Help at hand for anyone in Devon feeling anxious about leaving lockdown

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(Last Updated On: July 7, 2020)

People in Devon who are worried or anxious about coping with the newly relaxed lockdown measures are being offered help and support.

A further easing of lockdown measures on Saturday, 4 July, has left many people concerned about going back to pre-COVID social situations, such as visiting a restaurant, or about the catching virus itself while out and about.

Livewell Southwest and Devon Partnership NHS Trust (DPT), the providers of mental health services in Devon, Torbay and Plymouth, are reminding people that mental health services are open for business and available to help those in need – without needing to leave the house.

Sara Mitchell, Strategic Mental Health Lead at Livewell Southwest, said: “It’s perfectly normal for people to be feeling anxious at this time with the easing of lockdown and we would urge people to seek they help they need if they need support.

“There is a lot of support available for adults and children across Plymouth and Devon and we would urge anyone who has any concerns to please contact our crisis lines if you are in need of immediate mental health support or TALKWORKS or Plymouth Options who provide a range of services to people experiencing common mental health problems.

“Please don’t suffer in silence.” Dr David Somerfield, Medical Director at DPT, added: “Many of us have looked forward to lockdown easing and the prospect of being able to see friends and family
again or going out for dinner.

“But for many people, the lockdown has been an incredibly isolating time. Some people have had no immediate support available through loved ones, may have faced uncertainty about going back to work or may have lost their job. All of these situations are examples of what can lead to an increase in common mental health problems such as anxiety, low mood or depression which can greatly impact on your day-to day-life and leave you feeling exhausted or worried.”

Simon Tapley, Accountable Officer for NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “We want to remind people that they aren’t alone and there is lots of help available if they need it.”

There is a wide range of resources, information and support available including self-help resources such as the NHS Every Mind Matters resources, help from national helplines and charities, GP support and talking therapy services.

TALKWORKS and Plymouth Options both provide support and help with common mental health problems usually in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), a talking therapy which helps people manage problems by providing coping techniques to help change the way they are thinking, feeling and behaving.
People can self-refer online by searching for TALKWORKS or Plymouth Options, by phone or your GP can refer you on your behalf with treatment currently taking place over the phone or by video conferencing.

Those needing immediate support with their mental health are also able to access First Response Services which provide advice, support and signposting 24/7.

People living in Devon and Torbay can access the First Response Service by calling 0300 555 5000.

Adults in Plymouth can call 01752 434922 and those aged under 18 can also call 01752 435122.

You do not need to be an existing service user of Livewell or DPT services to access these services and both helplines are open to other health and care professionals and emergency responders such as the police who may need advice when supporting someone with mental health difficulties.

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