Mental health is just as important as physical health – and now, more than ever, we need as many avenues as possible to find support if we’re struggling.
It’s estimated that one on six people in the past week experienced a mental health problem, according to the Mental Health Foundation. And major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide.
This was a familiar feeling to Jake Mills, who set up Chasing the Stigma, a mental health charity, in 2014, following his own suicide attempt the year before. “I realised when talking through my own personal experience that many people didn’t know where to turn for help with mental health issues,” he says. So he set up the charity, which was then followed by the Hub of Hope app.
[Read More: The ‘slow fashion’ brand that helps Peruvian women]
Finding the hub of hope
‘Hub of Hope’ is the only mental health app of its kind that brings NHS, Samaritans, Mind and more than 3,000 registered national and local voluntary, grassroots, private and third sector mental health support services together in one place.
“It started as a spreadsheet populated at my kitchen table and then developed into the comprehensive tool that it is today,” says Jake, “a location-based app which directs people to all the mental health support available within any given area.”
The Hub of Hope is free to use, so anyone can get the support they need – and it really can save lives. It’s always been Jake’s aim with Chasing the Stigma to bring mental health organisations together, to make signposting clear and consistent, so that people don’t have to think twice about where to look for help. He hoped to make local mental health support as accessible and intuitive as finding a local takeaway.
So, how do you use it?
You search for local mental health support by your postcode location. The Hub of Hope also has a ‘Need Help Now?’ button that connects users directly to Samaritans or Crisis Text Line’s messaging service and has the numbers for every NHS mental health trust’s 24/7 urgent mental health line.
The app has recently been included in the government’s Covid-19 Mental Health & Wellbeing Recovery Action plan, which recognises the Covid-19 pandemic’s negative impact on the mental health of many people. And the NHS also included the Hub of Hope app on the official NHS website – the most visited mental health resource in the UK. Already, this has helped more than 40,000 visitors find support in just two months.
[Read More: Women fundraises for charity who helped her when she was homeless]
“There’s still so much that needs to be done to tackle mental health issues in the UK,” says Jake. “Consistency can only be created by working together and consolidating the efforts of the charity and the Hub of Hope with other organisations, so people know where to turn.
“The government still needs to play its part in supporting people with their mental health. It’s being talked about more, but there isn’t enough money being put into services or providing the resources and too many people are slipping through the net without access to any help. When there is always help, there is always hope.”
Find out more about the Hub of Hope app on its website.
Image credit: Fizkes / Shutterstock