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Trust Chairman Sir Tom Hughes-Hallet opens up for Mental Health Awareness Week

16 May 2018

Our Chairman, Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett, has opened up about how mental health issues have affected his life in a new video for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Our Chairman, Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett, has opened up about how mental health issues have affected his life in a new video for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Sir Tom has shared his story to raise awareness of the fact that anyone can be affected by mental health problems, and to remind us all of the importance of building resilience and wellbeing into our lives. 

Sir Tom said: “I think it's wonderful there's a week when we celebrate mental health and recognise its importance and the impact it can have.

“I have had a big part of my life affected by mental health, personally. I first noticed that I had a problem in rather a dramatic style on my daughter’s fifth birthday.

“I was ‘depressed’. That was the thing I found hardest to understand—anxiety syndrome is a form of depression, and I couldn’t believe it myself—I don’t know anyone less depressed than me. But now I know the symptoms… it was a shock.”

Sir Tom bravely details his personal experience and explains the things that have helped manage his symptoms. He has encouraged anyone struggling to talk about it—as having a conversation can help: “Be open with your friends and, if you can, your employer.”

He also paid tribute to his family’s support, saying: “I couldn’t have managed without them.”

Mental health is of vital importance and, at the Trust, we have various initiatives in place to support patients and staff.

We are holding events throughout the week (14–18th May) and sharing tips for keeping mentally healthy at work—for example, encouraging staff to take their breaks throughout the day.

Getting support

We provide confidential support to our staff through our occupational health team.

If anyone reading this needs support relating to these issues, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 (available 24/7).

You can also talk to someone you trust, your GP, or call 111.