Leading Lanarkshire psychologists offer mental health advice for winter

Leading Lanarkshire psychologists have reminded locals that mental health advice and support is available throughout the festive period – and provided a few tips of their own.

NHS Lanarkshire Psychological Services have launched a new website – Lanarkshire Mind Matters – that signposts people to a wide range of services available online, including courses, information resources and links to help people to find better ways to cope with problems such as anxiety, depression and sleep problems.

Two new online programmes, Daylight and Sleepio are offered through the website and can be accessed at any time of the day or night. Designed and tested by experts, and already used widely around the world, the programmes offer personalised help for two common problems, anxiety and poor sleep.

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Dr Simon Stuart, consultant clinical psychologist and digital lead for psychological services at NHS Lanarkshire, believes the website and courses can offer immediate advice and help.

He told Lanarkshire Live said: “Our message is that “It’s OK to feel what you’re feeling,” and if someone needs help with their mental health, there is support available.

“NHS Lanarkshire Psychological Services want to link people to the most useful resource at the most useful time.

“The Lanarkshire Mind Matters website is a great place to begin: it provides trustworthy, high-quality information you can use straight away. And if people need more specific help there are of course, further options.

“Your GP will be able to offer further advice and link you to our other services if needs be.”

Dr Stuart, who lives in Rutherglen, and his colleague Dr Emily Pathe have also issued a list of tips to help out during the winter.

These are to be kind to yourself, meaning that rather than beating yourself up, give yourself a wee hug and ask: “What can I do, in this moment, that I might really enjoy?”

They also advise watching how much you drink, as alcohol can make problems worse, to slow down in the moment and engage with what you’re doing rather than racing ahead, and to try and stay connected if you feel lonely, whether that’s phoning someone or reaching out online.

Lastly Dr Stuart and Dr Pathe suggest staying active, such as going out for a good walk, as it is good for both physical and psychological wellbeing.

Anyone seeking further support can visit Lanarkshire Mind Matters here for more information.

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