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Mental Health Awareness Week, 15 to 21 May 2023

On the theme of ‘anxiety’, this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is from Monday 15 to Sunday 21 May.

From those responding to our ‘What Matters’ survey in 2022, 41% of people said specifically that anxiety or depression has impacted them.

At SIA we acknowledge the importance of mental health issues on the quality of life for those with spinal cord injury (SCI).  In 2020 we developed a service to provide counselling from professional counsellors who have a lived experience of SCI.  To cope with the overwhelming demand for this service, we have recruited additional SCI counsellors and are doing our best to meet this demand.

We’re also very conscious of the lack of support and education for healthcare professionals on the various mental health issues that SCI people experience and have employed a healthcare professional to provide that specialist education.

Julie O’Keeffe joined us in February as spinal cord injury mental health training and education specialist. Julie is an occupational therapist with 32 years of experience of working with SCI people and also in palliative care.  Most recently she developed and delivered educational resources to healthcare professionals working in the field of palliative care and is therefore well qualified to design and deliver education around mental health concerns for SIA.

You can find out more about this awareness campaign, how to support it and get involved here.

Access support

If you think you could benefit from talking therapy with someone who understands SCI talk to your local support coordinator in the first instance and they will pass your details onto our counselling service. Remember that you’re not alone, and we look forward to talking to you soon.

Please quote COUNSELLING in any communications you send to your support coordinator.  

NB We do still have a waiting list for counselling appointments but will work to see you as soon as possible.

If feel you need to speak with someone urgently, you can talk to a Samaritan any time, day or night, by calling 116 123 or emailing [email protected]