TAP Talk 19th October 2018 - Andrew Pritchard of MIND 'A local mental health charity, what it does, when, where and how'.
On 19 October members and guests of TAP welcomed Andrew Pritchard who is Chief Operations Officer of the Taunton and West Somerset branch of MIND, who presented his Talk entitled ` A local mental health charity, what it does, when, where and how.`
As a mental health charity MIND is there for anyone with a mental health problem and nationally delivers high quality services to hundreds of thousands of people each year. Taunton & West Somerset MIND is one of around 130 local MINDs around the country which are their own individual charities with their own trustees and are responsible for their own fund raising, although as a network, they share support, knowledge and ideas. Nationally MIND campaigns to improve services and strives to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Andrew reflected on the familiar statistic that 1 in 4 of us will suffer with mental illness at some point in our lives. It was surprising for many to hear that according to the World Health Organization, by 2020 depression will be the second most common cause of ill health after heart disease. Andrew added that this statement may have been revised and that mental illness will become the most common cause of ill health.
Taunton and West Somerset MIND supports 30+ projects mainly across Somerset but works in Devon, Dorset and other parts of the UK. Over 5000 contacts annually are made locally and these are handled by over 70 volunteers and just over 30 full and part time staff. As Andrew’s presentation continued more astonishing present day data and statistics emerged including the fact that in the UK this week 250,000 people will visit their doctor about a mental health problem and 750,000 prescriptions for antidepressants will be issued. During the same period 104 will have taken their own life.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 people at any one time will be experiencing mental distress. Relating these figures to Somerset with it’s population of just over ½ million this means at any one time 50,000 people could be experiencing mental distress in this county alone.
The next TAP Talk takes place on Friday 16th November when Jonny Scott presents Mental health: a young person’s perspective. All are welcome.