PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES
The following list of resources has been put together in partnership with Whitewater Health Patient Participation Group and Whitewater Health.
Introductory Note from Dr Tim Cooper, Clinical Lead and Lead for Mental Health for Whitewater Loddon Primary Care Network
“Ensuring we have good mental health is always important, but with the challenges of the pandemic and the pressures we are all facing, now more than ever we need to focus on looking after it.
Managing our mental health can take many forms; it may be things we can do ourselves to promote resilience and positive mental health or more formal support through your local health service.
Self-care is hugely important and focusing on our own needs can often feel selfish when everything is happening around us. But like an airplane emergency you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others.
For mental health this might be taking some time back to do an activity you like or something that holds your attention. For others it might be prioritising some time to exercise or be outside. For some it might be 15 minutes with a cup of tea in a quiet place. There is no right way to self-care but at its core its about having time to check in with ourselves. There are some brilliant NHS resources available to help you without a referral and this and these can be accessed at www.italk.org.uk
At times self-care might not be enough and your general practice team are here to support you. We have access to mental health workers from MIND who can offer booked appointments to discuss issues further. We have social prescribers from The Red Cross who can support you with periods of isolation, loneliness or other issues. Our clinical teams are trained to understand your issues and make an appropriate plan with you whether that’s more formal support, medications or signposting.”
The following is not an exhaustive list but these apps and links were considered to be among some of the best.
ChatHeath For ages 11-19
Text 07507 332 160
Response time within 24 hours, 8.30-4.30 Monday – Friday
Confidential text messaging service
“It seems like a great resource for both young people, and also parents as it markets on its site. It allows the user to stay anonymous in terms of names and this might appeal to quite a few people who have perhaps been hesitant to get help in the past. It seems very quick and easy to use and it would be especially good for getting advice on issues that are more ongoing - not emergencies - which is great as there are lots of crisis management lines but fewer resources for improving day-to-day mood. It also gives great examples on its site of things people have talked about, which will help people see that their issue is "important enough. i.e. on the site it mentions someone messaging about a bad breakup, which shows this circumstance is a completely valid one to ask for help with.”
121 Counselling For ages 11-25
Young Minds For ages under 18 www.youngminds.org.uk
Includes a list of resources for crisis management. Features crisis messengers from many different sites. Lots of self-help information available. Also has many blogs to read on a plethora of issues from anxiety to body image and self -harm.
Below are three apps, one for suicide prevention and one that focuses on self-harm prevention:
Stay Alive App For ages-teens upwards
#stayalive app - https://www.prevent-suicide.org.uk/find-help-now/stay-alive-app/ Extremely highly rated app that works towards suicide prevention. Has a feature that allows users to create a safety plan which has been shown to be very beneficial in moments of crisis. Having the plan has proven to help people know what to do when emotions can be very overwhelming.
CalmHarm For ages -teenagers https://calmharm.co.uk/
Aims to help prevent self harm amongst teenagers by providing distractions and activities to do in place. Recommended by NHS, has won many awards and is very highly regarded.
DistrACT App https://www.expertselfcare.com/health-apps/distract/
Helps with understanding distraction techniques to prevent self-harm
Information and resource for parents/carers of people with mental health issues
Free to register site for parents who want to educate themselves on mental health to enable them to
understand what their child (or also offers insight into mental health of older people)
Recommended by NHS
Provides e-learning resources from a beginner to a specialist level
Could be very helpful for parents who feel helpless or want to understand what their child is going through better
Happy Maps www.happymaps.co.uk
Huge list of resources for children of all ages - including help for younger primary school age children
Also offers lots of resources for young people but main part of this site was the support for all ages
More information on the following link https://1drv.ms/b/s!AhI2401GaHhnhNljZUPZd_PKzWThaw?e=pv6CZT