Mental health affects everyone, particularly those of us in the LGBT+ community who can face harder challenges than our heterosexual and cisgender counterparts.
We hope that this Mental Health Awareness Week will be an opportunity for you to give yourself permission to access any help you need and learn tips and tricks to improve your wellbeing.
Remember to be kind to yourself.
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Start by simply asking yourself “How am I today?”
However you are feeling, your experience is valid, and so are your feelings. If you feel a certain way, you are allowed to feel that way- whether you think it makes sense or even if you don’t like the emotion. What we choose to do with our feelings begins by recognising and accepting how we feel.
Challenge yourself to ‘check-in’ with your emotions once a day. Some people find it helpful to track their mood to notice patterns and identify potential changes. Have a go here: https://www.get.gg/docs/MoodDiary.pdf
Self-care should incorporate your physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, social health and work life.
Look after your body- think about your food and fluid intake, quality of sleep, exercise and fresh air.
Express your emotions- talk it out, journal, engage in a creative activity to express how you are feeling.Create some Sacred Space- “me time”, meditation, religious practicesSocialising- Spend time with others (following government COVID-19 guidelines, put in boundaries to keep yourself safe and consider social media intake.Challenge your brain- consider learning something new or doing something to exercise your brain cells, also consider ensuing your work-life balance making sure that you have time to work and play.
Check out Blurt’s self care resources here: https://www.blurtitout.org/resource/self-care-info/
Consider using the 5 Ways to Wellbeing as a wellbeing checklist. Have you done one of these 5 suggestions today?Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.FInd out more here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/
Seeking help is often the first step towards getting and staying well but it can be hard to know where to go or who to talk to. It is always okay to ask for help. Remember you are not alone and you deserve support.
It’s common to feel unsure or to worry about accessing help, especially for the first time. For many, the GP is the first step to seeking help (they can provide physical and mental health support) as they will have an understanding of local services and would also be able to advise you on medications. Talking therapies are a brilliant option too- there are different services available for free under the NHS and privately. We hope some of these below resources and local organisations will help you to choose the right options for you.
Mental Health Matters – 24/7 Free helpline 0800 616 171
SHOUT – Text SHOUT to 85258 for 24/7 free text support.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) provides talking therapy support for people aged over 16 experiencing low mood, anxiety and depression.You do not need to be referred but you must be registered with a GP in Coventry/Warwickshire/Solihull. Contact IAPT on 02476 671090. https://www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk/iapt/
Coventry and Warwickshire Mind provide a range of mental health services for adults, young people and children. Have a look at their website for more information https://cwmind.org.uk/ or call 02476 222 847
Change, Grow, Live offer support for people struggling with substance misuse including drugs and alcohol. You can contact them on 02476 010241 or via their website: https://www.changegrowlive.org/drug-alcohol-service-coventry/info
Safe to Talk is Coventry’s domestic abuse helpline bringing together all the local services to offer specialist support, advice and advocacy to all victims of abuse. Contact them here: 0800 111 4998 https://www.safetotalk.org.uk/site/index.php
Other Coventry Services for Mental Health Support can be found here: https://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/151/mental_health/826/adult_mental_health_services
Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline: 0300 330 0630 https://switchboard.lgbt/
National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428 https://www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/
Stonewall: 08000 50 20 20 https://www.stonewall.org.uk/
MindOut LGBTQ Mental Health Service: 01273 234 839 https://www.mindout.org.uk/
Access support through your local library: https://www.coventry.gov.uk/booksonprescription
NHS Self-Help guides on various topics: https://web.ntw.nhs.uk/selfhelp/
Every Mind Matters campaign: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Apps that may be useful: https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/
Free meditations from Headspace https://www.headspace.com/covid-19
Peer Support: https://www.elefriends.org.uk/
MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS
If you need help in a mental health crisis or emergency, it is important to get immediate support. Try one of the 24/7 Helplines or seek advice from your GP or 111.
If you do not feel able to keep yourself or someone else safe, for example, serious injury or overdose, present yourself at A&E or call 999. Further information available here: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/dealing-with-a-mental-health-crisis-or-emergency/
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, we do not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors that have occurred. We offer an impartial service and we cannot recommend or endorse any providers listed.