Health and Wellbeing Hub

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Health and wellbeing / Mental Health Hub

Mental Health Hub

We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Sometimes our minds feel fit and healthy, but sometimes things can feel darker and harder. At times like this, it can be more challenging to do the things we need to - like going to work, going to school, socialising or looking after yourself or others. 

It can sometimes be difficult to recognise mental health issues in ourselves or others as symptoms can be closely linked to physical health. We may lack motivation or energy to do simple things and we may feel tired a lot of the time. Alongside this, it can often feel like there is a storm raging in our minds with negative thoughts going round and round. It's important to remember that like physical health, our mental health goes up and down and how you are feeling will not last for ever. Having good mental health does not mean feeling good all the time. Like physical health, its important that we actively look after our mental health when we feel able to. 

If you are struggling with your mental health, it is always sensible to speak to a medical professional who may advise a course of treatment such as talking therapy or medication. Perhaps surprisingly, diet and exercise have been shown to play a huge part in improving and maintaining positive mental health. Socialising and feeling connected to others, being creative and doing the things we love, mindfulness and meditation have also been shown to help with mental health.

If you or a loved one are currently experiencing poor mental health, you can access support through a wide range of channels below. We have also curated a range of resources to help you look after your mental health. 

What support is available to me

GPs are often a gateway to mental health services, particularly for those with more complex needs. However, all geographical regions have depression and anxiety services (often called IAPT) that are self-referral – you do not need to go through the GP. IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services offer:

  • talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), counselling, other therapies, and guided self-help
  • help for common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression

More information on where to access IAPT services.

The health and wellbeing of our members is extremely important to us and our aim is to support you whilst you continue to support our NHS.

To ensure we are giving you the support you deserve we have partnered with Rethink Mental Illness.

Rethink Mental Illness offer a wide range of resources providing access to a variety of services which include telephone advice lines, local network groups, online content, and more. In these challenging times, we encourage all our bank members to make their wellbeing a priority.   

Click here to find out more about Rethink's free advice and information services.

We have proudly partnered with MindOut, a community mental health service run by and for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer) people based in Brighton. MindOut work to improve the wellbeing of LGBTQ communities, reduce social isolation, reduce suicidal distress and to make mental health a community concern. They do this by listening to and responding to the LGBTQ experience of mental health. Offering hope through positive relationships and professional expertise, preventing loneliness, crisis and suicidal ideation in LGBTQ communities.

MindOut provides safe spaces for people to meet and support each other as well as helping people protect their rights and get their voices heard. They campaign and create  conversations about LGBTQ mental health throughout the world. The services they offer include advice and information, advocacy, peer support group work, peer mentoring, befriending, counselling, online support, suicide prevention, anti-stigma campaigning and LGBTQ affirmative practice training. Click here to find out more about how MindOut can support you.

Mind’s information hub provides advice on how to support your mental wellbeing. This includes practical advice on coping with going into work, managing stress, loneliness, tips for keeping your mind healthy, and updates on how the new coronavirus laws could affect your rights.

Mind also run a programme called Side by Side which is an online peer support community where you can talk about your mental health and connect with others who understand what you are going through. Click here to find out more.

The Samaritans are here to listen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Samaritans offer a safe space for you to talk any time you like, in your own way, about anything that is bothering you. They can also support your workplace in promoting good emotional health practices.

Whatever you are going through, the Samaritans have people on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call free any time, from any phone on 116 123.

There are other ways to get in touch with the Samaritans if calling isn't an option for you. Click here to visit the Samaritans website to view other ways to get in touch or find your local Samaritans branch by clicking here.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set up a confidential bereavement support line, operated by Hospice UK and free to access from 8:00am to 8:00pm, seven days a week.

A team of fully qualified and trained bereavement specialists are available to support you with bereavement and wellbeing issues relating to loss experienced through your work.

You will be offered up to three sessions with the same counsellor and onward support to our staff mental health services if you need.

Call: 0300 303 4434

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also put together a suite of resources that aim to help you access support during what will be a difficult time for our staff, given the restrictions and changes to normal grieving patterns and processes for staff who come from diverse backgrounds.

The suite of resources can be accessed on the Our NHS People website.

There is now a wide variety of apps available to download that can help with everything from mindfulness to meditation. The vast majority of these apps are free and a great way to start your mental health journey.

  • Balance - 1 year free trial
  • Headspace 
  • Calm
  • Insight Time
  • MindU
  • The NHS People website also includes some additional apps which you may want to explore.

    Learn about and look after your mental health

    The NHS Website states that:

    "Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.

    During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.

    But some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives".

    Video Resources with Dr Chaterjee

    The videos below are all taken from Dr Ragan Chaterjee's podcast "Feel Better, Live More". We hope you will find these episodes useful for understanding and managing anxiety. You can click here to see all episodes of Dr Chaterjee's podcast.

    Other Resources

    The NHS Website states that:

    "Stress is the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure.

    When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone called adrenaline (often called the "fight or flight" hormone), which usually gives us a boost or motivates us to act quickly.

    But too much stress can affect our mood, our body and our relationships – especially when it feels out of our control. It can make us feel anxious and irritable, and affect our self-esteem.

    Experiencing long-term stress or severe stress can lead to feeling physical, mental and emotional exhaustion, often called burnout".

    Video Resources with Dr Chaterjee

    The videos below are all taken from Dr Ragan Chaterjee's podcast "Feel Better, Live More". We hope you will find these episodes useful for understanding and managing stress. You can click here to see all episodes of Dr Chaterjee's podcast.

    Other Resources

    Mind's website states that:

    "Some studies suggest that what we eat and drink can affect how we feel. But it can be difficult to know what to eat, especially when healthier foods can be more expensive. And it can be hard to think about our diet when we're struggling with our mental wellbeing."

    The videos below are all taken from Dr Ragan Chaterjee's podcast "Feel Better, Live More". We hope you will find these episodes useful for understanding how diet impacts mental health and how you can make positive changes today. You can click here to see all episodes of Dr Chaterjee's podcast.

    The Mental Health Foundation's website states that:

    "We all need to sleep well to help our bodies recover from the day and allow healing to occur.

    But a lot of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep, and the consequences can be more serious than feeling grumpy or unfocused. Sleep and mental health are closely related: living with a mental health condition can affect your sleep, and poor sleep can affect your mental health."

    Video Resources with Dr Chaterjee

    Other Resources