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Thursday, 21 May 2020

Be kind to yourself - Look after your mental wellbeing. The NHS is here for you.

Be kind to yourself - Look after your mental wellbeing. The NHS is here for you.

With national Mental Health Awareness Week in full swing, the NHS is reminding people of all ages in south west London that, during these difficult times, it’s important to recognise that it’s ok to not be ok, and that mental health services are open and accessible to anyone who is struggling or needs support

Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, referrals into local mental health services, including those supporting children and families and for adults experiencing stress and anxiety, have declined; however the need for mental health services has never been greater.

Measures are now starting to ease but there are still strict social distancing rules in place. Despite these restrictions, South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) is making sure that people know that mental health services are still available and is urging them to seek support as soon as they need it. The message is simple, the NHS is here for you.

If you are struggling with anxiety, low mood or depression you don’t need to suffer in silence; there are a number of resources available to help you help yourself. And if you need additional support, the NHS is here for you.

All of our services covering the London boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton, Richmond and Kingston are still open to patients. If you are a patient at our Trust and you need support, we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you.  You can find contact details here.   We are making changes to our services to protect both our patients and our staff but will continue to see people face-to-face where this is needed.

IAPT or Talking Therapies services

Primary care mental health services which support anyone who has a mental health or wellbeing need.

Help in a crisis

  • If you need mental health support in a crisis you can call our 24/7 Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000.  The Mental Health Support Line offers emotional support and advice to people who are affected by urgent mental health issues, at any time of the day or night. It is open to everyone: both children and adults of all ages, and to people who haven’t previously accessed mental health services.
  • If you are Deaf, you can call our Mental Health Support Line using Sign Live Video Relay Service (VRS) https://signlive.co.uk/login/
  • Our Recovery Cafes are there to help adults (18 years+) with mental health issues from the south London boroughs of Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton, Richmond and Kingston. Find out more here https://www.swlstg.nhs.uk/patients-carers/crisis-support/mental-health-support-line

Help for young people

If you are a young person experience problems with your mental health you can get support from a variety of places.

  • SWLSTG Mental Health Support Line – You can call our 24/7 Mental Health Support Line on 0800 028 8000.  The Mental Health Support Line offers emotional support and advice to people who are affected by urgent mental health issues, at any time of the day or night.
  • You can visit Headscape - our online webpages - https://headscape-swlondon.nhs.uk/
  • Kooth  - For young people aged 11 to 21. The service offers safe, free and anonymous support through a range of options from self-help articles and forums to chats with professional online counsellors - https://www.kooth.com/

Other help and support available in addition to help from your local GP

Dr Charlotte Harrison, the Trust’s Medical Director said: “In these challenging and unprecedented times, it’s normal to experience increased levels of stress, anxiety, low mood or depression. We understand that people are anxious and that in many cases feel that they don’t want to put the NHS under any more burden, but our message is clear – mental health services in south west London are open and its vital people don’t delay getting the support they need; whether that is self-help or the help of our experts. And while the way services are delivered might a bit different at the moment to adhere to social distancing rules, they are very much open for you.”

Primary Care Mental Health Clinical Lead for South West London Phil Moore said: “Anxiety about health, work and money, social isolation or changes in routines and family relationships are just some of the many ways people can be affected during this pandemic. But whether you are young or old the support you need is still available despite these challenging times and I would urge you not to hesitate to use them if you are struggling.

“GPs are working in different ways to support patients during this pandemic but are still very much here for you if you need support and there is also wide range of support and advice available online – such as Kooth for young people or Thrive LDN – that can help with your wellbeing in these difficult times.”