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Mental Health

Coronavirus and Mental Health

We’ve put together a Mental Well-being Information Sheet showing the free resources and phone apps that can help you maintain your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak, and beyond.

Please note these are external services and are not provided by the NHS.

Supporting Mental Health and Well-Being

The mental health and well-being of the people in our area is important to us. We are committed to making a real difference to people’s lives by developing mental health and learning disability services with an emphasis on compassion and empathy.

In Bedfordshire and Luton, mental health services are provided by East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and in Milton Keynes by the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL).

Our mental health and well-being services cover four main areas.

  • Improving access to psychological therapies
  • Adult mental health services and specialist learning disability services
  • Recovery services
  • Child and adolescent mental health services

Luton is one of four areas in the country to have taken part in a three-year Lottery funded ‘Living Well UK’ transformation programme for mental well-being and support.

The Luton programme, called Reimagining mental health, has given partner organisations and people with experience of living with mental illness the opportunity to share their ideas about providing better mental health care for the people of Luton.

Dementia

Older couple smilingAs you get older, especially if you’re over 65, you might find that your memory isn’t what it used to be.

If you’re getting increasingly forgetful and it’s affecting your everyday life, it might be a good idea to have a chat with your GP about the early signs of dementia.

It’s estimated that there are about 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, and that many people live with the condition without knowing they have it.

But dementia isn’t just about memory loss. It can also affect the way you speak, think, feel and behave.


Lowering the risk of dementia

There are a number of ways you can help lower the risk of dementia.

  • Stop smoking
  • Be more active
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption
  • Improve your diet
  • Lose weight if necessary and maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay mentally active – for example, do puzzles or learn a second language
  • Remain socially active to improve your mood, relieve stress, reduce risk of depression and combat loneliness

Dementia advice and guidance

If you’re aged 40-60, the NHS One You campaign has some great tips and advice to help you improve your health and reduce the risk of dementia.

Check out these two short videos from local GP Dr Roshan Jayalath – the benefits of seeking advice for memory problems and how you can lower the risk of developing dementia.

If you’re worried about dementia, the NHS has produced an about dementia guide with more information. Or if you’re worried about your memory, or the memory of someone close to you, take a look at this leaflet from The Alzheimer’s Society, who also offer legal advice.

See the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) dementia web page for more information on early diagnosis.

NHS guide to living well with dementia

 


Local services and resources

If you’ve been diagnosed with dementia or are caring for someone with dementia, you may also find these additional local resources helpful.

Carers in Beds have produced a dementia handbook, which can help you find the support and services available in Bedfordshire, including suggestions from people living with Dementia and their carers.

All our CCGs are also signed up to the Red Bag scheme, which keeps a care home resident’s paperwork, medication and personal items together in a ‘red bag’ if they need to be admitted to hospital so they can be discharged more smoothly.

If you are registered with a GP in Bedfordshire (excluding Luton), the Dementia Intensive Support Service (DISS) provided by East London NHS Foundation Trust, provides specialist support to those living with dementia, as well as the family and carers.


Children and Young People

We believe that all children and young people should have access to the right kind of services and support to help them develop as people and build positive relationships.

In Bedfordshire, we’ve worked with children, young people and other organisations to develop a transformational plan for children’s and young people’s mental health services to improve the support that’s currently available.

Being a student can already be quite a stressful time as you navigate your way through higher education – and COVID-19 isn’t making it any easier. Click here to find out mroe information on the mental health support available to students.

The following services are also available within BLMK.

  • Kooth, free online counselling and emotional well-being support for children and young people aged 11-19. The service offers 24-hour access to self-help materials, live moderated forums, mood tracking and goal setting tools.
  • Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
  • CHUMS mental health and emotional wellbeing service for children and young people. There are specific CHUMS services for Bedfordshire and Luton.
  • ‘Local Offer’ directories of support services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These are provided by our local authorities in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Luton, and Milton Keynes.
  • YiS – Milton Keynes based young people’s mental health support group.
  • The Mix (YouthNet UK) – essential support for under 25s.

 

Information and support