World Mental Health Day 2021 - Mental Health in an Unequal World

Mental health for all - how our Trust is helping to improve access to services

World Mental Health Day takes place on October 10th. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.

Health inequalities are unfair and avoidable differences in health between different groups of people in society. This WMHD join the Mindwell Leeds’ campaign to highlight and celebrate what’s happening locally to tackle inequalities including those relating to socio-economic status, race, gender, disability and sexual orientation.

MindWell, the mental health website for people in Leeds, will be on social media promoting what’s going on in the city for WMHD. They will be sharing their 3 new great resources supporting the 3 themes of the Kinder Leeds festival and the values of Anti-stigma Leeds.

Access to mental health support is too often determined by where we live or who we are. It shouldn’t be like this. But we can all do our bit to change things.

This year we also want to share some of the work our specialist teams are doing to combat health inequalities in our diverse local communities – work which helps people to access the right mental health care that meets their needs.

We encourage you to use the fantastic resources shared by MIND to learn more about mental health inequality. Please add your voice to the campaign and spread the word this #WMHD2021


Here is some of the work our dedicated teams at LYPFT do to improve access for local people:

Clinical Engagement, Access and Inclusion Team

The Clinical Inclusion Team support colleagues, both frontline and within the leadership teams, to provide culturally responsive services, which improves the health of our local communities through better access and evidence-based interventions that takes into account issues of race, ethnicity and culture.

The team’s key ethos is – stronger communities = healthier lives.

A little more about some of their work:

  • The coordinators in Crisis, Perinatal Mental Health and other services engage and work with a range of local communities, providers and groups to support and ensure equality, inclusion and access across the services, and develop an understanding of (unmet) needs
  • They promote diversity and inclusion amongst the team and within the service, raising awareness and promoting best practice, including delivery of training
  • They promote and support delivery of services that facilitate access and inclusion and meet the individual needs of all service users
  • They promote and facilitate the involvement of ethnic minority and other underrepresented groups within service development, and actively lead / engage in the development of new initiatives within the service
  • They work (alongside a designated care coordinator) with a cohort of individual service users to support the engagement and direct delivery of individualised care

The coordinator who works with the Perinatal Mental Health Service, Bal Kaur Dosanjh, shares some of the important work she has been involved with this year alongside the service, to reach out to mums who might need help with mental illness during and after their pregnancy:

“I had the idea of approaching our local South Asian radio stations – Akash Radio Leeds and Fever FM, on a programme hosted by Dr Mo Sattar. It meant we were reaching people in their homes, using their own mother tongue and just talking about this taboo but hugely important subject in a very open way on a grassroots level. We wanted to get the message out that mental health affects everyone regardless of ethnicity. I received one message from a mum who said: ‘Thank you for doing this. I felt so judged and also that I had nobody to talk to.’ It made me feel that we were doing the right thing.

“I also facilitate the Diverse Mum’s Group that the Perinatal Mental Health Service offers to our diverse service users. Along with our regular meetings mums have got involved in podcasting, blogging, videos and attending mental health events. Being able to openly share experiences in a safe space with other mums going through the same things has been really empowering for them. One mum said it had helped her to overcome her nerves and has built her self-confidence and that the group had been a lifeline for her, she said: ‘I am not ‘crazy’ it’s an illness.’

“On the 21st September, the Diverse Mum’s Group won a National Service User Award for ‘Breaking Down Barriers’. This is such a huge achievement for our service users, to have this recognition at a national level is amazing and I couldn’t be more proud of them. It clearly demonstrates how powerful and impactful having culturally specific support is. It makes the world of difference to our communities and also helps aid the recovery process. ‘To be heard, to feel listened too and to connect with others that look like you matters’. This is what is important to our service users and what has helped our group grow. This is just the beginning, we have so much more to achieve but there is no stopping us now, so watch this space!”   

  • You can also read a powerful and moving blog from one of the mums in the Diverse Mum’s Group Hikmat and her experience of getting help after the birth of her second child. Her message is ‘It’s OK to ask for help.’

Learning Disability Services

People with a learning disability and their carers are supported by LYPFT’s Learning Disability Service which provides help for people to access support and to help them understand what that involves.

People with a learning disability have worse physical and mental health than people without a learning disability.

* On average, the life expectancy of women with a learning disability is 18 years shorter than for women in the general population.

* The life expectancy of men with a learning disability is 14 years shorter than for men in the general population (NHS Digital 2017).


The Easy on the I service is the information design service within the Learning Disability Service. They specialise in producing easy to understand information for the people who use the service. They work with the people who use our service because they are the people who know what works best. These resources can be downloaded and displayed in GP practices and hospitals to assist people when they come in for treatment and check ups.

They have created some specific leaflets and posters in relation to mental health.

For people wanting to talk to their GP they can write how they feel in our Get Checked Out Checklist.

You can read more about the work our specialist Learning Disability teams have done to help people access health care, such as vaccinations, during the Covid pandemic in our news article: #4 Coronavirus a year like no other.

Improving care for the LGBT+ community

As a provider of mental health and learning disability services, we need to consistently acknowledge and address the inequalities which LGBT+ people face in society in order to better meet their healthcare needs. The Rainbow Alliance is a movement which is working to achieve this.

The Alliance is a network of  LYPFT staff, service users and carers committed to Rainbow Alliance logoenhancing the quality of services the Trust delivers to the LGBT+ community.

The Alliance provides staff with information about the health risks which are prevalent in the LGBT+ community and the societal issues which LGBT+ people face. It encourages staff to voluntarily attend training sessions to enhance their skills and knowledge in this area while improving the quality of the engagement between staff and the LGBT+ community.


How you can get help to support your mental health

Anyone registered with a Leeds GP can call the mental health helpline on 0800 183 0558. The service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

MindWell is the mental health website for people in Leeds. The site includes a coronavirus mental health information hub which brings together information about self-help resources for mental health and where people in Leeds can find help for their mental health as well as practical offers of support during the Covid-19 pandemic:

The NHS Every Mind Matters website also includes a wide range of resources to help with anxiety, low mood and stress.

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. Help is available immediately through online courses at

If you prefer talking therapies, you can also refer yourself through the website:

Operation Courage: the veterans mental health and wellbeing service – if you’re due to leave the armed forces, have just left or even left many years ago, Operation Courage can help. The service can be contacted directly, or through a GP, a charity or relative. Visit to find out more.

Children and young people can visit the MindMate website for information and support about their emotional health and wellbeing:

Further advice and resources can also be found on the NHS website:

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 0800 183 1485 (open 24/7, every day).

For crisis support in York please call the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Single Point of Access telephone number: 0800 051 6171. This is an all age, telephone number available 24/7 for those living in County Durham and Darlington, Teesside and North Yorkshire and York.

Anyone whose life is in immediate danger should call 999.

Other Leeds based support:

Leeds Recovery College

Northern Gambling Service –