Health

Do something you’re good at

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?

Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.

Concentrating on a hobby like gardening or the crossword can help you forget your worries for a while and change your mood.

It can be good to have an interest where you’re not seen as someone’s mum or dad, partner or employee. You’re just you.

An hour of sketching lets you express yourself creatively. A morning on the football pitch gets you active and gives you the chance to meet new people.

Mental Health Foundation
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/do-something-youre-good

#MHAW17
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Mental health help and support services

If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help. https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/02/02/time-to-talk/#support

 

Take a break

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.

It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.

A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’.

Taking a break may mean being very active. It may mean not doing very much at all.

Take a deep breath… and relax. Try yoga or meditation, or just putting your feet up.

Listen to your body. If you’re really tired, give yourself time to sleep. Without good sleep, our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill. Sometimes the world can wait.

Mental Health Foundation
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/take-break

#MHAW17
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Mental health help and support services

If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help. https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/02/02/time-to-talk/#support

Ask for help

None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.

Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are there to help you.

For example, you could:

  • join a support group like Weight Watchers or Alcoholics Anonymous to help you make changes to your life
  • find a counsellor to help you deal with your feelings or make a fresh start
  • call the council about noise nuisance
  • visit a Citizens Advice Bureau if you want advice on debt.

Your GP may be able to refer you to a counsellor. You should consider getting help from your GP if difficult feelings are:

  • stopping you getting on with life
  • having a big impact on the people you live or work with
  • affecting your mood over several weeks.

Over a third of visits to GPs are about mental health. Your GP may suggest ways you or your family can help you. Or they may refer you to a specialist or another part of the health service.

Mental Health Foundation
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/ask-help

#MHAW17
#timetotalk
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

More advice

Citizens Advice

Call Adviceline on 0300 330 1313 if you want to speak to someone about your debts.

or can visit:

Ashford Borough Citizens Advice Bureau

Seabrooke House
Church Road
ASHFORD
Kent
TN23 1RD

01233 626185
answerphone/call back/live line

Monday to Friday 09.30 – 16.00
Appointments: 09.30-11.30
Drop in no appointment needed.
Last face to face appointment 11.30

Mental health help and support services

If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help. https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/02/02/time-to-talk/#support

Keep in touch

Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life. Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve practical problems.

There’s nothing better than catching up with someone face-to-face. But that’s not always possible. Give them a call, drop them a note or chat to them online instead. Keep the lines of communication open. It’s good for you!

If you’re feeling out of touch with some people, look back at our section on talking about your feelings and get started!

It’s worth working at relationships that make you feel loved or valued. But if you think being around someone is damaging your mental health, it may be best to take a break from them or call it a day completely. It’s possible to end a relationship in a way that feels ok for both of you.

It can be hard to cope when someone close to you dies or you lose them another way. Counselling for bereavement or loss can help you explore your feelings.

Mental Health Foundation
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/keep-touch

#MHAW17
#timetotalk
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Mental health help and support services

If you’re experiencing mental health problems or need urgent support, there are lots of places you can go to for help. https://southashford.org.uk/index.php/2017/02/02/time-to-talk/#support

Drink sensibly

We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.

When the drink wears off, you feel worse because of the way the alcohol has affected your brain and the rest of your body. Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.

Apart from the damage too much alcohol can do to your body, you would need more and more alcohol each time to feel the same short-term boost. There are healthier ways of coping with tough times.

Occasional light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people.

Stay within the recommended daily alcohol limits:

3 to 4 units a day for men.

2 to 3 units a day for women.

Many people also smoke or use drugs or other substances to change how they feel. But, again, the effects are short-lived. Just like alcohol, the more you use, the more you crave. Nicotine and drugs don’t deal with the causes of difficult feelings. They don’t solve problems, they create them.

Mental Health Foundation
/www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/drink-sensibly

#MHAW17
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

More advice

More advice on drinking sensibly can obtained from the OneYou Shop in Park Mall, Ashford or

from the OneYou website
www.nhs.uk/oneyou/drinking

Mental health help and support services

 

Eat well

Your brain needs a mix of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body. A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel, for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect.

But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. Your brain needs a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well, just like the other organs in your body.

A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.

A healthy balanced diet includes:

  • lots of different types of fruit and vegetables
  • wholegrain cereals or bread
  • nuts and seeds
  • dairy products
  • oily fish
  • plenty of water.

Eat at least three meals each day and drink plenty of water. Try to limit how many high-caffeine or sugary drinks you have, and avoid too much alcohol.

Please Note: The advice on this page may not apply if your doctor or dietician have given you specific dietary advice, e.g. if you are a kidney patient or a diabetic.

