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Health Blog: Blue Monday and looking after yourself

A message from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health.

Dear residents,

Today is the third Monday of January – dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ due to a combination of post-Christmas blues, cold and dark weather and low motivation levels.

This year, we have the added pressure of the Coronavirus pandemic and the national lockdown which has affected us all, so while the ‘science’ behind Blue Monday has been debunked, the day remains a great opportunity to get talking about mental health problems of all kinds and the support that’s available.

While we are staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must remember to look out for ourselves too. There are things we can all do to look after our mental wellbeing during this crisis.

Today, the NHS relaunches the Every Mind Matters campaign with a focus on each of us taking stock and putting together our own ‘Mind Plan’ - sharing simple steps to help manage anxiety, sleep better and boost our mood.

The Mind Plan has been updated in light of COVID-19 and its effects.

Answer five simple questions to unlock your own plan here: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/your-mind-plan-quiz.

The website has a section on COVID-19 and wellbeing which includes articles on coping with loneliness, tips for dealing with change and managing money worries and wellbeing at home.

Locally, we also have many dedicated mental health and support organisations across the borough who do fantastic work. You can find links and contact details for many of these via www.wirralinfobank.co.uk.

Please remember:

  • In an emergency, always dial 999. 
  • In a non-emergency, you can call NHS 111 or, if you’re under 18, dial the CAMHS Central Advice and Duty Line 0151 488 8453. 

The following advice lines and opening times may also be of use: 

  • Samaritans, open 24/7: 116 123. 
  • CALM helpline (support for men), 5pm – midnight every day: 0800 58 58 58. 
  • Silver Line (support for over 65s), open 24/7: 0800 470 8090. 
  • Anxiety UK Helpline, weekdays 9.30am - 5.30pm: 0344 477 5774. 
  • Papyrus (specialist organisation for preventing Young People's suicide), weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm: 0800 068 4141. 
  • For support following suicide by a loved one, visit listening-ear.co.uk/amparo

If you are struggling to cope or know somebody who is, it can be hard to reach out for help but I would implore you to do so – worries and problems are easier solved when we share them rather than bottle them up.

Thanks for reading and look after each other,

Julie.