You might have seen that last Monday was dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ and I couldn’t help but think about how the last 12 months has affected us all. Not only has everyone had to make life changes, but we’ve sacrificed seeing our friends and family and sadly, some of us lost loved ones.
The new year has presented us with another lockdown, resulting in further life changes and isolation for many. The last year alone was hard for most of us, and we need to make sure that we continue to support one another in ‘coping with COVID’.
Latest research from Public Health England (PHE) shows us that more than half of adults say they are more worried about mental health during this current lockdown than in March 2020.
Mental health can affect people in different ways. The latest survey completed by PHE shows us that people are feeling lonely, worrying about finances, employment and are worrying about their family’s health.
The sense of community spirit in Doncaster has really grown over the last year and it’s important that we keep this up. Let’s continue to check in on our loved ones and the vulnerable people that live in our community.
We all have a responsibility to support each other throughout this difficult period. Remember, if you need some help or advice, you can contact one of the many mental health services that Doncaster has to offer.
NHS talking therapies offer support with common health problems like stress, anxiety and depression – a GP can refer you, or you can refer yourself directly.
To support people during this time, PHE has relaunched a nationwide Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to encourage people to take action to look after their mental health and wellbeing and provide advice on how to support others such as family and friends.
If you think you may need support there is a free NHS-approved Mind Plan from the Every Mind Matters website. By answering 5 simple questions, adults will get a personalised action plan with practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.
The Every Mind Matters COVID-19 hub also includes practical tips and support on how adults can deal with uncertainty, how to cope with money and job worries and how to look after both their own and their family’s mental wellbeing while staying at home.
My message to everyone is a reminder that health services in Doncaster continue to be open. Please come forward or encourage someone to reach out if you, a friend, neighbour or relative need to seek advice. There is a range of services available to help you. Local practices continue to be open to provide the support and treatment that you need. The way services are provided may have changed in order to keep everyone safe, but we are here for you.
Other sources of support and advice include:
- NHS 111 – visit online or call to speak to someone
- Your local pharmacist
- Same Day Health Centre which is open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week
- GP out of hours service
- NHS Health at home – useful information on how to easily access NHS services online, from the comfort of your home. You can find out how to contact your GP, order repeat prescriptions and manage your wellbeing and existing conditions – without leaving your home.
NHS Every Mind Matters: Coping with loneliness
Samaritans: Talk to us
Rethink: local support groups