According to the new research into the state of Londoners’ mental health, over two thirds of Londoners, including Harrow residents, have experienced symptoms of poor mental health within the last six months.
The new survey research by crisis charity Hestia has revealed that young people (aged 18-24) across all areas of London are most likely to experience challenges with their mental health, with 85 per cent admitting that they are struggling.
The research highlights the need for Hestia’s mental health crisis services, which have been set up across London in partnership with the NHS.
Throughout the pandemic, Hestia opened eight new mental health crisis support services, offering immediate support to people struggling with their mental health at times when other services are closed, such as weekends and evenings.
In Harrow, residents can access Hestia’s Harrow Cove drop-in service for free, with no appointment necessary. Support is available from 2-10pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Since the beginning of the year, half of Londoners have experienced low moods and 46 per cent have felt overwhelmed. Almost one in five (17 per cent) said that they have turned to drugs and alcohol in order to cope, 14 per cent have had suicidal thoughts and one in ten said that they had self-harmed.
The research also found that one in five Londoners don’t know where to turn to for mental health support.
Over the last year charity Hestia has supported over 4,000 people with their mental health through access to accommodation, community-based support and befriending services.
Nicole, who has used the Hestia’s crisis support service said: “When I arrived, I’d been struggling emotionally, physically and financially. and my housing contract was coming to an end. I was struggling to find a new place to live, as well as keeping money aside for food and daily life.
“I felt like I was a human and treated with some respect. In some of my experiences with mental health services, it could feel like I was being interrogated and it didn’t feel like they were really paying attention. It wasn’t too intense or clinical, but I knew I was being heard by someone who could genuinely help. It was good to have someone who both listened and actually understood the feelings I was experiencing at the time.”
Patrick Ryan, CEO at Hestia said: “The past two years have been challenging for everyone. Now many people are stressed and worried as the cost-of-living crisis bites. We want people to know that support is available. If you’re struggling with your mental health and emotional wellbeing and need a listening ear, visit one of our crisis response services. Our staff and volunteers are there to support you, give you a space to talk and plan so that you can better manage your crisis and build your resilience and coping strategies.”
Ann Sheridan, Managing Director of Jameson – The Mental Health Division at Central & Northwest London NHS Trust, who fund the service in Harrow said: “When it comes to mental health support we know one size does not fit all. We have invested – and continue to – in our response to offer North West London residents options of support that align with their specific needs. The Coves service by Hestia and CNWL is one of our responses and has become a reliable centre of support, providing immediate help for those in distress.”
Hestia provides nine crisis response services throughout London and the South-East. For more information visit www.hestia.org/crisis