Latest information and support

For the latest advice and guidance around Coronavirus please visit the South Gloucestershire Council website.

For children and young people, please take a look at our Mind You site for tips around their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Services

Vita Health Group

A 24/7 helpline staffed by experienced counsellors, who you can talk to about any difficulties you are experiencing. You can receive help with a range of problems including feeling unsettled from recent life changes or uncertainty about the future, financial help, relationships, loneliness and other common life worries. Call on 0800 0126 549, textphone users dial 18001 followed by 0800 0126 549.

Southern Brooks

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships are working in partnership with South Gloucestershire Council to provide support to local residents at this time. If you need to speak with someone about shopping, food, prescriptions, wellbeing support or signposting, please call 0333 577 4666 or email communitysupport@southernbrooks.org.uk.

They are available 11am – 7pm Monday – Friday and 12pm – 6pm Saturdays.

Southern Brooks are now offering online workshops and peer support. Please click here to book or call 01454 865337 or email wellbeing@southernbrooks.org.uk

Oasis Talk

Oasis Talk are currently offering all services online or over the phone. They have developed a brief protocol to assist people in reducing the demands of stress and anxiety on their bodies at this time which is delivered via a 30 minute phone call. Please call 0117 9277577 to make an appointment.

AWP

All visiting to AWP wards has been stopped. The AWP website has information around looking after your mental health during Coronavirus. They have also announced the launch of their new response line which is open 24/7. It provides advice, guidance and support over the phone for patients, families and carers as well as members of the public. Call 0300 303 1320. Find out more here http://www.awp.nhs.uk/news-publications/trust-news/2020/april/mental-health-247-telephone-response-line

Vita Health

All mental health services are being delivered either over the phone, via video conferencing or through webinars. The service is continuing to take referrals and you are able to self-refer yourself.

Our Frontline

Offers round the clock 1:1 support, by call or text, from trained volunteers, plus resources, tips and ideas to look after your mental health for all of those going to work as part of the national response to the Coronavirus.

https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/ourfrontline/

Next Link

Next Link are continuing to accept referrals and provide telephone support. Their domestic abuse telephone lines are open 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday 0800 4700280

Befriending – supporting isolated people

Residents of South Glos – how are you? We know that times are hard with the Covid-19 restrictions. If you’re feeling lonely, there are organisations that offer telephone befriending. A friendly volunteer can give you a phone call at a time that suits you. Find out more on our website – and feel free to spread the word to anyone you know who’s not online. https://beta.southglos.gov.uk/get-help-and-support-in-your-area/?filters=277

Courses

WESPORT

Join the Movement is a national campaign helping us all find ways to stay active during this time.

Join the Movement

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships

Southern Brooks Community Partnerships are running a number of online wellbeing sessions;

Wellbeing sessions

Community Learning

Community Learning have a number of new wellbeing courses starting from September. The courses are taking place in a number of locations across South Gloucestershire. Most of the courses are FREE, you need to be over 19 years old to attend.

Community Learning Prospectus

Resources

You can find information and advice about looking after your mental health during Coronavirus:

Preparing Children and Young People for Returning to School

Returning to school could be daunting and cause children anxiety and worry. Here are some helpful links for you to use to help prepare them for going back:

  • Questions to ask about returning to school to help open up a conversation around what your child may be worried about or looking forward to.
  • Help your child work out their emotions and thoughts around returning to school with this coming back to school worksheet.
  • Off the Record have produced a Hopes and Fears worksheet and a video to help with the return to school.
  • Worry and anxiety around returning to school could be impacting on your child’s sleep patterns. Here are some useful guides to help your child develop positive sleep patterns: Childhood (5-13yrs) and Adolescence (13-18yrs)
  • If your child is starting school for the first time there is lots of information on our Starting School section on Mind You.

