Health: Help with mental health problems

We all know the statistic that one in four people will experience a mental health problem each year and that stress, worry and low mood can affect us all at different times in our lives regardless of our or abilities.

Thursday, 30th November 2017, 8:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 11:51 am
Experiencing worry

Experiencing a mental health problem can also have big impact on how we look after ourselves and therefore our health. For example, we know that when experiencing stress or low mood you may be less likely to be physically active, you may eat more (or less) or drink more. Another statistic that may be less well known is that about one in six people in the UK are currently living with a long-term physical health problem (ie LTC). Living with an LTC such as Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder , Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Chronic Pain can be very challenging and have a negative impact on how you feel, making life difficult and stopping you doing the things you enjoy. Understandably this can lead to stress, worry and low mood as well as increasing a sense of being on your own with it all. Statistics indicate that approximately 65 percent of people living with a common mental health problem also have an LTC and that 40 percent of people living with an LTC experience anxiety and depression.

Traditionally people have had to go to separate NHS services to get support with their physical health and their mental health. Here in Sheffield we have recently secured £1.8 million of national NHS funding to expand our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies service to offer support to people living with LTCs and who are feeling stressed, anxious or low mood.

Our new Health and Wellbeing Service is now open and we are able to offer a greater level of support to people living with LTCs. The service offers free psychological support and treatment to people experiencing a range of health conditions including: Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Cancer following successful treatment; Skin conditions, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Chronic/Persistent Pain and musculoskeletal conditions, Non-Cardiac Chest Pain and worrying about health symptoms or health anxiety. We also offer support to people experiencing persistent physical health symptoms where there may not be a clear reason for these symptoms.

The majority of the support available is offered through short courses. As well as specific courses for the conditions described above the service also offers general courses for anyone with a LTC: Living Well with a LTC, Stress Control for LTC and a Mindfulness for Health course, which take place at accessible venues in the local community in the city centre and local neighbourhoods. One to one therapy is also available. Dr Nicolas Wilkinson is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with Sheffield IAPT Health and Wellbeing Service.

For more visit www.iaptsheffield.shsc.nhs.uk/physical-health-wellbeing or call 0114 271 6568.