Supporting the borough’s mental health during the coronavirus crisis

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week next week, and with the current COVID-19 emergency affecting the way we live our daily lives, Bury has put together a comprehensive mental health support offer for residents of all ages.

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18 – 24 May 2020. The theme this year is kindness, as kindness is prevailing during uncertain times.

Bury Council, the borough’s NHS and social care organisations and charities are stepping up to offer support to people experiencing mental health issues of all levels, utilising more telephone and online support during social distancing.

Bury Council is also expanding the role of its five Community Hubs. Residents are able to contact Community Hubs for help with food and medicine supplies if they are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19, and very soon this offer will be expanded to provide wider wellbeing support for everyone, including befriending support; self-help guidance and wellbeing materials available locally.  

Coupled with support from further afield in Greater Manchester, and nationally, people are encouraged to come and take a look at the Council’s mental health and wellbeing webpage: bury.gov.uk/mentalwellbeing to see what’s available.

The health and wellbeing resource lists everything from self-help resources and text help for adults and young people, through to information about formal mental health services. And new help is set to come on-stream as the offer is adapted to meet need created by the pandemic.

Speaking ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week, Councillor Andrea Simpson, Bury Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “The coronavirus outbreak has meant a lot has changed in our lives quickly. And the uncertainty many of us are feeling right now is quite overwhelming.

“Here in Bury the health and wellbeing of our residents is paramount, and mental health is just as important as physical as we face the situation in front of us.

“We want people to know they are not alone. Help is at hand. I’d urge anyone who is experiencing any level of mental health difficulty to take a look at our website to see if there’s something that might help you at this difficult time.”

Dr. Daniel Cooke, GP and NHS Bury CCG Clinical Director, said: “With everything that’s going on, it’s natural that this may cause people to feel worried or anxious, lonely or frustrated.

“There are some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing. It’s important to still connect with people over the phone or by video call. Make sure you talk about your worries and find time to do things you enjoy.

“And if you feel you need some extra support, there are all sorts of options in place for people in Bury, and while many of them can’t be face-to-face at this time, we have some fantastic online, telephone and text services that can make a real difference.”

Pennine Care, which provides mental health support services, has set up a 24 hour helpline for existing service users and carers experiencing difficulties.

Dil Jauffur, Associate Director at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “We know that people may be experiencing increased distress or anxiety at this current time. There is a lot of helpful advice, apps and online programmes available which can support your mental health and wellbeing.

“In Bury we continue to provide a range of mental health services and have introduced video and telephone consultations so we can maintain social distancing guidelines. To support our service users and carers we have also launched a new 24 hour helpline service. Run by a team of experienced mental health professionals, the service will make it quicker and easier for our known service users to get the right support and advice at this difficult time.”

Find details of what’s available at: bury.gov.uk/mentalwellbeing

You can also access help through Pennine Care’s website: www.penninecare.nhs.uk/coronavirus 

ENDS

DATE: 15th May 2020