Struggling With Your Mental Health During Lockdown? It’s Time To Talk

Charities and NHS providers urge local people to have a small conversation on Time To Talk Day – and to call the county’s 24/7 helpline if more help is needed.

Local residents are being encouraged to talk about how they are feeling during the current Coronavirus restrictions, and to seek practical and professional support if required, as the country marks Time to Talk Day on Thursday (4 February).

Time to Talk Day is a national awareness day which urges everyone to take time to speak to a friend, a family member or a colleague about their mental health. This year the theme is The Power of Small, encouraging people to realise how important a small conversation can be when it comes to someone’s mental health.

You can help to start the conversation this Time to Talk Day – and this can help to end mental health stigma. For more information about Time to Talk Day and ideas to start a conversation, go to the website of Time to Change.

Locally there are virtual Time to Talk Day events being organised on Thursday 4 February:

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, as one of the main providers of mental health services in Derbyshire, is supporting the Time to Talk campaign.

Trust Chief Executive Ifti Majid said: “Time to Talk Day is the day that aims to get the nation talking about mental health. This year’s event will look a little different, but especially at times like this open conversations about how we are feeling, about our mental health and wellbeing are more important than ever. You don’t need to be an expert to start a really valuable conversation – you just need to ask some questions over a virtual cuppa or a walk about how someone is feeling and coping, and really listen to what they say in response. And if you think that someone would benefit from some extra help, please encourage them to speak to a professional – just like they would with a physical health problem.

“Derbyshire has a fantastic 24/7 helpline, called the Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service, which we are proud to be a part of. The helpline now offers an even broader range of support and advice, thanks to an innovative partnership between the NHS, the third sector and the emergency services. So why not give it a try?”

Derbyshire Mental Health Helpline and Support Service supports local residents of any age who are struggling with their mental health. The 24/7 helpline is on a Freephone number (0800 028 0077) and callers can benefit from telephone support not only to help them with their mental health but also to talk through practical issues that may be causing them concern. In addition, they may now be given the option of face-to-face support at a ‘safe haven’, where they can continue to discuss their problems in a calm, welcoming environment.

The helpline, which is run by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, has become a permanent service as part of improvements being made through the Joined Up Care Derbyshire programme. The helpline team now consists of staff from the charity P3 and Derbyshire Mental Health Federation, as well as clinical staff from Derbyshire Healthcare. The safe haven, meanwhile, is run by Richmond Fellowship.

Since its launch in April 2020, the helpline has received around 1,500 calls a month from local residents.

Other sources of support within Derby and Derbyshire for anyone who is struggling with their mental health:

NHS111

Derby and Derbyshire residents are asked to contact NHS111 first by phone or online at 111.nhs.uk if they think they need A&E.

The initiative is designed to help people get the right treatment, at the right time and at the right place. If those contacting NHS111 need to go to A&E then a booking or time slot will be arranged for them. NHS111 provides medical advice and assessment quickly. People using NHS111 will be taken through a series of questions which will determine the next course of action.

This may result in patients being referred to their GP practice for a callback or an arrival time being given for A&E or an Urgent Treatment Centre. People should call 999 if they have a serious or life-threatening condition.

IAPT talking therapies

Talking therapy is a way to explore difficulties with a trained professional, sorting through problems to have a safe place to explore feelings and plan how to overcome problems. These IAPT talking therapies services are aimed at those who are experiencing low-level but persistent mental health problems such as stress, anxiety or low mood.

For more information or for details of how to self refer, go to the IAPT page for Derby and Derbyshire on the Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) website.