Dealing with Exam stress

In the lead up to exams, young people and their families may be feeling nervous about the upcoming events. Feelings of nervousness may be stronger this year as students have had a very disrupted pathway to them over the last two years. Some young people may not have sat a formal exam at all, and their stress levels may be very high.  Here are some tips for young people, parents and teachers to help reduce the problems that might come up. Stress can be good as it shows you  care about achieving the best you can, but too much stress can cause you to feel low and demotivated.

  1. Think about it in perspective.
    • Exams are not the only thing that defines success and if you don’t do as well you wanted to, there are a number of other options available.
    • Attitude, transferable skills and how you work with and get on with others are also things that employers consider when you seek employment.
    • Exams don’t define you as a person, your other skills and abilities will shine through in other settings.
    • Once you have done the exam, try not to think about it, you can’t change it. Write a list of things you enjoy doing so that if these thoughts creep in, you can use your list of things to distract your attention away from that topic.
  2. Prepare your revision and feel more organised.
    • Make a list of the exams that you have, note the dates and make a timetable – this will help you to see the end date and prepare for all the exams in time.
    • Spend some time breaking your revision into chunks will mean you don’t panic each day wondering what to focus on.
    • Put time in to unwind and do something other than revise, listen to music, watch an episode of a favourite show or go for a walk.
    • Don’t panic if you go off plan, you can get back on it tomorrow.
  3. Learning habits are good for your mental and physical health.
    • Take breaks at least every 45 minutes. Leave the area you are studying in and go for a walk or make a cup of tea. Try to spend 15 minutes away from your study area.
    • Drink plenty of water, keeping your hydration levels up helps with concentration.
    • Eat at regular intervals, keeping your blood sugar constant will reduce the highs and lows of energy and keep you feeling more consistent.
    • Aim for 8 hours sleep a night – if you are struggling to sleep, you can find lots of advice on sleep at the following link. Contents | The South Gloucestershire Sleep Toolkit – Adolescence (southglos.gov.uk).
  4. Some bad habits to avoid.
    • Ignoring them – you won’t feel prepared on the day and will feel more stressed.
    • Giving yourself a hard time – Try not to talk negatively to yourself, encourage yourself but don’t go over the top – it will only demotivate you.
    • Setting unrealistic targets – Set your schedule and stick to it to avoid feeling like you won’t be able to do it all. Make sure you do something you enjoy at regular intervals to keep your energy levels up.
    • Reaching for caffeine – keeping a balanced diet, regular breaks and good sleep will help you stay focussed and is better than trying to complete the tasks through a caffeine infused haze.
  5. Find your support network.
    • Don’t compare your revision journey to others -keep your own focus and at your pace.
    • Talk to your parents/carers about what they believe you can achieve and then ask them to support you and not put un-necessary pressure on you.
    • Chat to your teacher/librarians/school pastoral team or a good friend about any worries and see what strategies they have used successfully and see if they would suit you.

10 things you can do to relieve stress:

  1. Focus on your breathing – Breathe in through your nose and imagine that you’re inhaling peaceful, calm air. Visualise that air spreading throughout your body. As you breath out, imagine that you’re breathing out stress and tension.
  2. Take a walk – outside if possible, as connecting to nature will make you feel calmer
  3. Use an adult colouring book – give yourself a timed period to focus on this task.
  4. Make yourself a warm drink – decaffeinated tea or coffee or a warm milk are good options.
  5. Call a friend – talk about something other than exams.
  6. Do an exercise routine – exercise is brilliant stress reliever, find one you enjoy and add it to your daily plan.
  7. Take some deep breaths – set a timer for two minutes and breath for the count of four and out for the count of four.
  8. Give a loved one a hug – hormones that are naturally released when you hug someone will help relieve stress.
  9. Download or listen to a meditation or guided imagery passage – imagine yourself in your ‘happy place’ and try to feel the sounds and smells from that place.
  10. Try a Muscle Relaxation exercise – Find a quiet place, take a few deep breaths and then tighten and relax each muscle group in turn, start with your forehead, jaw, neck and shoulders, arms and hands, buttocks, legs and finally your feet. Tighten the groups for fifteen seconds and then release the tension over thirty seconds.

