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Dave Mellish, Chair of Oxleas NHS Foundation

PUBLISHED: 16:47 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:46 25 August 2010

EVEN in the 21st century it s a subject that is still often swept under the carpet, spoken about in whispers and, yes sometimes, sensationalised in the media.

EVEN in the 21st century it's a subject that is still often swept under the carpet, spoken about in whispers and, yes sometimes, sensationalised in the media.

However, mental health is an issue that at any one time can affect one in six people. Sixty to 70 per cent of adults will at some time in their lives experience depression or worry of sufficient severity to influence and affect their daily activities.

You are more likely to be hit by a drunk than a mentally ill person. In fact, a person with a mental illness is far more likely to be a victim of violence than its perpetrator.

Mental disorders are treatable and are as likely to respond favourably to medical and other treatments as many physical illnesses. But the stigma of mental illness can make it harder for people to seek help and more difficult for other people to help them.

Oxleas has some of the best mental health services in the country and being a foundation trust enables us to make our services even better. It offers us the financial and administrative freedoms to work with partners to develop fully comprehensive services that local people want.

We provide mental health care across the three London boroughs of Bexley, Greenwich and Bromley.

We are a well established, well performing trust and we are always looking to recruit more members.

If you become a member of the trust, you will be able to help ensure that we are more accountable to the people we provide services to. We would like members to play an active role in helping shape our services for the future and you can have your say in how we do this.

Each foundation trust has a membership from its local community who, through a council of governors, influence the development of the organisation. If you would like to become a member please visit www.oxleas.nhs.uk/members.html.

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