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Free Online Mental Health Services for north Cumbria:
You can access Togetherall here: www.togetherall.com
- Togetherall is a service offering free online support to anyone aged 16 and over in north Cumbria facing increased anxiety and other mental health challenges.
- It provides online peer-peer support, access to an anonymous community and lots of information, as well as courses and resources covering a range of mental health and wellbeing topics.
- The service can be accessed by registering with your postcode and logging in.
- NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group has commissioned this online service for anyone aged 16 and over.
- This service is already available in the south of the county and was previously known as 'Big White Wall'
Visit Kooth at: www.kooth.com
An online mental wellbeing community with free, safe and anonymous support.
Some of the things you'll find on Kooth:
Helpful articles, personal experiences and tips from young people and our Kooth team.
- Discussion Boards
Start or join a conversation with our friendly Kooth community. Lots of topics to choose from!
- Chat with the team
Chat to our helpful team about anything that’s on your mind. Message us or have a live chat.
- Daily Journal
Write in your own daily journal to track your feelings or emotions and reflect on how you’re doing.
During the national lockdown which was in place in the first half of this year to ‘flatten the curve’ and stop the spread of COVID-19, many people struggled with its impact on their mental health. As we head into a second national lockdown, you might be worried about how you and those you love will cope.
But there are simple and effective ways to help yourself – and others – to feel better. As we begin a second national ‘lockdown’, we are sharing the top ten things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing during these difficult times:
Looking after yourself
- Be kind to yourself. At the start of May this year, Mental Health Awareness Week focussed on the theme of ‘kindness’, and we shared a list of simple ways to be kind to yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lots of us struggle to treat ourselves kindly. In fact, we’re often nicer to others than we are to ourselves. Show yourself compassion when things aren’t going well, try to put less stress and pressure on yourself, and take a few minutes to focus on your good qualities.
2. Get outside. We know it’s much harder as the days get shorter and colder, but there’s a wealth of evidence that being in daylight and visiting any green, leafy spaces near you can really boost your mood. So wrap up warm, and try and get outside in your local area. Enjoy the crisp autumnal leaves or watch the sunset.
3. Get moving any way you can. This year, although gyms and leisure centres have closed, so many people took up cycling, regular walks around their neighbourhood, and of course at-home workouts (maybe you joined in with PE with Joe Wicks?). Moving more is good for your mind and body. Find an activity that you enjoy, and make it part of your daily routine. Our A Weight Off Your Mind webpages have lots of resources to help you find a physical activity that’s right for you.
- Get a good night’s sleep. In May, research showed that more than four in 10 adults have been experiencing trouble sleeping during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re struggling to sleep due to worry or stress, that’s understandable – take a look at our Sleeping Problems self help guide to find techniques that might help. Our relaxation tracks can help you to let go and drift off. Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters website also includes NHS-approved expert tips and advice on improving your sleep.
- Look out for burnout. Many of us are working harder than ever. If you’re working from home, it can be hard to switch off from work, and you don’t have colleagues around to stop and have a break with. If you still have to go into work, or are returning to work, this can be filled with anxieties too. The Mental Health Foundation have a useful webpage with advice on looking after your mental health while working during coronavirus which covers these topics and more.
- Focus on hobbies that you enjoy, or learn something new that you can enjoy during the restrictions. As we approach the festive season, why not make some handmade cards or presents for people? It’s a great way to show them how much you care even if you can’t be together, and can be a fun family activity. Whatever you choose, learning new things can give your mental health a boost with a sense of achievement.
Looking out for others
- Be kind to others. The first national lockdown saw a flurry of kind community spirit – people left notes offering help to their neighbours, and drew rainbows to display in their windows, providing hope and joy through the difficult times. Get involved any way you can, however small. Simply checking on a friend can make a huge difference to their day. It will boost their mood, and yours too.
- Where restrictions allow, visit loved ones who need you. If your loved one is currently being cared for in one of CNTW’s wards or units, you can still visit them during this lockdown – so long as you take the right precautions. We know how vital these visits are to people’s wellbeing. (Please contact the relevant ward team to discuss visiting procedures with them ahead of time.) You can also still visit people in your support bubble at the moment. (Read about who can be in a support bubble and how it works.)
Getting help early
- Find out where to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling. If you need urgent help with your mental health, our Freephone crisis phone numbers are available 24/7. The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network also has a directory of services, helplines and resources that might be useful to you.
- Remember that the NHS is still here for you. All of our specialist services are still taking referrals and supporting people. If you have a healthcare appointment, please keep it. Some things may look and feel different, but we are doing our best to support you safely, and if you’re worried about something you can still seek help. You shouldn’t put off seeing a doctor about a physical health condition, and the same goes for your mental health: the earlier you seek help, the better.
