Dr Shane Gordon: Help is at hand for patients who are feeling lonely and anxious in winter
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For many of us January and February can be challenging months. With shorter, darker days and the realisation of the true cost of the festive season and new year period, it is little wonder that some of us may feel low or anxious.
For some of us, these negative feelings can continue for several weeks, even months. Fortunately there are ways that your local NHS in Colchester and Tendring can assist you. One of the services open to local people across north east Essex is our talking therapies service – known as Health in Mind – which uses a variety of evidence-based ways to improve your mood without the need for medication.
It offers people a non-judgmental, private space for individuals to discuss their emotions with trained clinical experts.
At North East Essex CCG, we have started a publicity campaign aimed at increasing awareness of Health in Mind, which has proven to be an extremely effective intervention to thousands of people across England. It is most effective at supporting people with:
n Mood problems – for example low self-esteem, depression or interpersonal problems
n Anxiety – for example phobias, panic attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, social anxiety, shyness, health anxiety or excessive worries
n Traumatic stress
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If you need this help and you are registered with a GP in Colchester or Tendring, then you can refer yourself or alternatively your GP can refer you. A trained therapist will work out with you how best to help. A full assessment session is then arranged with the therapist working alongside you to help you find different ways to understand and approach your issues.
People in Colchester and Tendring can self-refer by calling Health in Mind on 0300 330 5455 or complete a self-referral form via the link on the webpage: http://www.healthmind.org.uk/how-we-can-help.
The Health in Mind website also has an e-form for you to complete if this is easier.