"There are therapists and translators who speak your language"
A 2022 NHS campaign is encouraging people struggling with their mental health to seek confidential help from NHS Talking Therapies.
In September 2021, there were over 1 million people in contact with the NHS adult mental health services.
This emphasises just how pressing this issue is amongst the UK population.
Research shows that nearly half of South Asians put off seeking professional help and the NHS is encouraging them to make use of a range of free services.
These services are available for anxiety, depression, and other common mental health problems – either by self-referral or by contacting their GP.
A survey taken between December 29, 2021, and January 5, 2022, was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Carried out by Censuswide, they found some startling results relating to South Asians.
It found that they were more likely to be concerned about their mental health (64%), compared to 54% of the general public.
Additionally, 42% of South Asians didn’t seek professional help after experiencing issues as they didn’t think it was serious enough (compared to 45% of the general population).
However, 69% of South Asians plan to focus more on their mental health in 2022, compared to 59% of the wider public.
Given the disproportionate impact of Covid-19, multicultural communities have seen an increase in mental health concerns.
Factoring in aspects such as mental health stigma, the NHS has seen this as a top priority to try and help with.
Mental health therapist Ummar said:
“People often think their problems aren’t serious enough to warrant therapy.
“But if you’re in any doubt, a free, confidential video or in-person consultation with a fully trained expert will quickly assess if you need professional help.
“You won’t be wasting anyone’s time, the NHS is here to help you.”
“If you’re not fluent in English, there are therapists and translators who speak your language – just ask.”
The established individuals on hand allow people of different cultures and backgrounds to get the help they need.
Through enhanced understanding and a non-judgmental approach, therapists can help in the most accommodating way.
This also allows more people to come forward where English is not their native tongue. Hence, broadening the scope across diverse communities.
The NHS offers a range of talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling and guided self-help.
Support is offered in a number of ways, including in-person and video consultations, telephone and interactive text messaging.
There are also other helpful aides such as a self-help workbook with therapist support, online courses, and one-to-one or group therapy.
Listen to our interview with NHS Therapist Emran Hussain to find out more about this valuable NHS service and how it can help South Asian communities with their mental health:
Harmeet, who was helped by NHS Talking Therapies, said:
“When I was down, I didn’t think any kind of therapy would help me.
“But just talking about my problems and knowing someone was listening instantly provided some relief.
“Don’t think you’re not worthy of help or that it won’t work. Just give it a try, I’m glad I did.”
From young people to pregnant women, NHS Talking Therapies caters to all.
It highlights how many different people are struggling and need vital support that they would not otherwise have access to.
If you or someone you know could benefit from NHS Talking Therapies or to find out more information, visit the website here.