Tag: mental health

World Suicide Prevention Day: A councillor view from a hill farm

It is World Suicide Prevention Day. Tracey and Richard Huffer farm high on a hill in south west Shropshire. Tracey is also a health professional. Along with myself and four others, we are Lib Dem councillors in a very rural area. Sometimes it feels we can’t sit down for a chat without mentioning the “s” word. Someone else has taken their life. And it is mostly younger people, mostly men. This article reflects how on the growing problem of suicide in rural areas. Richard was at the livestock market selling sheep recently. I was leaning against the railings at the sheep pens. An elderly farmer, a stranger, joined me and started pouring out about his son who had shot himself at the age of 30. I was probably one of the few people he had seen for a while, perhaps the only one for days. I wish I could say this was a one off. Sadly not.

Covid Watch 27: Shropshire Council’s new guide on wellbeing & mental health for adults, teenagers & children during the coronavirus emergency

As the coronavirus spreads, more and more people are becoming anxious about what it might mean for themselves and their loved ones. It’s completely understandable and normal to feel anxious about during emerging health crisis. In a timely and very welcome move, Shropshire Council has published a guide to maintaining wellbeing and reducing anxiety during the Covid-19 emergency. The 22-page guide links to dozens of online resources to help, your friends and your family cope with anxiety, relax and have fun during unprecedented times. Phone helpline numbers are also provided. Download Looking after your Mental Health during COVID-19 (PDF). The guide says our brains are predisposed to focus on threat. We tend to forget the everyday things and bring our attention to things which are scary, without taking time to really think about the facts. “We start with one worry and before we know where we are it’s grown and grown and we’re now headed for a full on catastrophe (the “what if… but then what if…” scenario), even when the likelihood of each possible thing coming true may be minimal. Anxious thoughts get in the way of our minds taking in what we need to know and deciphering fact…

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Ludlow Young Health launched with huge success – next drop-in Wednesday

Wednesday 6 February saw the inaugural session of Ludlow Young Health, a wellbeing and mental health advice drop-in service. Nearly 50 young people and their parents or carers dropped in to the Ludlow Youth Centre in the first few hours of the service. It will now run every second Wednesday from 3.30pm to 7pm at Ludlow Youth Centre. The next drop-in will be 20 February.

Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of people and will cost the NHS more

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The list of cuts is appalling. Public health services will get a big hit. Giving up smoking, reducing obesity and promotion of healthy lifestyles will be hammered. People from Wales will be snubbed. There will be cuts to social support, including cuts to day centres, though there is doubt whether all the cuts can be achieved.

A new approach to youth services in Ludlow starts next year – we are going to tackle the big issue of mental health

Mental health services are being cut back. It can take weeks, even months, for a young person to get a mental health referral. Often, they must go to Shrewsbury for a consultation. Many youngsters can’t or won’t do that. Ludlow Youth Partnership wants to tackle this. We have partnered with the Children’s Society which runs the Beam emotional wellbeing service in Shrewsbury and Wellington. Our new drop in service launches in February. It is supported by a lot of organisations and is the first independent commissioning of the Children’s Society to provide emotional wellbeing services for young people in Shropshire.

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