Director of Public Health for Stockport Council, Jennifer Connolly, has outlined mental health resources for residents after almost a year since the first Covid-19 case was identified in Stockport.
In her weekly statement on the coronavirus, Jennifer Connolly recommended the Every Mind Matters campaign and its online resources for residents who may be finding the ongoing lockdown is taking a toll on their mental health. She said:
Our rates of coronavirus in Stockport are continuing to fall gradually. Rates are now at *178.6 per 100,000 and we are also seeing around *74.9 new cases each day. The latest published data can be found on the GOV website.
It’s almost a year since the first case of coronavirus was detected in Stockport on 4 March 2020. It has been tough on everyone and with the country still in lockdown we need to find ways to look after ourselves and make sure we take care of our mental health.
The national Every Mind Matters campaign is currently underway, and I highly recommend its online resources, including taking a simple quiz which delivers a personal NHS Mind Plan.
It’s understandable that we feel anxious, stressed, or lonely sometimes during these unsettling, unprecedented times. However, the ongoing successful vaccination and testing programmes are good reasons to be hopeful.
I want to remind everyone of the Five Ways to Wellbeing which can help with improving our mental health and wellbeing:
1. Connect with other people – Our relationships are important to our wellbeing. Particularly during periods of separation it is important to find ways to stay in touch with each other, by phone, or online. Many social activities are offered online. Similarly, if you are interested in befriending services, please call our Coronavirus Helpline …. who can signpost to this offer. If you want help connecting digitally, you can contact…
2. Be Active – Regular physical activity is a good way to improve our mental and physical health and can help us sleep better. While gyms and sports clubs are still closed, there are many classes online, and of course walking or cycling are good options.
3. Take Notice – Being aware of what surrounds us, and what is happening in the present can help heighten our self-awareness and understanding. It allows us to make positive choices about the things we can influence. You could savour the moment, notice the change in seasons, take a different walking route to explore the area, and notice how people around you are.
4. Keep learning – Learning new things can help our mental wellbeing by keeping us engaged with people and activities, or giving us a sense of achievement. . Lockdown can be a time of personal growth and learning. There are plenty of free online learning opportunities or you could try reading, crosswords, jigsaws, drawing, or painting, or simply finding things out about others or about your area.
5. Giving – Interestingly, helping others or doing acts of kindness can increase our own wellbeing. This can be giving time, energy, praise or various things. A kind word, doing something nice for someone, or even just a smile or a thank you can make their day and in turn will make you feel good about yourself.
Further details on emotional wellbeing and mental health support available locally, as well as by phone, text, or online, can be found here. For further information on how you might look after yourself, please visit our Health and Wellbeing pages or Healthy Stockport.
In other Covid news, our vaccination rollout continues to progress really well. We’ve now vaccinated more than 80,000 people, including most people over the age of 70. If you fall within one of the existing priority groups, you will receive an invite from the NHS for your vaccination; there is no need to ring your doctor as you will be contacted. This Frequently Asked Question page may help with answers to any vaccine-related queries here.
Remember that once you have had the vaccination, you can still catch and spread Covid, even if protected against the worst effects. So please continue to follow social distancing and hygiene guidance as always. Further information on reducing the risk of transmission can be found here. Also remember we are still under lockdown restrictions.
If you have a new continuous cough, high temperature, or a change or loss of smell/taste – however mild, stay at home and book a test via GOV.UK or by phoning 119. You and your household members must self-isolate while you await your results. If found positive, you and your household members must self-isolate for 10 days. Guidance on self-isolation can be found here, including on how to reduce the risk of spread to other household members.
If told to self-isolate through the NHS Covid 19 app you must follow the instruction.
The council’s Coronavirus helpline and website can be accessed on 0161 217 6046 from Monday – Thursday from 9.00am – 5pm and Friday from 9.00am – 4:30pm. If you’re deaf or have difficulty hearing, you can use our textphone on 07860 022 876. Find out more by visiting our helpline page.
*This is the latest figure for Stockport validated on 19.2.21.