Mental Health Foundation
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/eat-well

#MHAW17
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

More advice

More advice on eating well can obtained from the OneYou Shop in Park Mall, Ashford or
from the OneYou website
www.nhs.uk/oneyou/eating

You can also get advice at the OneYou shop in Park Mall, Ashford.

Mental health help and support services

Keep active

Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and can help you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. Exercise keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy, and is also a significant benefit towards improving your mental health.

Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better.

Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.

Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gardening or housework can also keep you active.

Experts say most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week.

Try to make physical activity that you enjoy a part of your day.

Mental Health Foundation
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/keep-active

#MHAW17
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

More advice

More advice on keeping active can obtained from the OneYou Shop in Park Mall, Ashford or
from the OneYou website
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/moving

Mental health help and support services

Talk about your feelings


Mental Health Awareness Week

Good mental health is more than the absence of a mental health problem. This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are going to look at mental health from a new angle. Rather than ask why so many people are living with mental health problems, we will seek to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health.

Mental Health Foundation
/www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

Talk about your feelings

Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled.

Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.

Talking can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Just being listened to can help you feel supported and less alone. And it works both ways. If you open up, it might encourage others to do the same.

It’s not always easy to describe how you’re feeling. If you can’t think of one word, use lots. What does it feel like inside your head? What does it make you feel like doing?

You don’t need to sit your loved ones down for a big conversation about your wellbeing. Many people feel more comfortable when these conversations develop naturally – maybe when you’re doing something together.

If it feels awkward at first, give it time. Make talking about your feelings something that you do.

#MHAW17
#timetotalk

Mental Health Foundation
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/looking-after-your-mental-health/talk-about-your-feelings

Mental health help and support services

Hay fever sufferers urged to use pharmacists

pharmacy logoThe NHS in east Kent is urging people to use their local pharmacy to buy medication for common minor ailments like hay fever.

As the pollen count rises, one person in five is likely to suffer from the allergic condition, which causes sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.

But not everyone knows that treatment can be provided by a pharmacist rather than having to book an appointment to see a GP. Many treatments are available from as little as £1 from a pharmacy or supermarket.

Pharmacists also provide expert, free, confidential advice on health issues such as cold sores, constipation, coughs, cystitis, diarrhoea, headache, mild eczema, sunburn, sprains and strains. You can simply turn up and ask for advice with no prior appointment.

Details of your nearest pharmacy along with opening times can be found on the free NHS app, Health Help Now: www.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk or download Health Help Now from the App Store or Google Play.

Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Ashford CCG, said: “Rising pollen counts can lead to misery for hay fever sufferers but many cases of hay fever can be controlled using over-the-counter medication available from your pharmacist.

“Pharmacists can offer advice on how to avoid triggers and treat your hay fever. You do not need a prescription for hay fever medicines and many treatments are available for little cost from a pharmacy.

“So for most people, there is no need to let hay fever take up any more of your time by waiting for a doctor’s appointment.

“If your symptoms persist despite using medication as advised by the pharmacist you may wish to speak to your GP about alternative medication which is only available on prescription.”

If you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation, ring NHS 111. If you don’t know what to do or who to contact, use Health Help Now.

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group 03 May 2017
www.ashfordccg.nhs.uk/news/blog/?blogpost=9701

Changes to services at K&C Hospital

Update on temporary changes to some services

In April 2017 some temporary changes were announced to some services at Kent and Canterbury Hospital (K&C). Following that announcement some changes to stroke services from this week.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (EKHUFT) want to reassure all patients, relatives and their loved ones that their care is EKHUFT’s first priority. Patients who are in hospital already having suffered a stroke will be treated and discharged as normal. But from Tuesday 11 April, all new patients suspected of having a stroke, who would usually be taken to Canterbury, will be taken directly by ambulance to Margate or Ashford instead, whichever is closer, for initial assessment. If stroke is confirmed, patients are treated at this hospital while they are very unwell.

Because patients’ safety and recovery is utmost priority, EKHUFT need stroke patients to be seen in the place they will get the most appropriate treatment which means, for the moment, being treated at Ashford and Margate for the first few days of their care.

Once local patients have recovered from the acute phase of their stroke at Ashford or Margate, they will be able to move to the K&C to continue their recovery and rehabilitation journey, closer to home.

Most stroke services will remain unchanged at the K&C, including outpatient appointments and rehabilitation services. The hospital’s stroke ward will remain open and continue to care for patients recovering from a stroke.

Around four people a day usually attend K&C with hyper acute stroke like symptoms. On average, one of these patients has a confirmed stroke and needs admitting to the stroke ward.

Read why these changes are being made and what they mean for patients
www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/news/news-archive-2016/changes-to-kc/

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust 10 April 2017
www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/news/news-archive-2016/update-on-temporary-changes-to-some-services/