Craig David, Laura Mvula, Nicola Roberts and more urge people to “reach out” in new NHS mental health campaign

Improved access to talking therapies on the NHS is announced

Craig David, Girls Aloud‘s Nicola Roberts, Laura Mvula and more musicians feature in a video for a new NHS mental health campaign that features words from The Beatles‘ ‘Help!’.

The campaign encourages those who are struggling with their mental wellbeing to seek support as the NHS boosts its community mental health services by £2.3 billion a year, which will improve access to talking therapies.

In the video, stars also including The Wanted’s Max George, and Ella Henderson, recite the lyrics to The Beatles’ 1964 single to raise awareness of the campaign that’s supported by Mind, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Age UK.

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Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts said: “I’m someone that has benefited hugely from talking therapy.

“I think there is such a taboo around it that people almost feel like they’ve failed or they weren’t strong enough to figure out a situation by themselves. But if you’re feeling like you can’t see the wood for the trees or light at the end of the tunnel, it’s imperative to reach out because you can’t always do it alone.”

The singer, who also performs as a solo artist, added: “It’s about saying this is what is happening to me, it’s not my fault, but my happiness matters and I’m going to put my hand up and say I need some help. I wouldn’t be where I am now without therapy.”

Laura Mvula onstage during the Hyundai Mercury Music Prize 2021 at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on September 09, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by JMEnternational/Getty Images)
Laura Mvula onstage during the Hyundai Mercury Music Prize 2021 at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on September 09, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by JMEnternational/Getty Images)

Mvula said: “Through my own personal experience of when I had therapy on the NHS, it did so much for my emotional wellbeing just to know that someone was truly caring for me on a regular basis.

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“It helped me see that things are temporary and however bad and permanent your situation feels, reaching out and sharing with someone you can trust is so important. It’s okay to ask for help – everybody needs it.”

The NHS talking therapies are confidential services run by trained experts and can be accessed by self-referral or through a GP. More than 2million people have signed up for talking therapies since the start of the COVID pandemic.

NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch said: “The pandemic has taken a toll on the nation’s mental health, and we know January can be a particularly tough month for many.

“Over a million people already use NHS talking therapies every year, but we know we can help millions more just by telling them it’s there for them and that is exactly what this campaign is all about.

“If you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or are feeling low, it’s important you know you are not alone and that it is OK to get help. No-one should suffer in silence.

“NHS staff have pulled out all the stops throughout the pandemic to keep mental health care services open, and it’s fantastic to see some of the biggest names in music back our campaign and encourage people to get the support they need.”

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