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Health Matters - Mental health support when you need it

Health Matters - Mental health support when you need it
19 July 2017

Dr Ian Hulme, clinical lead for mental health at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, and GP with Meadowside Medical Centre, Congleton

I’m really proud of our new Talking Therapies service that’s taking an innovative approach to helping people with mild to moderate symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression. It’s groundbreaking because it not only offers clinical support to those who need it – it also provides practical help to tackle underlying problems such as bereavement, financial difficulties or social isolation.

The clinical side of the service is provided by the Big Life group, a Manchester-based partnership of social businesses and charities with a strong track record of improving people’s lives through approaches including cognitive behavioural therapy. The mental wellbeing service is managed by Macclesfield-based Peaks & Plains Housing Trust with the Dove Service. The mental wellbeing service includes weekly drop-in sessions in Congleton (in partnership with Plus Dane Housing), Handforth and Macclesfield. This service offers help and guidance for a variety of issues that can affect a person’s mental wellbeing.

For more information on the weekly drop-ins, call Lisa on 07966 992780 or Stephanie on 07814 928436.

To refer into the Talking Therapies service for one-to-one support, visit www.mytalkingtherapies.com or call 01625 469955. People can refer themselves to the service if they don’t wish to see their GP first.

Meanwhile, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides excellent care to people with more serious mental health problems.

But despite the wide-ranging mental health services available in Eastern Cheshire, there will always be people who find themselves feeling desperate or having suicidal thoughts. Often, such people may feel there is no one to turn to. In situations such as these, I would urge people to call Samaritans, whose specially-trained volunteers provide a confidential listening service 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Their national helpline is free to call from any phone on 116 123, and the number won’t show up on your phone bill, or you can email jo@samaritans.org. Alternatively, Samaritans’ Macclesfield and District branch is on 01625 426000, with calls to this number charged at the local rate.

 Throughout July, Samaritans is running a fundraising and awareness-raising campaign called Talk to Us. To make a donation or find out more, visit http://www.samaritans.org/media-centre/our-campaigns/talk-us.