Mental health tips for the Christmas period

A Doncaster based health trust which provides a range of services across the borough to people experiencing difficulties with their mental health has issued the following advice for residents who may be experiencing more than just the winter blues over the Christmas period.

Alison Lancaster, Manager of mental health services in Doncaster for Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), said: “For some people the festive season brings increased levels of anxiety and stress, and for others it may intensify feelings of loneliness, sadness and isolation.

“It’s important for people to know there is always someone to talk to and to seek help when it’s needed.  In the first instance Doncaster residents should try and speak to their GP or out of hour’s ring the out of hours on call GP.

“In an emergency situation, where you, or someone you know has concerns about their immediate mental health, you should ring our Crisis Team on Doncaster 01302 566999.”

The Trust also has specialist mental health staff, working in the Emergency Department at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, who support the hospital staff and offer advice and assistance when people, both adults and children are admitted.

Patients are assessed and offered a range of different support, depending upon their individual needs. This can include one-to-one support and counselling, group support and access to the Trust’s Talking Therapies service via the website http://iapt.rdash.nhs.uk

Another alternative is calling The Samaritans free on 116 123. There is also the Rethink helpline available 24 hours a day on telephone 08088 010442.  However, if anyone has actually harmed themselves they should attend Emergency Department immediately.

Dr David Crichton, local GP and Chairman of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Many people find Christmas a difficult time of year so having information to hand on what you can do to help yourself is a good place to start.

“Don’t struggle alone, there is support out there available to everyone.”

There are a number of national helplines that also offer support, a list of useful links can be found in the ‘Support and advice’ section via the following link: http://www.rdash.nhs.uk