Organisations across Cambridgeshire team up to tackle Covid mental health effects

Organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are teaming up as part of a national campaign to help support those struggling with mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A survey from Healthwatch Cambridgeshire showed one in three people said the pandemic had a high or significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

In support of the ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign, organisations across the county are joining forces to remind people of the range of advice, support and services available, such as encouraging those experiencing anxiety, depression and stress.

Sandie Smith, CEO of Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “We’ve heard from many people who have struggled with their mental health during the pandemic – particularly those with long-term health conditions, disabilities and carers.

“We support the ‘Help Us Help You’ campaign as it’s important that people get the support they need to manage their mental health.”

The latest campaign builds on the regional ‘Now we’re talking’ initiative led by Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, plus charities including Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire MIND and Lifecraft.

The initiative that launched in April to encourage local residents to talk and seek help if they are struggling with their mental health.

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Other services that have been running throughout the pandemic include the psychological wellbeing service (PWS) run by the CPFT, which offers therapy online.

Dr James Clarke, registered clinical psychologist and CPFT PWS service lead, said: “It’s widely known that the effects of Covid-19 have adversely affected mental health and wellbeing, so it’s important people know our service continues to operate and can get the help they need.”

The regional campaign also directs people to other mental health support services:

- Lifeline Helpline 0808 808 2121 - 11am to 11pm every day. A free and confidential listening service to support people in mental distress, where callers can remain completely anonymous

- Qwell - an online wellbeing support, including educational and self-help articles and peer-to-peer support via forums. Adults are also able to receive help from qualified counsellors via drop-in or scheduled online chat sessions

- Keep Your Head – this website brings together all the mental health support available across the county

- Psychological Wellbeing Service - This service is set up to help those aged 17 and over who are suffering from mild to moderate depression and anxiety. You do not need a diagnosis to access the service and people can continue to self-refer to this service by visiting the CPFT website

- First Response Service - for people who are in mental health crisis, you can contact the First Response Service on 111, option 2. Visit the CPFT website.

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