward or becoming a member of our Service User Network (SUN).

At SUN we ‘co produce’ our work and group members have together recently produced an action plan to recruit more members and tell as many people as possible about the benefits of being involved. One of our members says: “Being involved helps my recovery. I feel as though I am valued, empowered. It keeps me well and keeps me busy”.  Another says that “You can make a difference, everybody can.”

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook and let’s get more people talking about mental health awareness #WorldMentalHealthDay #MentalHealthForAll #LetsTalkLeeds