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Mental health awareness and support

Our libraries offer an extensive range of resources to help raise awareness about mental health whilst also providing access to information that will enable people to lead happier and healthier lives.

Reading Well ‘Books on Prescription’ Schemes

The Reading Well ‘Books on Prescription’ Schemes help people manage their health and wellbeing using self-help reading. The scheme is endorsed by health professionals and all titles are available free in Cheshire West and Chester Libraries. Many titles are also available as eBooks.

  • Reading Well for Mental Health: helps people to read well and to stay well, by providing helpful information and support for managing common mental health conditions; or dealing with difficult feelings and experiences. Some books also include personal stories from people who are living with or caring for someone with mental health needs.  The books are penned by bestselling and highly-regarded authors including Matt Haig (How to Stay Alive); Cathy Rentzenbrink (A Manual for Heartache); Sathnam Sanghera (The Boy with the Topknot); Ruby Wax (A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled) and many more.
  • 'Shelf Help': provides a range of titles especially selected for 13-18 year olds, providing advice and information about issues such as anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. 
  • Reading Well for Children is a new booklist of expert endorsed reading to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. The list is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers. 

Sources of information and advice

  • Live Well Cheshire West: local information, support and advice on how to cope during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • Brain in Hand: designed by the National Autistic Society, Brain in Hand provides easy access to personalised support via an app on your phone. It’s packed with features to help you remember activities, reduce anxiety and feel supported. 
  • Chapter Mental Health: telephone and video call for people living with a mental health diagnosis who need additional support to manage their wellbeing. Call 01244 344 409
  • Mental Health Foundation: a UK charity, whose mission is "to help people to thrive through understanding, protecting, and sustaining their mental health”. If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you're worried about someone you know, they can offer help and support.
  • Mind: provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Practical advice and tips for everyday living, with links and information to support mental wellbeing. Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463   
  • NHS Health and Wellbeing: If you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed or want to feel happier, the NHS website offers support. They also provide a mood assessment quiz and mental wellbeing audio guides created by NHS professionals.
  • Rethink Mental Illness: a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness. They run services and support groups that change people's lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness. Call 0300 5000 927          
  • Samaritans: a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. Whatever you're going through, a Samaritan will face it with you 24/7. Call 116123                                                                       
  • Switchboard (LGBT): providing help, understanding and options. No topic is off limits. All volunteers self-define as LGBT+. Call 0300 330 0630            

Support for children and young people

  • Childline: there to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. You can talk about anything, whether it’s something big or small, trained counsellors are there to support you. Call 0800 1111
  • My Mind (NHS): dedicated NHS website for young people and children. Out of hours support and links to West Cheshire Services.
  • The Mix: Free information and support for under 25s in the UK, via social media, mobiles and online. Advice given about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money and jobs.
  • Starting Well Team (11-19 years): online chat service for young people covering all topics including mental health 
  • Youth Access: is the advice and counselling network, they believe that every young person has a right to access free, high quality confidential advice and counselling.
  • Young Minds: are the UK's leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health. With expert advice for parents via the Young Minds’ Parent Helpline.
  • Youth Wellbeing Directory: provides a list of free local and national organisations for anyone up to the age of 25

Support for older people

  • Age Friendly Cheshire West – you are not alone: information from all our age-friendly partners as well as fantastic ideas about how to keep in touch, feel less isolated and help others
  • Age UK: support for older people including depression and anxiety, coping with bereavement and seasonal affective disorder. Call 0800 678 1602 for free advice. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year 
  • Creative Isolation (March Network): home based creative ways to support mental health including crafts, singing, theatre, music and the story box project. Many provide links to YouTube videos and live streaming.
  • Crossroads Together: for people who care (unpaid) for a family member or friend who, due to illness, a disability, a mental health problem or an addiction, cannot cope without support. Crossroads Together supports the wellbeing of these carers by offering help when they need it, either through advice, practical help or a break from caring responsibilities.
  • The Silverline: The Silver Line provides a 24-hour helpline (365 days a year), offering information, signposting and advice as well as a befriending service to combat loneliness and support mental wellbeing. Call 0800 470 8090
  • Silver Rainbows: working with Body Positive Cheshire and North Wales, Silver Rainbows provide support and information for the older LGBTQ community. Contact info@silverrainbows.com or health@bpcnw.co.uk or call 01270 653150.

How to look after your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Mental Health Foundation have put together advice and support to help manage our wellbeing and mental health during this time. This includes:

  • Mental health tips: how we can manage our mental health and wellbeing
  • While working: tips for employers and employees to look after their mental health
  • Look after your mental health and wellbeing when staying at home
  • Living with the pandemic if you already have mental health problems
  • Parenting
  • Loneliness
  • A guide for young people
  • Nurturing our relationships
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Finance, housing and unemployment worries
  • Talking to your children about the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Mental health advice for older people
  • Staying at home and abusive relationships

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