In troubled times, we could all use some Help - Scotsman Comment

It may be pushing 60 years since John Lennon wrote the Beatles song Help! but the lyrics surely ring as true today as they ever did.

"Help me if you can, I'm feeling down," Lennon wrote, as he revealed the toll his rapid and stratospheric rise to superstardom had taken on his wellbeing.

But the World Health Organisation estimates that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.

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And the causes of mental ill health are as varied as the people it affects.

Former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson has spoken of her clinical depression, a condition she was diagnosed with in her first year at university.

The Tory peer revealed the taboo surrounding the subject was such that she almost did not run for the Scottish party leadership in case her mental health history became public knowledge.

“It was very shameful," she said. "I didn’t want anyone to know.”

Twenty years after her diagnosis, Baroness Davidson said she had opened up about her depression because it would have helped her when she was younger to see someone speaking out.

From top left clockwise, songwriter Laura Mvula, The Wanted's Max George, singer Craig David, singer Ella Henderson, Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts and singer Tom Grennan, who are helping to launch a new NHS mental health campaign by appearing in a video reciting words from The Beatles song Help!, to encourage people struggling with their mental health to seek support. Photo: NHS England/PA Wire

For similar reasons, a host of musicians have signed up to a new mental health campaign by NHS England to encourage people who are struggling with their wellbeing to seek support.

Girls Aloud pop star Nicola Roberts and singers Craig David and Tom Grennan are among those featuring in a video reciting the words from The Beatles' hit, which Lennon wrote in 1964. The soundtrack for the video has been donated by Sony Music and Apple Corps.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 2.3 million people have signed up for talking therapies with the NHS.

Last month it emerged that almost 2,000 young Scots have been left waiting more than a year for specialist help with mental health problems - with the total having doubled in the space of a year.

Campaigners have called for urgent action and raised concerns over a "potential lost generation of vulnerable children".

It seems that now more than ever before we would all do well to heed Lennon’s advice to “open up the doors”.

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