Introduction to mental health wellbeing
Our mental health determines how we think, feel and act.
One in four people will experience mental health problems at any given time and no-one is immune to poor mental health. People with mental health problems can often face stigma, which can prevent them from seeking help and/or hinder their recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected mental wellbeing in different ways: bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear have triggered new mental health conditions for some and exacerbated existing ones for others. According to the Mental Health Foundation, the negative mental health effects of the pandemic are likely to last much longer than its physical health impacts.
VAR hopes the support provided on this page can help the Voluntary and Community Sector in relation to questions they may have regarding mental wellbeing and services on offer in our community.
What are the signs someone has poor mental health?
Here are some early warning signs that you should be aware of that can suggest something may be harming your mental health. These can be one or a number of the following:
- mood swings or constantly feeling low
- lack of care for personal appearance or personal responsibilities
- increased use of alcohol or drugs
- thinking life is not worth living
- losing interest in things you used to enjoy
- withdrawing from social activities and spending less time with friends and family
- disturbed sleep, either not getting enough or sleeping too much
- eating less than normal or overeating, perhaps losing or gaining weight
- feeling irritable, over-sensitive or aggressive
- having difficulty concentrating or remembering things
- experiencing recurring physical symptoms such as aches and pains or other unexplained illnesses
- a drop in work performance
- doing things that don’t make sense to others
- hearing or seeing things that no one else can hear or see
If you can relate to any of these warning signs, it’s important that you seek help. Talk to a friend or a family member and speak to your GP about support services available to you.
What are the 5 Ways to Wellbeing?
In 2008, the New Economics Foundation identified the key things that contribute to wellbeing. Similar to the concept of eating 5-a-day, the 5 Ways to Wellbeing focuses on mental health and the steps we can all take to protect, maintain and improve our mental wellbeing. The 5 Ways to Wellbeing have been developed by individual organisations over the years, however, they still follow the same principles:
Further information on the principles – and the activities you may want to consider – is available on the NHS and Rotherham Council websites:
Is there a website outlining the services available in Rotherham?
Developed by NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), RotherHive has practical tips, national, local and online services, organisations and groups that adults in Rotherham can access for expert advice to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. It covers areas such as (this list is not exhaustive):
- Mental Health, including around COVID-19
- Depression, anxiety and stress
- Domestic abuse
- Alcohol and drugs
- Suicide prevention
Access to the information is FREE and can be found at https://rotherhive.co.uk
If you are under 18 years of age and require support from wellbeing and mental health services, please go to My Mind Matters ( https://www.mymindmatters.org.uk )
What if I need immediate help?
If you need immediate help regarding your wellbeing or mental health, the following services are available:
If you are in a life-threatening medical or mental health emergency (when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk), you should phone the emergency services and ask for an ambulance and potentially the police.
If you are not sure what to do, NHS111 can help – they will ask questions about your symptoms so you get the help you need.
You can contact emergency services via SMS if you are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment. You will need to register your phone to use this service ( https://www.emergencysms.net ).
Rotherham 24/7 Crisis Helpline
Rotherham’s dedicated 24/7 crisis helpline supports those who need urgent help regarding their mental health. Calls are FREE on 0800 652 9571.
Anyone who is unable to use a standard telephone line can use their text service on 0794 603610.
SHOUT provides FREE, confidential crisis text support for anyone needing immediate assistance. Text “SHOUT” to 85258 or visit the SHOUT crisis text line website (https://giveusashout.org ).
What if I need help but it’s not an immediate emergency?
Mental health services are free on the NHS but in some cases you will need a referral from your GP to access them. Whilst the pandemic has brought with it pressure on GP services, the NHS remains ‘open for business’ and contacting your GP surgery is a useful first step regarding your physical and mental wellbeing. Your GP will be able to signpost you to mental health services as appropriate.
If you need help but are not at risk of death, serious illness or imminent harm then you can access NHS111 non-emergency advice online at https://111.nhs.uk. You should only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
If you’re deaf or hearing impaired you can use the NHS111 British Sign Language (BSL) service: https://www.signvideo.co.uk/nhs111
Rotherham Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Team
The Rotherham IAPT Team provides help to adults who are experiencing common mental health problems including Depression, Stress and Anxiety by offering a range of talking therapies. Referrals are generally through an individual’s GP. For further information, please visit: https://iapt.rdash.nhs.uk
Mind is a mental health charity that provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. It campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health. For further information, please visit: http://mind.org.uk/information-support/
Mind can be contacted on 0300 123 3393 (calls charged at local rates from a UK landline, charges from mobile phones vary depending on provider). Mind can alos be contacted at: email@example.com.
Rotherham and Barnsley Mind
Rotherham and Barnsley Mind is an independent local provider of mental health services in Rotherham, Barnsley and its surrounding areas. Rotherham and Barnsley Mind can be contacted on 01709 919929 or 01226 211188 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please visit: http://www.rbmind.co.uk