Mental health

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Having good mental wellbeing contributes to your mental health and helps protect you from developing mental illness.

Mental wellbeing is how you are feeling and how well you can cope with daily life.

Time to Change hubs are networks of local organisations and individuals committed to tackling negative attitudes and behaviours towards people experiencing mental health problems.

We’re looking for people who have experience of mental health problems to become Time to Change champions. Our champions will use their experience to change the way people think and act about mental health. They’ll play an important role in making a real difference in their community.

Find out more

Small Talk Saves Lives Click to get info

Suicide is preventable, and a short conversation with someone who may be struggling to cope, can go a long way and even save a life.

Waltham Forest is supporting Small Talk Saves Lives campaign, delivered in partnership with Network Rail, the British Transport Police and the wider rail industry. The campaign is encouraging members of the public to trust their instinct and intervene if they see someone who needs help, with the aim of reducing suicide on the railways. Watch a short video based on a real story of someone whose life was saved when another person took the time to talk to them.

If you or someone you know is feeling low call Samaritans for free on 116 123.

Information and advice Click to get info

NHS Choices provide guidance on mental health and wellbeing, including specific information on stress, anxiety and depression as well as tips to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

For more information on mental health in Waltham Forest see our Mental Wellbeing Strategy 2018-21.

Need more advice? Click to get info

Local Area Coordination: helping you stay safe and independent
If you are an older person, a carer, or have a disability or mental health needs, our local area coordinators can help you to stay safe, well, resilient and independent. They do this by putting you in touch with local groups and organisations that can help you.


Services Click to get info

Eating disorders Click to get info

An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, which can take over your life and make you ill.

It can involve eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with your weight and body shape.

But there are treatments that can help, and you can recover from an eating disorder.

Men and women of any age can get an eating disorder, but they most commonly affect young women aged 13 to 17 years old.

Read more and get support on our Eating disorders page

Exercise for depression Click to get info

Being depressed can leave you feeling low in energy, which might put you off being more active.

Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it's especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression.

"Any type of exercise is useful, as long as it suits you and you do enough of it," says Dr Alan Cohen, a GP with a special interest in mental health. "Exercise should be something you enjoy; otherwise, it will be hard to find the motivation to do it regularly."

How often do you need to exercise?

To stay healthy, adults should do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week. 

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If you haven't exercised for a while, gradually introduce physical activity into your daily routine.

Any exercise is better than none. Even a 15-minute walk can clear your mind and relax.

How to get started with exercise

Find an activity you can do regularly. You can take part in a team sport, attend classes at a leisure centre, or just be more active in your daily routine by walking or cycling instead of travelling by car or public transport.

For more ideas on different types of exercise and the benefits of being more active, see our fitness section.

To find local exercise classes and sports clubs, search the sport and fitness directory.

If being outdoors appeals to you, Green Gym projects, run with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), provide exercise for people who don't like the idea of the gym or indoor exercise classes. To find out more, visit the TCV website.

If you like walking, visit the Walking for Health website to find a walking group near you. Walking for Health groups can support people who have health problems, including mental health conditions.

Exercise on prescription

If you haven't exercised for a long time or are concerned about the effects of exercise on your body or health, ask your GP about exercise on prescription. Lots of GP surgeries across the country prescribe exercise as a treatment for a range of conditions, including depression.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that people with mild to moderate depression take part in about three sessions a week, lasting about 45 minutes to one hour, over 10 to 14 weeks.

Your GP can help you decide what type of activity will suit you. The Prescription for Exercise website can also help with choosing the right activity.

Depending on your circumstances and what's available locally, the exercise programme may be offered free or at a reduced cost.

Other help for depression

Many treatments are available for depression, including talking therapiesantidepressants and self-help of various kinds.

Read more about treatment for depression.

If you've been feeling down for more than two weeks, see your GP to discuss your symptoms. They can tell you about the choice of treatment available for depression and help you decide what's best for you.

See how running can boost your mood.

Read about how being active helps mental wellbeing.

Article provided by NHS Choices

See original on NHS Choices

Being active is great for your physical health and fitness, and evidence shows that it can also improve your mental wellbeing.

We think that the mind and body are separate. But what you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing.

Mental wellbeing means feeling good - both about yourself and about the world around you. It means being able to get on with life in the way you want.

Evidence shows that there is a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing.

Being active doesn't mean you need to spend hours in the gym, if that doesn't appeal to you. Find physical activities that you enjoy and think about how to fit more of them into your daily life.

How exercise helps your mental wellbeing 

Scientists think that physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a number of ways.

Physical activity can help people with mild depression. Evidence shows that it can also help protect people against anxiety.

Physical activity is thought to cause chemical changes in the brain, which can help to positively change our mood.

Some scientists think that being active can improve wellbeing because it brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

How you can get more active

If you want to get active, think about physical activity in the broadest sense.

It can help to read the physical activity guidelines for adults.

Adults aged 19 and over should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity - such as fast walking or cycling - a week.

Find activities that you enjoy, then make them a part of your life.

There's lots of information and advice on NHS Choices to help you get active.

More steps to mental wellbeing

Feel happier and enjoy life more with these five evidence-based steps for improving your mental wellbeing.

Or learn more about the other four steps for mental wellbeing here:

Article provided by NHS Choices

See original on NHS Choices