Local mental health services ready to provide help to those in need

long covid

Local support is available to people living in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire who are struggling with their mental health.

While help can be found all year round, many local services see an increase during January and February, when more people experience bouts of low mood, loneliness, anxiety and depression.

Three places of calm, which offer non-clinical mental health support, either in-person or over the phone, are up and running across the region.

These outlets provide a friendly environment in which feelings can be listened to and helpful advice given out.

Gill May, Chief Nurse, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “My message to any person having a hard time at the start of this new year is not to suffer in silence.

“Help is out there, and it’s easy to find, so please make use of the wide range of services that are available across our region.

“We know there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to empowering people to feel better in themselves, so whether a person is in need of a complex, long-term support programme, or just a comforting chat on the phone, we have a service that can help.”

In Bath, Breathing Space is open every day between 6pm and 10.30pm at the Oasis Fountain Building in the city centre, with its telephone line – 0808 175 1369 – taking calls between 5.30pm and 11pm.

The Junction in Swindon is located in the town hall building, and people can self-refer by dropping-in between 4pm and 11pm on any night of the week, or by calling 01793 286506.

For people living in Wiltshire, a specialist team at the Alabare Riverside Sanctuary provide a similar telephone helpline, which is open seven days a week between 9am and 11pm, with people able to access the free support by calling 08082 803528.

Some in-person drop-in support sessions are also provided at the Riverside Sanctuary, and people are advised to call ahead to check availability.

Ieuan Edwards, Director of Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind, which runs the local places of calm, said: “As the third sector alliance for BSW, we are working closely with our locality and system partners, as well as people accessing our services, to help deliver the best quality mental health care and support.

“We work across the region, and are represented in each locality by three separate organisations, which are Bath Mind, Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind and Alabare and Rethink Mental Illness in Wiltshire.

“There are a variety of services available to those living in BSW, and any person who would like further information is encouraged to get in touch.”

Those unable to travel to a local place of calm can also get help and support without leaving their home by self-referring to the NHS talking therapies service.

By visiting the NHS website at www.nhs.uk, people can find a service near to their home, and arrange to speak to a specialist in-person, over the phone or by video call.

Information on talking therapies, as well as other local mental health services and online self-help resources, can be found at www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.