As social isolation continues during the Coronavirus lockdown health officials want to encourage people across Teesside to seek help if they are feeling lonely or distressed. There is a range of support available both nationally and locally but people often don’t know where or how to find it.
A new service called IMPACT, launched on April 1st, is supporting the mental health and wellbeing of people across Teesside. It is a primary care therapy service, available for people aged 16 and over, who are registered with a GP surgery in Stockton-on Tees, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar.
It offers a range of support including talking therapies and outreach services for people experiences difficulties that are impacting on their mental health, and is also the first in the country to provide recovery support for people who have experienced mental ill-health in the past.
NHS Tees Valley CCG commissioning lead for Durham, Darlington and Tees Mental Health, Autism and Learning Disabilities Partnership, Daniel Maddison, said: “Keeping connected during the Coronavirus lockdown is incredibly important as part of looking after your own wellbeing and that of others One in four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year and people are at greater risk being isolated from family and friends at this time.
‘Psychological wellbeing and talking therapies are available to support people who are experiencing depression, stress, anxiety. They are a proven, effective way of helping people cope with emotional and mental health problems. We would encourage you to speak to your GP or nurse or contact IMPACT if you feel you need help at this time, you can call IMPACT on 01642 573924 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Nationally, the Government has launched a major effort to tackle loneliness and social isolation during the coronavirus outbreak. The #Let’sTalkLoneliness campaign has been rolled out to get people talking openly about loneliness, which includes new public guidance offering useful tips and advice on what to do to look after yourself and others safely.
Advice includes, keeping in touch with friends, family and neighbours, asking for help if you need shopping or medicine, setting a routine with regular tasks, including daily exercise.
Other tips from the Government campaign include, looking for clubs and groups online, from choirs to writing groups and exercise classes, many have been offering online activities and events. Volunteering is also a really valuable way to meet people and connect. Full guidance on volunteering safely, including links to online platforms with volunteering opportunities, is available on the gov.uk website. If you need to find a support group that suits you, there are lots of organisations online offering support such as Every Mind Matters www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters.