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It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 May and we’re raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.
Mental Health Awareness Week is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation who organise it and set the theme every year.
People can be affected by loneliness at any point in their lives and this can have a huge impact on their physical and mental health, as we have already seen throughout the pandemic.
We know these past two years have been especially hard for many of our residents, but we want to remind you that support is available and that you’re not alone.
If you need mental health advice or are feeling particularly low, help is available even if services seem busy at the moment.
Find your local NHS mental health support helpline that can provide you with 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for. If you live in Waltham Forest, our partner at NELFT have set up a new Mental Health Direct number. If you're in a crisis and don't know what to do, dial 0800 995 1000
If your life is at imminent risk, please call the emergency services on 999.
We know loneliness can have a huge impact on mental health and we’re working with partners to address this.
We’ve rounded up some of the services and activities promoted by our partners and local community groups who provide support to those residents who might feel isolated.
Find more resources, all across London and the UK at the Every Mind Matters Loneliness webpage.
CREST Waltham Forest know loneliness and isolation can affect anyone regardless of their age or family situation. The service and their activity groups, for adults 18 to 59 years old, aim to facilitate community connections to help individuals transform the value of themselves, reduce feelings of loneliness and help build up their resilience.
Email the Project Co-Ordinator at email@example.com or call 07919 520422 to learn more.
Our friends at Waltham Forest Community Hub provide several services to support residents and their mental wellbeing, such as housing advice, youth clubs and employability support. They also offer a number of befriending services to support vulnerable or isolated residents, including telephone befriending for residents aged 18-59; a lunch club for senior citizens and a community coffee morning.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8223 0707 to learn more, including how to make a referral for yourself or a loved one.
Kooth provides free online mental health and wellbeing support to young people in Waltham Forest aged 11-25 years old. Young people can register anonymously and access online counselling 365 days of the year, digital magazines, wellbeing activities, and connect with other young people. Professional counsellors are also available for one-to-one chat sessions from 12 noon until 10pm on weekdays and 6pm until 10pm on weekends.
Anna Freud is a world-leading mental health charity providing specialist help, research and training for children, young people, families and schools. This Mental Health Awareness Week, the Anna Freud Centre will be looking at how we can tackle feelings of loneliness through self-care. The Centre’s self-care resource, co-produced with young people, presents over 90 self-care strategies that young people said help support them to look after their mental health. Find them and more on Anna Freud’s Mental Health Awareness Week Page
The Coping Through Football project is an initiative between NELFT and the charity London Playing Fields Foundation (LPFF). Young people aged 11-17 years experiencing emotional and mental health challenges are welcome to join. Open to all abilities and all genders. For more information, you can email Sonia.Smith@nelft.nhs.uk or call 07538101450
Want to support other peers with their mental health? The School Mental Health Ambassador (SMHA) project aims to provide emotional support to secondary-aged young people to help them meet their recovery goals. Young people aged 18 to 25 years will support secondary school pupils to inspire hope and belief that recovery is possible, helping young people to feel more positively about their future. SMHAs will have peer support training and support from a suitable member of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Evidence suggests there are 5 steps you can take to boost your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive, especially during difficult times, and able to get the most out of life
These actions are
Visit the Five Ways to Wellbeing section of our website to learn more about the campaign and how you can take these steps in Waltham Forest.