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and kinder world. They are helping people take care of themselves and others through this global pandemic. They produce monthly calendars packed with actions you can take to create a happier and kinder world.

Using scientific research they have identified ’10 Keys to Happier Living’. The first five (GREAT) relate to how we interact with the outside world. The second five (DREAM) come more from inside us and depend on our attitude to life.

30 Day Challenge

Keeping mentally healthy during difficult times can be hard. Use our 30 day challenge for some easy and fun ways to maintain your mental health through this time. You can do these challenges individually or as a family. We would love to hear how you get on with them so please contact us on: mentalhealth@southglos.gov.uk

30 Day Challenge

Working from Home

Mental Health First Aid England have produced a number of resources to support your mental wellbeing while working from home.

 

5 Ways to Wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and emotional wellbeing. They can help you feel more positive and help you get the most out of life.

Connect – connecting with people, either in person or virtually, helps to build a sense of belonging and self-worth, gives you an opportunity to share positive experiences and helps provide emotional support.

Be Active – being physically active is not only great for your physical health but for your mental health as well. It helps to raise your self-esteem and helps you to set goals or challenges. Chemicals released from the brain when being active can also help to positively change your mood.

Mind have put together a guide if you are unsure how to return to activity or sport now that restrictions are easing.

Take Notice – paying more attention to the present moment including your thoughts, feelings, your body and the world around you can improve your mental wellbeing. This is also known as ‘Mindfulness’.

Keep Learning – research has shown that learning a new skill can help boost your mental health. It can help to boost your self-confidence, help build a sense of purpose and help you to connect to others.

Give – it is suggested that acts of kindness can help improve your mental wellbeing through creating positive feelings and sense of reward, giving you a feeling of self-worth and helping to connect with other people.

Have a look at our 10 Ways to be Kind for some inspiration.

For more information on each of these 5 steps and how to achieve them check out the NHS page.

Toolkits

  • To support school staff, parents and carers during this period of uncertainty and disruption, each fortnight Mentally Healthy Schools (Anne Freud National Centre for Children and Families) is producing a toolkit of quality-assured, free resources from across the sector.
  • It is normal to feel anxious about lockdown easing or having to return to your place of work when things are not how they used to be. Mind have put together a toolkit to help you manage your anxiety..

Sleep

Rising levels of anxiety and worry can have an effect on your sleeping patterns. Anxiety can make it difficult to relax and worry can cause regular interruptions in your normal sleeping patterns. These factors could have an impact on your mental health.

  • The Sleep Council have lots of advice and guidance around what to do, what not to do and where to get more help so you can get a good night’s sleep. Have a look at their 10 tips for sleeping better for a quick guide to changes you can make.
10 tips for better sleep

For more information check out our Sleep Support pages

Staying Connected

There are many different ways to stay connected with family, friends and work colleagues through this time, with many apps offering a video call option.

Video Calling Apps

Dealing with bereavement and grief

During the global coronavirus pandemic, we are facing a tragic loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances. The Government have produced a leaflet to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions during this time and explains next steps and guides you to extra help and support.

Information for the Bereaved

Cruse Bereavement Care have also put together some resources which may be helpful to you at this time.

Bereavement and Grief Resources

One You recommended digital apps

Find free apps to help you stress less, handle anxiety and lift your mood.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Apps

Do you look after someone else?

Many of you will be anxious about the coronavirus and the effect it might have on you or the person you care for. As the situation with coronavirus evolves, it’s important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you look after.

Carers Support Centre is a charity which provides support, information and advice to carers of any age living in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire areas.

Carers Support Centre

Further information, updates and guidance can be found on our ‘Information for carers’ page.

Information for carers

Mental health information in different languages

Find guidance and advice on coping strategies during anxious times.

Translated Mental Health Information