There has been an increase in people accessing confidential NHS support and advice services for mental health problems at walk-in centres run by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust that offer a choice of 6 languages.

More than 650 people have visited an Amman walk-in Centre in the past 6 months and been seen by a mental health practitioner who speaks a range of languages.

The Amman walk-in services are located at Soho Road Health Centre and Sparkhill Primary Care Centre. They provide NHS talking therapies by professionals from the Trust’s Birmingham Healthy Minds service who can support people in Punjabi, Mirpuri, Urdu and Bengali, in addition to English.

Joanne Gill, consultant clinical lead, Birmingham Healthy Minds, said: “The feeling of not being able to cope, for whatever reason, is always difficult to talk about and we aim to make access to our psychological therapy services as easy as possible by breaking down any known barriers that people may have, such as language issues.

“We are aware that people from different backgrounds may find it hard to take the initial step and in 2013, we introduced professional support provided in different languages at 2 of our 6 walk-in centres with positive results.

“I am delighted to see a significant increase in the number of people, both men and women, accessing support via our Amman walk-in centres this year. We will continue to listen to feedback and provide support in ways that breaks down any barrier that prevents people accessing vital NHS support to improve mental health.” 

Birmingham Healthy Minds operate walk-in centres across Birmingham on various days and times in Sparkhill, Soho Road, Selly Oak, Kingstanding, Northfield and Walmley. The centres are designed to help people access support and treatment that provide essential skills to self-manage symptoms through a range of interventions, without a prior appointment.