A fundamental right: Look after your emotional wellbeing this World Mental Health Day


The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’. So, it’s an opportunity to highlight how and where residents can conveniently access services that support us to live healthy lifestyles.

Our vision for Richmond upon Thames is for it to be a place that centres people, and the wellbeing of individuals and communities, in everything we do. That’s why it’s so important to us to ensure everyone’s mental and physical health needs are met —ensuring ease of access to local services as and when they are needed.

As the days get shorter we know some people can find themselves struggling to cope and that increasing financial pressures, particularly in the midst of the cost of living crisis and as we run up to the festive season, can have a negative impact on mental health, including amongst those who may never have experienced mental health issues before.  

There is a wide variety of local services available to support individual needs including for those who are looking for local assistance. Richmond Borough Mind is a community-based charity which exists to meet the mental health needs of residents and its staff. Its volunteers work to provide high quality, individually tailored services so people can live full lives and be connected to other people in their communities. If you need confidential support, you can also call the Richmond Wellbeing Service for a range of free talking therapies and specialist support for adults on 020 8548 5550.

Taking care of your mental health does not only happen during the day so if you require out-of-hours support you can call the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust’s Mental Health Support line. The line is available 24/7 on 0800 028 8000 and offers emotional support and advice to those who are affected by urgent mental health issues. Anyone can call the line, including children and people who have not previously used mental health services.

A new service for those registered with a GP in south west London is NHS 111 mental health help. You can reach them by calling 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service – a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis.

It’s important to remember that young people also face a myriad of issues from anxiety to depression which can affect their mental wellbeing. To support the borough’s youth, Off The Record (OTR) provides a free and confidential drop-in counselling, information and sexual health service for young people aged between 11 and 24. OTR offers a welcoming space where our young people can feel valued, supported and listened to and address the specific issues that they face today. Kooth also offers free, safe and anonymous online support for young people and an online mental wellbeing community across south west London.

I am glad to live in a borough that has so many services available to residents delivering a range of wellbeing and resilience workshops to equip individuals with the tools, skills and knowledge to look after their own, and others’, emotional health. There is plenty of good work being done, and I am excited to continue working with our partners to achieve a healthier borough for all.


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