On Monday, 21 January people across Sefton were urged to put the kettle on, sit down and take the time to have a chat with friends, family and colleagues for ‘Brew Monday’.
A simple act like having a brew and talking with friends may seem trivial but it can actually make a big difference to someone who is struggling with their mental health.
That is why this year NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG both took part in Brew Monday, with members of staff taking time out of their day to sit and chat with colleagues.
Fiona Taylor, chief officer of the CCGs, said: “It’s good that we’ve managed to find the time to take a break from our busy schedules and spent some time in conversation with our colleagues.
“Simply asking someone how they’re doing can have a huge impact on the way they’re feeling.
“We always encourage our staff to speak to their friends and family about how they’re feeling. Brew Monday is a great opportunity to start the conversation about your mental health, be it with your family, friends or GP.”
‘Brew Monday’ was originally launched by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust who host events across the region each year to raise awareness of their ‘zero suicides’ initiative, which is a commitment to eliminating suicide for all those in their care. The Life Rooms in Bootle also hosted a ‘Big Brew’ session to mark what is often billed as the most depressing day of the year.
Amanda Comer, Service Lead at Access Sefton, said: “One in four adults and one in ten children will experience some sort of mental health issue each year, but sometimes people don’t know what help is available and how to get it, or may feel embarrassed talking about how they are feeling.
“The state of our mental health can be affected by many different factors, including life events like separation or bereavement, work-related stress, and physical health issues – among other things.
“It is really important not to ‘suffer in silence’, and talking to someone about your mental health can go a long way towards helping you feel better.”
If you are feeling anxious or depressed, you can contact Access Sefton for free NHS talking therapies for common mental health conditions. The service is available to anyone aged 16 and over and registered with a Sefton GP. For more information visit Access Sefton online at www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton or call 0300 303 2708.