Looking after your mental health this summer

The NHS in Leeds is urging local residents to look after their mental wellbeing this summer and to reach out for support if they need it.

Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Many of us will have been affected by recent tragic local, national and international news stories. In addition, although the easing of restrictions means that life is returning to normal, the changes we’ve experienced over recent months and the continued pandemic mean that some of us are feeling really anxious.

“It’s really important to pay attention to our feelings and to look after our emotional and mental wellbeing, just as we look after our physical health.

“If you’re feeling low, please talk to someone about how you’re feeling rather than keep things bottled up. Many times, just sharing your feelings with someone who cares will help, but if you need more support, help is available.

“If you feel you need to speak to someone, a free 24/7 support line is available, providing confidential support, advice, information and guidance for anyone concerned about their mental health or someone they care for.

“Try also to check in with your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to see how they are and let them know about the support that’s available if they need it.”

Mental health support in Leeds

Anyone registered with a Leeds GP can call the mental health helpline on 0800 183 0558. The service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

MindWell is the mental health website for people in Leeds. The site includes a coronavirus mental health information hub which brings together information about self-help resources for mental health and where people in Leeds can find help for their mental health as well as practical offers of support during the Covid-19 pandemic: www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk

The NHS Every Mind Matters website also includes a wide range of resources to help with anxiety, low mood and stress.

Leeds Mental Wellbeing Service is for anyone aged 17+ registered with a Leeds GP and provides support and psychological therapies for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The service also provides online therapy courses and self-management tools which are available at any time day and night to help with a wide range of issues including stress and anxiety, mindfulness, depression and bereavement. Help is available immediately through online courses at https://leeds.omnitherapy.org/

If you prefer talking therapies, you can also refer yourself through the website: www.leedsmentalwellbeingservice.co.uk

Operation Courage: the veterans mental health and wellbeing service – if you’re due to leave the armed forces, have just left or even left many years ago, Operation Courage can help. The service can be contacted directly, or through a GP, a charity or relative. Visit www.nhs.uk/opcourage to find out more.

Children and young people can visit the MindMate website for information and support about their emotional health and wellbeing: www.mindmate.org.uk

Further advice and resources can also be found on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/

Support for people in crisis is also available:

Connect – a survivor-led local helpline which offers emotional support and information to people in Leeds every night from 6pm-2am on 0808 800 1212. Connect also provides online support through instant chat for people – www.lslcs.org.uk Connect specialises in working with people at risk of suicide and self-harm and those with complex mental health needs.

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (LYPFT) Single Point of Access (SPA) – if you, or someone you’re worried about, needs urgent care or treatment for a mental health crisis call the SPA on 0800 183 1485 (open 24/7, every day).

Anyone whose life is in immediate danger should call 999.

Other Leeds based support:

Leeds Recovery College www.leedsandyorkpft.nhs.uk/advice-support/leeds-recovery-college/about-the-recovery-college/

Northern Gambling Service – www.leedsandyorkpft.nhs.uk/our-services/northern-gambling-service/