How to seek mental health support in Northumberland this Christmas
Wednesday 22 December 2021
Whilst Christmas time can be a celebration for some, for others it can be a challenging time. The NHS in Northumberland wants to highlight the importance of reaching out and getting help when need it this festive season.
One-in-four adults and one-in-ten children experience mental illness during their lifetime, and many more of us know and care for people who do.
NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which looks after the planning and buying of NHS services in Northumberland, wants people to reach out and get the support they need and not be apprehensive about seeking advice.
Dr Kathy Petersen, GP lead for learning disability and mental health for the CCG, said: “I know many of us will already be feeling tense this time of year and this is now being heightened by the new surge of Omicron variant bringing worry and uncertainty. It is totally understandable to find this time of year challenging, whether this is bereavement, stress, financial concerns or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Anyone can find themselves in this position.
“Please know that there is no shame whatsoever in seeking the support you need. Everyone has mental and emotional health needs, just as they have physical health conditions, and there are services provided to manage all of these concerns. No one should put off seeking help when they need it.”
The CCG works closely with service users, carers, other national NHS bodies and key partners such as social care and the voluntary sector. Services are open for business for a range of conditions, including support with mental health problems, learning disabilities, autism and dementia and the CCG is urging people to make use of these resources.
Dr Petersen continued: “We want people to know that they can get help and they can do so safely. A lot of services have a self-referral option and patients can speak in confidence to trained professionals, online or over-the-phone, for a range of different issues. The NHS continues be here for you throughout this difficult, uncertain and ever-changing period.”
If you need urgent help right now, you can use the NHS 111 online service or call 111. If you are concerned about the mental health of your child, please contact your GP or check online self-referral options for under 18-year-olds at www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/.
The following services are available offering a range of support if and when you need it.
- Barnardo’s – Support for children and young people.
- British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) – Pregnancy termination and counselling.
- Cygnus – Mental Health and Wellbeing services.
- Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) – crisis, inpatient, specialised mental health services.
- Mind – Telephone counselling services and rapid response.
- Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – Children and young people’s Primary Mental Health Workers.
- Talking Matters Northumberland – Psychological Therapies.
- ADAPT – Keeping People Connected.
- Grace Rape Crisis – Counselling service for victims of sexual abuse.
- NDAS – Supporting anyone affected by domestic abuse in Northumberland
- If U Care Share – Support for those affected by suicide.