For more advice on looking after your mental health during lockdown, check out this simple guide to looking after yourself and others produced earlier this year by the North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network.
The Trust works from more than 70 sites across Cumbria, Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. They also run a number of regional and national specialist services. Along with partners, they deliver support to people in their own homes, and from community and hospital-based premises.
Find out more from the trust:
Trust Website / Locations / Services / Doctors / Resource Library / News
View the NHS document 'Implementing the Five year Forward View For Mental Health'
The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health has made an unarguable case for transforming mental health care in England. The costs of mental ill health - whether to the individual, their family or carer, the NHS or wider society - are stark. The opportunity of action cannot be ignored, and this document describes how the NHS will take the action required.
Development highlights from recent years
The North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) have identified a number of work streams to progress health and care developments and improvements across the region. The CCG, and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, as joint sponsors, continued to lead the work of the multiagency/stakeholder North East and North Cumbria regional suicide prevention (Every Life Matters) mental health priority work stream. Specific work streams bring together good practice across the region.
In April 2019 this group was successful in a wave 2 NHS England funding bid in support of delivery against
these priority actions, which will be implemented across the region throughout 2019/20.The purpose of the funding is to provide sites who have significantly higher suicide rates the opportunity to develop ideas for use of potential transformation funding. The priority work streams, supported by the transformation funding, are now moving into the implementation phase, with support from national leads and will focus on;
a) Prevention beyond secondary services: place-based
community prevention work – middle-aged men;
self-harm; primary care support
b) Reduction within services via quality improvement:
self-harm care incl. within acute hospitals; generally
within mental health services.
The CCG has continued to lead the multi-agency/ stakeholder steering group to maintain effective processes and resources to provide effective out of hours mental health act assessments in north Cumbria.
The steering group has been successful in:
- Recruiting and training more doctors to undertake the Section 12 training.
- Implementing a supervised assessment process for new section 12 doctors.
- Reviewing and increasing the remuneration package for Section 12 activity.
- Implementing a section 12 solutions application to support the process for arranging of the assessments.
The CCG, working with the office of the police and crime commissioner successfully supported the Lighthouse community hub in Carlisle to continue its valuable work in providing support to people in mental health crisis in the community.
Based on the learning from the implementation of the Lighthouse community hub in Carlisle the CCG have commissioned Richmond Fellowship to provide a community based out of hours safe haven, for people experiencing or approaching a mental health crisis in Whitehaven.
The CCG have taken a lead role in working with NHS England, third sector organisations, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the Police to develop project aiming to improve multi agency response and support for people in frequent contact with emergency services, following a self-harm or suicide attempt.
The aim is to work closely together as an enhanced risk management team to support an identified group of high risk/frequent contact people in a more preventative, proactive and consistent way. The model is based on the National Confidential Enquiry into suicide and Homicide 20 year review – recommendations for safer services. This will help people to develop alternative coping strategies to reduce distress and the need for high use of emergency/crisis services and reduce likelihood of further suicide attempts and reduce the risk of death by suicide.
The CCG have worked in partnership with the North Cumbria Integrated Care System and Northumberland
Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, (NTW NHSFT) and have agreed that the delivery of the all age mental health and learning disability services in North Cumbria will be undertaken by NTW NHS FT from 1 October 2019. The CCG are confident that this planned transfer of services will ensure the best outcomes for people with mental health and learning disability needs in the future.
In preparation for the planned transfer of services on 1 October 2019, clinical, operational and transformation services within NTW NHSFT have worked alongside Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust teams to support the delivery and improvement of mental health and learning disability services in North Cumbria.
This joint approach has been particularly effective in support of specific services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and the broader safer services agenda across the North
North Cumbria CCG has been working closely with Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust to develop new ways to ensure that people who suspect that they have dementia are able to access rapid diagnosis in the memory clinics and receive ongoing support for those with dementia within their GP practice. A pilot project within a GP practice in Carlisle used Memory Advisors to support and advice patients and carers. The feedback from patients, carers and GP practice staff has been extremely positive.
Integrated Care Communities Mental Health
The CCG is commencing work to develop and expand the mental health provision available at a local level.
We are working with our partner organisations, third sector organisations and patients and carers to co-produce services which meet the needs of local populations as well as promoting mental health wellbeing.
The 2016 survey of people who use community mental health services involved 58 providers of NHS mental health services in England (including combined mental health and social care trusts, Foundation Trusts and community healthcare social enterprises that provide mental health services). 16 providers are in the North of England.
View the North of England summary
The survey results are available for each trust on the CQC website: