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Looking after our mental health has never been more important than right now, so if you are struggling reach out. Help is a call away.
Coronavirus has transformed the way we live and work and the crucial social interactions and routines that keep everyone – from children to older people – mentally resilient have been displaced by ‘lockdown’ and social distancing.
The pandemic is affecting mental health in general – causing disruption, uncertainty and anxiety and creating rising levels anxiety, worry and stress.
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 (May 18-24) gets under way with this year’s theme being about kindness and looking out for each other.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust – the NHS organisation that provides community and in-patient mental health care for all age groups in Oxfordshire – is urging people to reach out and get help.
The Trust has launched a 24/7 mental health helpline to provide people with mental health advice during the coronavirus pandemic.
o The number for adults is 01865 904997
o For children and young people, the number is 01865 904998
The helpline makes it quicker and easier for people of all ages in Oxfordshire to get the right advice they need for their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Our trained mental health advisers will tell you where to tell you where to get the right help for you for a range of conditions and symptoms including anxiety, low mood, stress, worry, difficulty with relationships, crying often, feeling helpless, confusion, hallucinations or hearing voices.
Rob Bale, clinical director for mental health in Oxfordshire, said: “One in four people experience some form of mental health problem in the UK every year. It is completely normal to feel sad, angry or worried from time to time. But when those feelings won’t go away and they start to really affect day-to-day life, that is when there can be a problem.
“We ignore the emotional messages that tell us something is wrong. We tell ourselves it’s ‘just the way I am’. Or we bottle things up, hoping those around us won’t notice or kid ourselves that things will magically get better.
“If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out and make that call to us. Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is kindness. So be kind to yourself and to others. Share our helpline numbers with friends, family and neighbours. Helping others is good for our own mental health and wellbeing.”
Oxford Health has created a range of support for people during this difficult time
Children and young people: New self-help resources for parents, carers and young people and consist of an explanatory video, accompanying worksheets and an information booklet that can be downloaded. They will help you understand some of the common mental health problems young people experience and what you can do to help. Find them here
For parents: Helping my child is a section on Oxford Health’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) pages that offers practical tips suggested by parents and carers. Read them here
Support available in Oxfordshire
The Mental Health Helplines (adults 01865 904997, children 01865 904998) adds to the range of local mental health services people can access directly.
When someone is seriously ill or injured, or in an acute confused state, call 999.
For other mental health support people can contact:
• Your own GP in the first instance
• Mental Health Services for adults and older adults:
o TalkingSpace Plus in Oxfordshire
o Oxford Safe Haven
o Banbury Safe Haven
• Other helplines, information and advice include:
o Oxfordshire Mind Information Line – 01865 247788 open 9.30am to 4.30pm Mon – Friday
o NHS 111 – dial 111 – open 24 hours
o Samaritans – Freephone 116 123 – open 24 hours
o The Oxfordshire Mind Guide