Healthy Minds Toolkit

This information has now been turned into a small website please click on these words to be taken to the www.HealthyMindsToolkit

“Healthy Minds Tool-Kit”

Welcome to the Healthy Minds Toolkit pack for Reedyford Healthcare. An online version of this form is available to make it easier to find the internet links click here or the button at the bottom of this page


There have been some interesting developments over the past few years in the sorts of treatment that your GPs can offer you for Depression or Anxiety symptoms. It can be difficult to go over all of these in the first GP appointment; we have provided this information pack to allow you to have a think about what sorts of treatment you would like to try.

Don’t worry if you don’t have enough time to read this all before your next appointment with your GP, but it is worthwhile taking a look at what is on offer so that you know more about your options. You can ask your local library for help to access the internet if you do not have access at home. The library may also have free Wi-Fi that you can use.

Firstly, please could you complete the “Depression Rating Scale” and the “Anxiety Rating Scale” on the second sheet? Bring it with you when you see the doctor about your low mood or anxiety. This helps the Doctor to understand more about how you are feeling and will help your Doctor to decide the best way forward. It is important that you repeat the rating scales after 28 days, so that you can find out if what you are trying is working.

After you have completed this you can read about what options we have available for helping you.


Dr Berry & your GP Practice Team

Basic guide to your options to Improve Your Wellbeing

There are different options we can offer you. You don’t have to decide on these now, but if there is a particular option you would like to try then please mention this when you see your Doctor. You may decide to try several things at once or prefer to try one at a time. It is up to you.

We have the option of referring you to a Mental Health Worker who can help you learn some different relaxation techniques or thinking therapy.

“Cognitive Therapy” is another way of describing thinking Therapy. Most of us go through life making the same choices and taking the same approach to a particular situation. Cognitive therapy can help you to explore different ways of reacting to your experiences. It is a useful treatment for anxiety and depression as it can help you to stay healthy once you are feeling better.


Options for improving your wellbeing include;

  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Online Support
  • Self Help
  • Exercise
  • Antidepressants
  • Group and One to One guided self help
  • Local Resources
  • Bereavement Support
  • Help with benefits, bills or care of someone you are looking after.


Online Support

There are a number of websites that offer a version of Cognitive Therapy as well as some useful general advice about looking after your mood. These websites are free to use and include some online therapy options. Our patients have found these to be useful and you can take them at your own pace.

Recent psychological research suggests around 40% of our mental wellbeing is down to our “outlook and activities” – the choices we make, the actions we take – and yet we know almost nothing about how to take care of ourselves. If we all knew a little more about how our minds work and how to take care of them, we could maintain our health and get more from our minds. So, if we can brush our teeth, go to the gym and eat our 5-a-day, what about our minds?

@MindApples is not available in East Lancashire but their website offers a fresh approach to being mentally healthy so it is worth exploring their website or twitter feed.

Self Help

A variety of self-help leaflets are available in your surgery, just ask your GP or Practice Nurse for a copy of ones that might help. You can also download a number of useful self-help guides from the East Lancs Healthy Minds web site.

A facilitated computerised CBT programme is available through your local Healthy Minds Team and is accessible through a number of community facilities, colleges and some surgeries, as well as being accessible in your own home.

You can ask your GP or talk to your local Healthy Minds Team on the number provided under the East Lancs Healthy Minds Team.

Relaxation Techniques

“Yoga Nidra” is a type of guided relaxation technique. This one is free to download from the iTunes store and has 3 episodes that you can practice. It involves listening to a lady guiding you through the relaxation process.

Google “yoga nidra UCLA” and it will come up or click this link to be taken to itunes for the free download.

These techniques do help but you may find that you have to practice them a few times before you start to get the full benefit from them. Set yourself some quiet time aside, turn off your phone , and ask people not to disturb you for half an hour whilst you have a go. Most relaxation techniques are variations on this. You may prefer to buy relaxation tapes from the shops of see what is available at the library.


Any type of exercise can help to boost your mood. This could be something as simple as having a walk in the park or walking to the shops for a pint of milk. We also have an exercise and weight management scheme which is aimed at helping people to lose weight through changing their diet and increasing their exercise. You can ask about what is available at your local sports centre. The Healthy Lifestyles Pendle team can tell you what is available locally 01282 661226.

The East Lancs Patient Information website has some good information about how to go about losing weight or staring to exercise.


Antidepressants, anxiolytics and herbal medicines.

Not all cases of depression or anxiety need to be treated with medication. The decision to use medication will depend on what your symptoms are, how long you have had them and your own feelings about taking medication.

The main treatment for anxiety is cognitive therapy – but we do sometimes use antidepressants for treating anxiety as well. Different antidepressants have different side effects, so your GP will chose one that is most suitable for your needs.

It can take 4 weeks for the full antidepressant action to develop although you may start to feel calmer straight away. Antidepressants are effective and safe in the majority of people with depression. However, some patients with depression do less well with medication and their symptoms of low mood (either due to depression or other causes) may not respond to medication at all.

Drugs like Diazepam or Sleeping pills are only very rarely used to treat anxiety as these are highly addictive and can increase your risk of falling or developing dementia. Beta-blockers eg Propranolol are no longer recommended for treating anxiety but they may have been prescribed by your doctor several years ago.

Alternative Medicines for helping low mood or Anxiety

Many people try using “alternative medicines” for managing their mood symptoms. Many are likely to be harmless but some can be dangerous if they are used without medical advice.

Herbal teas such as Chamomile can be a relaxing alternative to tea or coffee. Lavender oil can be quite relaxing in a bath or on your pillow before going to sleep. They are not likely to interact with your other medicines.

St Johns Wort, on the other hand, can be dangerous and many Doctors have mixed feelings about its usefulness. It is a herbal medicine that some people believe can help depression. Unfortunately this can interact with many medicines so you should speak with a pharmacist or GP before starting this if you are taking medication for another condition. St Johns Wort is popular because it tends to cause fewer side effects than regular antidepressants and you can buy it from the pharmacy or supermarket.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) states that “although there is evidence that St John’s wort may be of benefit in mild or moderate depression, practitioners should:

  • not prescribe or advise its use by people with depression because of uncertainty about appropriate doses, persistence of effect, variation in the nature of preparations and potential serious interactions with other drugs (including oral contraceptives, anticoagulants and anticonvulsants)
  • Advise people with depression of the different potencies of the preparations available and of the potential serious interactions of St John’s wort with other drugs.

Group and One to One guided self help

Group Self Help

Goal Difference – Burnley

Pendle and Burnley Mindsmatter together run a development group for patients with Mental Health problems at Burnley Football Club and Accrington.  Women are welcome.

More info:



Wellbeing for Life

Wellbeing for Life is a group educational programme for people with mental health problems, such as mild to severe anxieties and/or depression.

The programme is designed to benefit individuals as a first intervention.

The programme will help participants learn effective strategies that can easily be applied into daily routines that will help reduce symptoms, increase wellbeing and sustain recovery.

The programme offers a variety of approaches and tools to help participants better manage their own emotional stress, distress and wellbeing.

East Lancs Healthy Minds Team

Below are the services provided by the East Lancs Healthy Minds Team in your area.

One to One Guided Self Help

We have Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners who work in your surgery. They can support you to learn new ways of dealing with your anxiety and depression.  You would be expected to attend six to eight 30 minute appointments, telephone or face to face on a one to one basis.  Areas where support can be given include:

  • Increasing your motivation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Problem solving
  • Stress management
  • Assist you with changing unhelpful or anxious thinking
  • Sleep problems

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy. It can help people who are experiencing a wide range of mental health difficulties. It is based on the idea that what people think and do can affect how they feel. Working with the therapist, the patient examines how they think and behave and then plan changes in these areas. The patient and therapist then evaluate which changes are helpful and whether these can be continued.


Counselling is a talking therapy or psychological therapy. Counsellors are professionally trained to listen sympathetically and non-judgementally. Talking to a counsellor can help people to express their thoughts and feelings about the difficulties they are experiencing in order to help them understand these more clearly.

To access these service please speak to your GP or telephone 01282 657927, you will be put through to the Single Point of access for Adult Mental Health Services in East Lancashire and a welcome telephone appointment will be arranged for you with a Psychological Well Being Practitioner to discuss the options available to you.  Alternatively, you may visit for their Online referral form.  There are also leaflets available at both surgeries that you can complete and return to Mindsmatter.

Local Resources for Improving Wellbeing

East Lancashire Women’s Centre

This is a voluntary organisation for women providing group sessions on Self-esteem, confidence building, Managing Emotions, Employment support.

Blackburn 01254 583032

Accrington 01254 871771

Burnley 01282 429672


Relates services include relationship counselling for individuals and couples; sex therapy, family counselling; counselling for children and young people. Relate also provides friendly and informal workshops for people at important relationship life stages.

Tel: 01772 717 597

Colne Open Door Centre

The Colne Open Door Centre is a small independent charity.

The Open Door Centre endeavours to help people cope with the mental and emotional pressures of life by providing a non-discriminatory, non-judgemental and accepting atmosphere with the aims of providing opportunities to enable individuals to develop their potential talents.

1 Great George street,

Colne, Lancs BB8 0SY

Tel: 01282 860 342


Walking For Health

Walking for Health (WfH) encourages more people to become physically active in their local communities.

They support the largest network of health walk schemes across England, offering regular short walks over easy terrain with trained walk leaders.

WfH walks are free and particularly aimed at people who don’t take much exercise.

WfH promotes and sets the standards for led health walks. The walks make it possible for people to get out and be physically active in their local natural spaces. This brings many benefits for both the individual walkers and their communities. The most important benefits are improved physical and mental health.


Citizens Advice Bureau/Welfare Rights

The Citizens Advice service helps people resolve their legal, money, benefits, immigration and other problems by providing free information and advice.

Nelson – 61-63 , Every Street, Nelson, Lancashire, BB9 7LT

Tel- 01282 616750 (447572 for Welfare Benefits Advice)


Colne – The Citadel, Market Place, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 0HY

Tel – 01282 867188 (869983 for Money Advice Unit/447572 for Welfare Benefits)


Barnoldswick – 10 Rainhall Road, Barnoldswick, Lancashire, BB18 5AF

Tel – Telephone: 01282 814814



Cruse is a telephone based charity that can offer some very useful support and guidance when you lose someone who is close to you.   Telephone 0844 477 9400


Alcohol and Drug Team   

 Inspire – is East Lancashire’s substance misuse service. They can help you to find ways of reducing your alcohol and can coordinate a home alcohol detox or offer advice on other aspects of drug addiction. Inspire also offers support to families or carers of people with drug problems.

Inspire – Nelson: Rigby Street Nelson Tel: 01282644100

Drink Aware

This is a handy website with information to help you to decide if cutting back your alcohol would help you.



The Samaritans of Burnley, Pendle, Craven and Rossendale

15 Market Square, Nelson, Lancashire, BB9 7LP

T: 01282 694929 / 01706 830999



UK Mental Health Charity with a local branch for Lancashire. They can offer help and advice as well as running some EcoMinds sessions that use outdoor activities.

Telephone  Support Hotline: 08453 054 251


NHS Mental Health Helpline

They aim to provide ‘out of hours’ telephone support to anyone concerned about mental health, or that of someone they know, and to provide mental health information.

 Their trained operators have access to a database that contains details of over 800 local and national services and support groups.They aim to provide immediate emotional support for anyone experiencing distress, and aim to empower callers through information to make their own choices about how their health care needs may be met.

Telephone Helpline Mental Health 0500 639 000

Open Monday to Friday 7pm – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday 12 midday to 12 midnight







Please let us know if there is anything in this leaflet which needs to be updated.