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Mental Health Awareness Week, 8-14 May 2017

Mental health: Let’s strive to thrive

Good mental health is more than the absence of a mental health problem, it’s about thriving – not just surviving – when life challenges us with stresses and strains.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, 8-14 May 2017, and following publicity generated by princes William and Harry, NHS Wandsworth CCG is encouraging residents to look after their mental health, and to build resilience to cope with the demands of life.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, who are running the awareness week, there are 10 steps that everyone can take to improve their mental health:

1. Talk about your feelings:

If it feels awkward at first, give it time. Make talking about your feelings something that you do.

2: Keep active:

Exercise is believed to boost feel-good chemicals in the brain; it can boost self-esteem, concentration and help you to sleep, look and feel better. Walks in the park, gardening or housework all count as ‘being active’. Try to do about 30 minutes exercise at least five days a week.

3. Eat well:

A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.  For tips on eating well, visit: NHS Live Well or, for local help, see the range of lifestyle resources available within Wandsworth here

4. Drink sensibly:

Drinking will not help you to solve problems, it creates them. Get advice on healthy drinking from NHS Live Well or, for local help, see the list of self-help groups on the Care4Me website 

5. Keep in touch:

Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. If you’re feeling out of touch with some people, visit the Mental Health Foundation for some tips on talking about your feelings.

6. Ask for help:

Family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are also there to help you.  To find out where to go in Wandsworth, look up our mental health services signposting to relevant support, including new drop-in recovery cafés.  There is also a wide range of support services available through Talk Wandsworth
You should consider getting help from your GP if difficult feelings are:
• stopping you getting on with life
• having a big impact on the people you live or work with
• affecting your mood over several weeks.
If you need urgent help, or you are worried about someone, call the Wandsworth Community Mental Health team on 020 3513 5000 or the Crisis Line on 0800 028 8000, 5pm-9am Monday to Friday, 24 hours Saturday and Sunday.  Alternatively it may be necessary to call 999, depending on the situation. 

7. Take a break:

A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’; listen to your body: if you’re really tired, give yourself time to sleep. 

8. Do something you're good at:

Enjoying yourself helps beat stress.

9. Accept who you are:

We’re all different. It’s much healthier to accept that you’re unique than to wish you were different. Good self-esteem helps you cope when life takes a difficult turn.

10. Care for others:

Caring for others is often an important part of building and maintaining relationships. Find out more about volunteering opportunities at www.do-it.org.uk or by visiting Volunteering Wandsworth .

Further information

Mental Health Foundation 
Mental Health Awareness week: advice on holding a fundraising or information event
NHS Live Well hub 
Mind: Charity Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Mind offers confidential help and legal advice.  Local branches also operate. To contact the national charity,
Telephone:
0300 123 3393 (MIND Infoline)
020 8519 2122 (MIND London Office)

NHS111: Call 111, available 24 hours every day
Sane Line: 0300 304 7000 (6pm - 11pm every day)
Samaritans: 116 123 (24 hours every day) 

Contact your local Mind charity

Local Mind charities support over 370,000 people across England and Wales. Services include talking therapies, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending.

Wandsworth & Westminster Mind, tel: 020 7259 8100, email: admin@wwmind.org.uk, website: http://www.wwmind.org.uk/, opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm