Feeling Blue? Don’t suffer in silence – help is available in Buckinghamshire

January can be an inspiring start to the new year, but some may still face challenges during the first few weeks. Current cost-of-living pressures have affected us all in different ways, and for many it has meant that this year has started differently to the previous ones.

The colder, shorter days of winter can also have an impact on how we’re feeling so it’s important to know what mental health support is available, and how to access it. It’s good to note that it’s okay to not feel okay, and that during these difficult times, some people might be facing mental health difficulties for the first time. This is why it’s especially important to look out for others and reach out for help when it’s needed.

If you are struggling to cope, and feeling low or worried, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and that help is widely available across the county.

If you are struggling to heat your home or afford bills, Buckinghamshire Council’s Helping Hand initiative can help to ease financial pressures and support individuals or families in need, or those on low incomes. You can also visit the page to access advice, information and support if you are facing a financial emergency or a crisis.

Residents in Buckinghamshire also have a range of options when it comes to mental health support and where to find it. If you are concerned about your mental wellbeing, contacting your GP is an excellent first point of contact to establish what support is right for you.

Additionally, you can contact NHS 111 at any time to speak to an NHS mental health professional, who is ready to support adults and children if they are concerned about their mental health, or the mental health of others. For a full list of organisations and helplines that can help you to support your wellbeing, visit Buckinghamshire Council’s Care Advice Mental health and wellbeing webpages.

Angela Macpherson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “During these tough times, it’s important that we all look after ourselves and know who to contact if support is needed. You don’t have to feel your lowest to seek help – it’s always better to talk to someone about how you are feeling.

“There are many ways to access help, both with mental health and with finances. It’s also important to keep in touch with your family members, colleagues and friends, to check in with them – mental health doesn’t discriminate. If we talk about the services available and share the information, hopefully those who need it, will see it and reach out.”

There are many sources of mental health support available to help prevent people from reaching a crisis point. However, if you or someone close to you is in danger of harming themselves then please get help by calling 999 or going to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. For most residents of Buckinghamshire, the closest department is at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.