Psychologist hopes new mental health website will help Camden sufferers
- Credit: Polly Hancock
John Brogan realised he had a mental health problem while watching an episode of TV drama series Hollyoaks.
The 33-year-old music promoter had suffered with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for as long as he could remember, but it wasn’t until watching the episode several years ago that he found a name for his problem.
“I wasn’t aware of it until I saw a storyline on Hollyoaks with someone who had OCD,” he said. “My partner saw the episode and said, ‘That’s you, that’s what you do – you should go to the doctor’.”
Mr Brogan, who lives in Islington, went to see his GP and quickly started receiving cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) through the Camden and Islington Psychological Therapies Service.
He said: “It was a really life-changing experience because I realised the things I had become accustomed to doing and that there was a way out of them.
You may also want to watch:
“It was only when I engaged with the service that they were able to tell me it’s not uncommon, and it is something which is treatable.
“The problem never goes away but it’s made it 99 per cent manageable.”
- 1 Nazanin may become 'bargaining chip' in Iran nuclear deal, warns husband
- 2 'Silver lining of lockdown': Blockheads saxophonist brings Muswell Hill cheer
- 3 Camden's Levertons to arrange the funeral of Prince Philip on April 17
- 4 'It's a godsend': Hampstead pubs and shops back serving the community
- 5 Highgate reopens: Pubs and salons 'elated' to be back as lockdown eases
- 6 Child artworks breathe life into Hampstead Heath and Gospel Oak bridge
- 7 Wac Arts: West End stars among ex-students who can 'no longer endorse' charity
- 8 Lockdown easing April 12 live updates: North London shops and pubs reopen
- 9 Crackdown on 'blue badge' disability parking fraud in Haringey
- 10 Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Wait for second verdict could last 'until Easter'
Mr Brogan is now backing a website launched by the therapies service on Wednesday, entitled iCope, which aims to encourage residents in Camden and Islington suffering with mental health problems to seek help.
It is part of the nationwide health initiative Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and offers a wealth of information on a variety of mental health disorders.
Dr Alastair Bailey, a clinical psychologist working in the Camden and Islington therapies service, hopes the new website will reach residents who may feel “shamed” by their mental health problems and reluctant to visit a GP.
He said: “There are a lot of people out there who don’t access psychological therapy because of the shame and stigma. For a lot of men it’s very shaming to admit you have an emotional problem.
“A lot of people don’t know they have a mental illness. For instance, insomnia – there are a lot of people who suffer with insomnia without realising it’s a disorder.
“A lot of people think it’s just a part of life. A lot of older people may feel low and depressed but think it’s just part of getting older.
“There is a lot of psychological treatment that can be really effective for these kinds of things.”
The website offers a search facility which enables users to type in their symptoms and retrieve information relating to their condition.
There is also information about treatments and contact details for support, as well as videos and downloads offering self-help materials.
Importantly, the website features a “self-referral” tool with which users can send a message to the therapies service and in turn arrange for a referral to a specialist.
To learn more about iCope, visit www.icope.nhs.uk