Get health and wellbeing support in Wakefield this Blue Monday

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Health and wellbeing organisations are reminding people in Wakefield that there is support available across the district for those who need them.

Research suggests that today (Blue Monday) is the most depressing day of the year - but staff at NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group want people to know that there are mental health and wellbeing groups on hand to help.

Local GP Dr Nadim Nayyar, clinical lead for mental health and learning disabilities at the CCG, said: “Is Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year? I’m not sure how true that is. But what I know is true is that mental illness is very real, and affects many of us in different ways.

“Just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean someone isn’t suffering. Let’s use Blue Monday as an opportunity to show just how much mental health matters to us in Wakefield.

“Our priority as a CCG is to commission mental health services that are accessible and provide local people with the support they need.

“We have many fantastic services in Wakefield to guide and advise our community with a range of mental health and well-being issues, from stress to anxiety, from loneliness to depression.

“We also understand that a range of factors can impact upon a person’s mental health and wellbeing, from financial worries to managing a long-term condition. So let’s find a service that is right for your problem, for your needs as an individual, because we know that one size doesn’t fit all.”

Below are just some of the services available across the district that may help local people this Blue Monday:

* Live Well Wakefield is a free service which provides a range of wellbeing services, including:

Social prescribing to help people become more involved with activities in their communities, whilst meeting new people.

A team of “Live-Well Advisors” that can help with a range of things from housing issues and benefit options to employment and supporting carers.

Self-management and self-help courses and groups which take place in community venues across the district and cover managing long-term conditions to stress management and relaxation techniques

* Turning Point Talking Therapies provides NHS-funded Talking Therapy services to people aged 18 years or older who are registered with a GP surgery in the Wakefield district. The service can help with many common mental health worries including:

Problems with low mood or “feeling down”.

Issues with sleeping.

Panic attacks.

Stress and anxiety.

* Money Smart is a free Wakefield Council service to help people become smarter at managing their money and making the most of their income. The service focuses on:

Managing money and help to save or control debts.

Reducing fuel bills and other costs.

Making home insulation and heating improvements to ensure local people have a warmer home.

Getting people back into employment or improving job skills.

* Wakefield and 5 Towns Recovery College offers a wide range of recovery-focused educational courses. Developed in partnership with people who have experience of health problems, health professionals and local people, the college offers courses on:

Post-traumatic stress reactions.

Body image.

Suicide.

Mindfulness activities (from crafting to exercising).

Anxiety and depression.

Lindsey Taylor-Crossley, principal at Wakefield and 5 Towns Recovery College, said: “We have lots of free courses available for people aged over 18 to access. Some courses focus on helping people with specific issues in relation to health and wellbeing, like our ‘Living with anxiety’ course, while others focus on helping people to learn a new skill or get involved with a new activity, like our ‘Baking basics’ course.

“We are excited to launch our new 2019 prospectus, which features brand new courses such as ‘Alcohol-free February’ (our locally adapted version of Dry January) and our ‘Man’s the Word’ workshop which has been designed in collaboration with men, for men who find it difficult to talk about how they feel and their emotions – plus many more.

“Whether you’re interested in local history, want to learn how to sew, or would like to know more about dementia, we have a course for you.”

For more information on the groups, visit https://talking.turning-point.co.uk