My Experience: Mental Healthcare In Rochdale

August 28, 2020 9:08 AM
By Tony Hughes

Andy's Man Club Logo (Andy's Man Club)I am like 1 in 8 males - I have a Mental Health Issue.

My issues are summed up in one catch all title of Major Depressive Disorder and it is truly a silent killer and one I feel I have lived with since early teens.

Over the past 10 years I have had two full on "breakdowns" which have nearly broken me, my family, my friends and my finances.

Fortunately I have a loving and strong wife, great family and some strong supportive friends.

I am a strong supporter of our wonderful NHS and I will say the care and compassion of my GP has been second to none.

But the sheer demand for follow on services for suffers is so large and the investment from the previous government so little, that these angels are at breaking point.

Recently, after working many hours as a key worker, being subjected to daily abuse from people we were trying to keep safe and of course living with the fear of contracting the virus, I suffered a bit of a wobble and needed to contact my GP.

As usual Dr Gunn was his empathetic and professional self and with a slight modification to meds he also decided to give an emergency referral to the Rochdale Mental Health Team.

I will not lie. I was in a bad place and was unwell. Although if you met me 1-2-1 you may not be aware of this.

Two weeks to the GP I had a call from one of the MHT to arrange a telephone appointment. In 6 weeks' time! Now 8 weeks for a referral for sufferer is way too long and I would dread to think how long it would be for on emergency.

The telephone interview went okay and they have created a plan of intervention for me.

Our brilliant NHS needs a caring hand on its tiller and I feel this can only come from the Liberal Democrats both locally and nationally. This a belief that I know Andy, Irene and Dave also share.

A statistic of that on average a man commits suicide every 2 hours is sickening and shocking and has a party it is something we need to locally and nationally so no more families have to feel the pain of loss.

I have been very lucky in falling into the arms of a wonderful group for men's mental health called "Andy's Man Club" and if anyone is suffering I urge you to have a chat with the guys. It's free and you get a cup of tea!

Got something on your mind?

Or, click here for a very good video.

Please find below a list of numbers that will help to keep you safe; if you find that your distress is out of control, you can contact any of the crisis numbers listed below:-

Your GP (during surgery times) - either by telephone or in person.

Contact out of hours GP: 'Go to Doc' 0161 336 3252

Accident & Emergency: Either by telephone (0161 627 8927) or in person, 24 hours each day, every day

Emergency Social Services: 0161 770 6936 - Call in the event of unexpected major problem within the home or family

The Sanctuary 0300 003 7029: 24-hours support to adults (18+) who are experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts or are in crisis.

Papyrus: A voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal. 0800 068 4141 Txt: 07786209697. E: (10:00am-10:00pm weekdays 2:00pm- 10:00pm weekends. 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm Bank Holidays)

The Samaritans 116 123: Offering confidential, emotional support 24 hours each day every day. You can also email

SANE: runs a national, out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support to anyone affected by mental illness, including friends, family and carers. Open every day of the year from 4.30pm- 10.30pm. 0300 304 700 (local rate)

Calm: Offering support to men of any age, who are in crisis via their helpline, webchat and website. 5pm-midnight 365 days a year. 0800 58 58 58.

Homelessness Advice Team: 22 Union Street, Oldham OL1 1BE. Tel: 0161 393 7117 (daytime) and 0800 988 7061(out of hours)

Oldham Independent Domestic Violence Advisors offers support and advice to anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence T: 0161 770 5557 Mon- Fri 09.30-4.30pm. 24 hr helpline 0808 2000 247. Homelessness section 0161 770 44555

Emergency Housing 0800 988 706.