People across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are reminded about the services that are available to support with mental health concerns during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year especially, as the NHS continues to fight the pandemic, many people are facing more challenges to their mental health due to the current national lockdown and uncertainty around the future.
Dr Umber Malik, clinical lead for mental health at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG said:
January can be a tough month and, of course, this year things are a lot harder with the national lockdown and the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Many people are struggling with bereavement, loss of income, isolation or anxiety around the pandemic and it can be particularly hard for people with existing mental health challenges.
We want everyone to know that they don’t need to suffer in silence. Services to support people with their mental health are continuing to run throughout lockdown and available to provide advice and guidance to people who are struggling to cope.
There are several routes to getting support if you are concerned about your mental health or the mental health of a loved one:
24/7 Support & Connect - The free 24/7 Support & Connect helpline is open to everyone over the age of 18 in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire area and is staffed by experienced counsellors. They will offer emotional support and can connect you to organisations available in the local area. If English isn’t your first language the service can arrange for a translator to support your call. To access the 24/7 Support & Connect Helpline please call 0800 0126549 or visit vitahealthgroup.co.uk.
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust 24/7 helpline - The 24/7 telephone helpline run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership is now available to call free of charge using a new number. Anyone, of any age, who is worried about their own, or someone else’s mental health, can call the helpline on 0800 953 1919 to get advice and support from mental health professionals.
Talking Therapies - Vita Health Group are funded by the NHS to provide the local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) mental health service to support local residents in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. VitaMinds IAPT service delivers talking therapies designed to support you by providing the tools you need to help you get things back on track. It is a free service open to those aged 16 and over. Find out more at vitahealthgroup.co.uk.
Independent Mental Health Network - The Independent Mental Health Network has details of lots of services which can support with a range of issues including crisis centres and wellbeing therapy services. Find out more at imhn.org.
The Samaritans - The Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can contact the Samaritans by calling 116 123.
Find out about how people who live across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have been coping with Covid-19 through a series of Covid stories. Among them is Abdul, a member of the Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group who tells his story about the importance of staying positive during Covid-19.