ICB urges local people to be kind to themselves with launch of online directory of mental health and wellbeing services

Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by encouraging people to be kind to themselves during lockdown and to always seek help when it is needed.

And to make it as easy as possible for people to do so, the ICB has updated its brand new website with an extensive list of local mental health and wellbeing services, as well as details of how to access the help at this current time.

The website also contains links to a number of digital wellbeing resources, all of which have been handpicked by the ICB’s mental health specialists.

Lucy Baker, Director of Service Delivery, said: “People who live in our communities have been socially distant from their friends, family and work colleagues for almost two months now and, coupled with the financial impact of what is happening around us, it’s inevitable that many will be feeling stressed, worried and anxious.

“Not being OK, feeling down and becoming increasingly concerned at aspects of everyday life that had not previously been an issue is nothing to be ashamed of and it’s something we all go through at some point.

“Most of us wouldn’t hesitate to act when seeing these traits develop in somebody close to us, but when it’s happening to us, we often tell ourselves to ignore what we’re feeling inside.

“This can lead to more serious problems down the line, which is why we’re using Mental Health Awareness Week to make it easier for people to find support that will help them to feel more like themselves again.”

As well as details of local services and downloadable apps, the ICB’s website has also been updated to include a link to a suite of coronavirus-related easy read materials.

These documents, which can be saved and printed, can be used to help people with learning disabilities better understand the current situation, as well as what is meant by terms such as social distancing and self-isolation.

Elsewhere, the website also highlights the wellbeing services specifically aimed at supporting NHS staff in the region, many of whom have been providing essential face-to-face care to people suffering from the effects of coronavirus.

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness and, in addition to looking out for one’s own mental wellbeing, people are encouraged to ask those around them how they are feeling at this difficult time.

Throughout the week, which runs from Monday 18 until Sunday 24 May, the ICB will be sharing advice, guidance and where to go for help and support on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.

More information on local mental health services can be found here: https://bswicb.nhs.uk/your-health/hospital-care/mental-health-services