Home Health Stress Awareness Month – take time to think about your wellbeing

Stress Awareness Month – take time to think about your wellbeing

by Guy Murphy

We’re urging residents to take time to think about their wellbeing as part of Stress Awareness Month this April.

The last two years have been very challenging for everyone and as we emerge from the pandemic there may be many more issues that might be causing you to experience stress, anxiety and worry. However, no matter what your situation or however you are feeling there is support available to you.

The cost-of-living crisis means money worries are at the front of many people’s minds.  Knowsley residents can  access benefits and debt management advice and support from Knowsley  Citizens Advice.

The Better Health – Every Mind Matters website includes practical tips and support on how you can deal with life’s challenges such as money and job worries as well as how you can support others.

By answering five simple questions you can also get a free NHS approved mind plan with practical tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, boost your mood, improve your sleep and feel more in control.

There are also simple things we can all do to help reduce the stress we’re experiencing:

Some useful tips:

Keep active, just 10 minutes of daily activity can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep and feel better. Walks in the park, gardening and housework can all keep you active.

Talk about your feelings – when you’re upset, worried or feeling down it can help to talk to family or friends. If you know someone who may be struggling, encourage them to talk.

Keep in touch with others – Keep in touch, there’s nothing better than catching up with a friend, if you can’t do that in person give then a call or send a text or email. Check that they are okay. Remember a problem shared can be a problem halved.

Make time – to look after yourself especially if you’re looking after others.  It can help you to relax, recharge and focus on your own needs and help build up your resilience to cope with the stresses of daily life.   that you enjoy.

Drink less alcohol – if you’re feeling low, alcohol can make you feel worse as it is a depressant. By limiting the amount you drink will also help you sleep better and may help improve your mood.

Ask for help – None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope ask your family or friends for some help, contact one of the support agencies below or speak to your GP.

Crisis mental health support

If you, or someone you know, need urgent help mental health support please call the NHS Mental Health crisis line on 0800 051 1508.  NHS staff will then support you to get the help you need. This is available 24/7 for people of all ages, including children and young people.

Support for people of all ages

The Better Health Every Mind Matters website has a range of dedicated support and resources to help parents look after the mental wellbeing of their children and for young people to care for their own mental health.

Qwell offers adults over 19 in Knowsley free digital mental health support 24 hours a day, seven days a week with access to an extensive range of self-care information and resources such as an online journal and peer-to-peer support via moderated forums.  One-on-one counselling sessions with fully qualified wellbeing practitioners are also available 365 days a year, from midday to 10pm on weekdays, and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends and holidays.

Think Wellbeing offers free NHS therapy for people with anxiety or low mood, to help people change the way they feel by changing the way they think.  Available to anyone aged over 16 who is registered with a Knowsley GP, you can self-refer via the website or ask your GP to refer you.  Similar services exist in other areas for those who live outside of Knowsley.

SHOUT is a free, confidential text messaging service available 24/7 for anyone who is feeling low, anxious, worried, overwhelmed or not quite yourself. The number won’t appear on your phone bill.  By texting the word ‘REACH’ to 85258 you will start a conversation with a trained volunteer who will listen and support you to get to a calmer and safer place.

For those aged 55 and over the Silver Line is a helpline which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. It is free to call on 0800 4 70 80 90 from a mobile or landline.

Listening Ear provide a range of emotional and psychological therapies and support services for children, young people and adults.

Stay Alive, the suicide prevention app (available free on iOS and Android devices), is designed to help both those who are having suicidal thoughts and those who are concerned about someone else.  It has several features including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. The app also directs people to local help and gives people the tools to start a conversation about mental health and suicide.

Young people in Knowsley aged between 10 and 19 years can access free counselling and wellbeing support with Kooth. The online support is free, safe and anonymous and provides advice on a range of topics. Young people can chat to the friendly Kooth community or speak to a member of the Kooth team.

Meanwhile, the Young Minds website has some really useful advice for children and young people and parents/ carers.

Knowsley CAMHS Services is a referral service for children and young people in Knowsley whose emotional, behavioural or mental health issues are causing them problems in their school, family or social life. If you are worried about your child, make an appointment to speak to your GP.