A coaching programme is helping people who were shielding during the lockdown build their confidence in getting back out into the community again.
Designed by Cornwall Council and Age UK Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Step into Wellness is aimed at supporting anyone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and aged over 40 learn practical skills to improve their mental, physical and emotional wellness.
A total of 250 people across Cornwall have already been supported through the free online programme held on Zoom since the programme was launched in March.
Tracey Roose, Chief Executive of Age UK Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “We understand that everyone has been affected in different ways over the last year. Many of us have experienced isolation, anxiety, and loss of mobility or confidence.
“If this is you, if you have been shielding or impacted by Covid-19, come and join us to Step into Wellness, a fun and unique programme designed around you.”
Dr Richard Sharpe, Advanced Public Health Practitioner at Cornwall Council, said: “It is never too late to meet people and to try something new.
“Through a mix of one to one and group engagements, our trained team will go with you on a journey to improve wellbeing.
“Topics include how to find support in your local community through groups and activities, getting active, developing positive relationships, accessing specialist services and support, giving back to your community and others, making healthy lifestyle choices and learning new experiences.
“The programme has already helped connect two programme participants who had recently stopped shielding and are now enjoying a weekly walk together.”
Dr Paul Cook, NHS Kernow chairman and mental health champion, said: “This course will help people who have been shielding emerge from incredibly stressful year and ensure that their mental health is supported as much as their physical health.
“The past year has been a big challenge for people mentally, particularly those who have been shielding. It will be one of the lasting effects of the pandemic. We would urge people who are feeling anxious to reach out for help.”
To find out more about the programme further information can be found at Cornwall Link: Step into Wellness - Cornwall Link (cornwall-link.co.uk).
To register your interest email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01872 266383.
Digital Inclusion Cornwall can give support on getting online.
Anyone who may be worried about their own or someone else's mental health can contact 0800 038 5300 for help and support.
The NHS says a quarter of all adults experience a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their lives.
A Healthwatch Cornwall report published last year looking at the impact of the pandemic on people’s self-reported mental health and wellbeing suggests increased levels of anxiety and depression in Cornwall, echoing reports for the UK as a whole.
The report found several groups were at higher risk of anxiety or depression, including those who have a disability or long-term condition; people who have lost employment, people who consider themselves at higher risk of coronavirus; and carers.
For more information on mental health and suicide prevention see below:
- Mental health information and guidance (available in easy read, BSL and translations), z-cards (a useful way to start a conversation), information about the Five Ways to Wellbeing and approaches to help protect and maintain good mental health, and safety planning which is a good way to make a plan if you are suffering with your wellbeing. More information can be found on the Cornwall Council website
- 24/7 NHS Mental health response line: For support and advice. Call free any time, day or night if you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health. The team behind the 24/7 open access telephone response line will listen to you and determine how best to help. t: 0800 038 5300 (free) 24 hours a day.
- Valued Lives: Supports people who are experiencing mental or emotional distress in Cornwall. t: 0800 260 6759 24/7 crisis line.
- Samaritans: Emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide. t: 116 123 24 hours a day e: email@example.com
- Outlook South West offer online support and NHS talking therapies – call 01208 871905 for people aged 16+ years. The Suicide Liaison Service is also available via this number. This is also an NHS funded service, but for adults 18+ who have been bereaved by suicide.
- Man Down: supporting men's mental health in Cornwall.
- ‘We are with you’ for support with alcohol, drugs or mental health call 01872 263001 or visit https://www.wearewithyou.org.uk/services/cornwall-truro/.
- Childline: Free, private and confidential service for anyone under 19 where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, anytime. t: 0800 1111 email or chat via www.childline.org.uk
- Shout: 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Text: 85258
- CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably: For men who are down or who need to talk, find information and support. t: 0800 58 58 58 5pm - midnight every day or webchat at www.thecalmzone.net
- If you are a young person or worried about a child you can call the Early Help Hub for advice and help (call 01872 322277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Call 0300 777 4777 or visit https://saferfutures.org.uk/ if you or someone else is affected by domestic abuse, sexual violence and those demonstrating abusive behaviours.
- Papyrus Hopeline UK: For people under the age of 35 experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide. t: 0800 068 4141 e: email@example.com
- Anyone experiencing problems with finances, debt, housing and mental wellbeing can access support and receive advice and guidance from The Mental Health, Employment Need and Debt advice outreach project (‘Mhend’). Visit https://pentreath.co.uk/mental-health-employment-need-and-debt-mhend/
- There are some excellent resources available from Cornwall Wildlife Trust and local wildlife groups to join if you want to learn more, do more for nature or inspire others. Visit www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk