TV presenter Anna Williamson has been announced as a new Mind ambassador, as the charity reports a staggering 30% rise in suicide-related calls to the Mind Infoline in the last year.
Anna Williamson, who this week starts her new summer role offering viewers advice on ITV's This Morning, has battled severe anxiety and panic attacks for many years. She now talks openly about her experiences and the vital first step of asking for help. Anna will play a key role as a Mind ambassador, encouraging others to seek support as soon as they need it.
New figures show the Mind Infoline received 50% more calls in 2012/13 than the previous year. Moreover, callers are getting in touch with more acute and complex problems, many stemming from severe financial worries. The charity is urging people not to wait until they hit crisis point before getting in touch. It hopes, with Anna’s backing, they will help raise crucial awareness to ensure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.
Anna Williamson said:
"I know just how scary it can be to start the conversation – worrying what friends or colleagues will think. But I also now know that opening up is the key to getting better. Since I first shared my own experiences, I’ve heard from so many others in the same position.
It’s easy to forget you’re not alone, that actually 1 in 4 people experience a mental health problem every yearI am passionate about raising awareness and thrilled to be joining Mind as an ambassador. Through my new role I’m determined to let people know its ok to ask for help."
Paul Farmer, CEO for Mind says:
"We know that when people in the public eye speak out, it inspires others to seek help. We are delighted to have Anna’s support and are confident her honesty and candour will strike a chord with many others across the country and prompt them to get in touch."
The Mind Infoline is available from 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday and can be reached on 0300 123 3393.