You are not alone: mental health support over the festive period
Christmas is usually a time of fun and festivity for most people – a time to celebrate with family and friends and take a break.
But with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the associated restrictions and worry, there’s no doubt that this year the holidays will be different and that this might have a negative impact on your mental health.
Even with the relaxing of some of the restrictions, some people may really feel the impact this festive period, but please remember – help is at hand.
There are lots of things you can do to self-manage your mental health and there's lots of support and advice available locally.
Dr Julie Attfield, Executive Director of Mental Health at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, explains: “While it’s going to be different in 2020, Christmas is a joyful time of the year for most.
“But for some people it can be really difficult, and this could be the case for people who may feel increasingly isolated during this time or who may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing for a variety of reasons.
“But there’s lots of help available and we want to ensure that people know where to go to get support if they’re struggling. It’s important to know there is always someone to talk to and that you can ask for help when you need to.
“We have a range of services, including an emotional and mental health support line, Talking Therapies service, and help in a crisis. The message is – you’re not alone, your NHS is here for you.”
Nottinghamshire Healthcare has a range of services to support patients across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, complemented by other third sector and local authority services.
Mental health support line
The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire mental health advice line is available 9am-11pm, 7 days a week. If you’re struggling with mental health issues and need to talk to someone, you can call 0300 555 0730 for emotional support and more information about the help that's available locally.
Across Nottinghamshire, people aged 18 and over can access the Talking Therapies services, which can help you if you're suffering with issues like depression, anxiety, panic, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and stress. You can contact the services directly or speak to your GP. The service available depends on where you live. Nottinghamshire Healthcare runs the Let’s Talk Wellbeing Service in South Nottinghamshire and the City. Go Let’s Talk Wellbeing for more information or call: 0300 300 2200
In a crisis
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, are feeling overwhelmed or are having suicidal thoughts, you can call the Crisis Line 24/7 on Freephone 0808 196 3779. It’s for people of all ages living in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire and can also refer into children’s support services.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing and in crisis visit. www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/help-in-a-crisis
Children and young people
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (or CAMHS) are for people up to 18 years old. Find out more about CAMHS.
Kooth provides support for 10-25 year olds who want to talk to a mental health professional online, anonymously and free. You can register directly through: www.kooth.com
Dr Nicole Atkinson, GP at Eastwood Primary Care Centre says: “It’s vital that people know there is always someone to talk to and that they can seek help when it’s needed. In the first instance, you can contact your GP to discuss the local options that are available, or you can call the local mental health support line.
“In an emergency situation where you, or someone you know, has concerns about their immediate mental health, you should ring the Crisis Line on 0808 196 3779.”