Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust is supporting Time to Talk Day on 2 February, an annual campaign which aims to get as many people as possible talking about mental health.
The Leeds Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service is jointly provided by the Trust along with voluntary sector partners Touchstone, Northpoint Wellbeing and Community Links and offers people with common mental health problems access to support, without the need to visit their GP.
The organisations work in partnership to provide assessments and a range of treatments including depression recovery groups, online therapy, and stress control courses.
Ian*, who completed a stress control course with the service said:
“Before visiting my GP my life had been in utter turmoil, I felt that I couldn’t talk to anyone and generally felt ashamed about how I was feeling. My wife made an appointment for me to talk to my Doctor who referred me to the IAPT service.
Now that I have completed the course I feel I can face the world again and also have the tools to keep my condition at bay.”
SallyAnne Poyser, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Leeds IAPT said:
“Ian’s story is very common. In fact, one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but many are too afraid to talk about it.
When your mental health is suffering your first instinct is often to keep quiet and say ‘I’m fine’. It takes a great deal of courage to be open about your mental wellbeing but for many it can be the first real step to confronting depression, low mood, anxiety and more.”
If you need further support the Leeds IAPT service is able to offer a whole range of different therapies and treatments to suit your needs; whether this is as part of a group, on a one to one basis, or even online.
Stress affects everybody, but high levels of stress or low mood can affect our ability to cope with the demands of everyday life. So it’s important that we try to look after ourselves by taking steps to manage our mental health.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed if we have a lot happening in our lives. We naturally focus on the negative things in life such as the things we can't do. Try to focus on the things that you can do something about. This will help you feel more in control.
It can be easy to only do the things that we need to do in life and we forget about the pleasurable things. Don't let stress get in the way of the what you enjoy, arrange to see that friend that you have not seen for a while; pick that hobby back up that you have neglected or do something that you have always wanted to do.
We all need help from time to time, talk to a friend about what you are going through so you can get some support from others.
It is a natural, human response to avoid things that are uncomfortable, but we know that avoidance makes stress worse in the long term so look at the things in your life that you are avoiding and start to tackle them by facing your fears.
Exercise is a natural ‘antidepressant’, try to make small changes to be more active such as taking the stairs rather than the lift or go for a brisk walk.
If you need further help managing stress or your mood the IAPT service offers courses to learn coping strategies and techniques to help manage your mental health more effectively. You can refer yourself through the website www.leedsiapt.com or call 0113 8434388 to arrange a telephone assessment.
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