Keeping minds healthy this winter

People are reminded that there’s support available if the winter blues or added pressures of the festive season are starting to take their toll.

The winter months bring more than just cold weather, with many people facing added worries about finances, an increased workload or feelings of loneliness.

Help is available through Healthy Minds, a service run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, which offers a range of advice and support options for anxiety, low mood, or other common mental health problems.

Evidence suggests that as many as one in four people will experience a mental health issue during their lives.

Liz Woodings, Service Manager for Healthy Minds Bury, said: “The festive period is full of cheer for some, but can be the worst time of year for many others.

“Overwhelming feelings of stress, anxiety and low mood are more common than you think, and can have a damaging effect on relationships, work and general day-to-day life.

“But it’s important to remember that no one is alone – help is available and it’s a good idea to seek advice early rather than waiting until it becomes unmanageable.

“It can happen to anyone, so there’s nothing wrong with seeking advice if you’re not feeling yourself. This could include a lack of energy or motivation, loss of appetite, disturbed sleeping patterns, feeling worried or upset.

“There are some simple steps we can all follow to improve our mental wellbeing, like connecting more with people around us, keeping active, or taking note of our thoughts and feelings – a technique known as ‘mindfulness’.”

Healthy Minds is a confidential service open to anyone over the age of 16, who is registered with a GP in Oldham, Stockport, Bury, Tameside and Glossop or Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale.

Trained health professionals can offer one to one or group sessions, counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy, to find the right kind of care to meet their needs and help them to improve their psychological wellbeing.

To access the service or for more information on common mental health problems and support options, people can visit the website, www.penninecare.nhs.uk/healthyminds or speak to their GP.