NHS South Sefton and Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups, Sefton Council and Living Well Sefton are supporting Mental Health Awareness Week by encouraging local residents to be kind to their mind.
This #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, 18-24 May, the theme is kindness, which research shows is strongly linked to good mental health. Kindness connects people and communities, and which combats isolation and boosts people’s moods. Being kind to others makes us feel good and lifts the spirits of those who receive acts of kindness.
Dr Susan Gough, mental health lead for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “In these uncertain times the challenges on our mental health are greater than ever. Many people will be feeling lonely and isolated so it’s more important than ever to stay connected with others. Maintaining healthy relationships is key for your mental wellbeing, check in with your friends and family – by phone, messaging, video calls or social media.”
Dr Hilal Mulla, mental health lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “It’s brilliant that this week is shining a spotlight on mental health awareness. It’s normal to feel worried and helpless about the current situation. Remember that it’s good to talk. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines who are there to support you. Don’t delay getting the help you need. It’s vital that people who are struggling know there is advice and help available and they are not alone.”
Cllr Ian Moncur Sefton Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. It’s important that we all try to eat healthily, drink enough water and exercise regularly to maintain good mental wellbeing. Under the government’s guidelines people can leave their house to exercise, alone or with a member of their household and our tennis and basketball courts are open and our outdoor sport pitches for team games can be used for walking and sunbathing as long as people stick to the rules designed to keep them and others safe.”
Louise McDade, programme manager of Living Well Sefton, explains: “Our teams know firsthand the difference a bit of kindness makes to people’s lives, particularly through the volunteer shopping services Living Well Partners are delivering and the befriending schemes Sefton CVS and partners are providing. Giving and keeping people connected. It’s also important to take the time to be kind to yourself as well as to others.”
Mental health and wellbeing support
Mental health and wellbeing services continue to be available during the coronavirus pandemic. People who already have appointments should continue to attend them and they may be offered more flexible options such as video and phone consultations.
- Living Well Sefton – has a range of support services that can help people improve their mental wellbeing. Visit their website: www.livingwellsefton.org.uk
- Access Sefton – Residents in Sefton can access talking therapies from Access Sefton, through its Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. It is continuing to provide telephone support during the outbreak. You can contact them directly by telephoning 0300 303 2708 or visiting www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton
- Mersey Care 24/7 phone and online support – If you are aged 16 and over and need urgent mental health support you can contact the phone line on 0151 296 7200.
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – there are a number of local mental health support and advice services available to young people and their families at this time. You can find further information about these on the CCG’s website
- Alder Hey 24/7 CAMHS Crisis Care Team – if a child or young person requires urgent mental health support the team can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0151 293 3577 or free phone on 0808 196 3550.
- Kooth – This free online service for young people aged 11 to 18 years offers self-help materials and a safe online community 365 days a year. This can be accessed at www.kooth.com
Visit the NHS website for a list of other mental health helplines.
For more information on how to look after your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic visit:
For more information visit Mental Health Awareness Week and ‘Take Action, Get Active’ challenge.