The Healthy Minds toolkit has been created to make it easier for you to find some of the great tools that are available to help you manage the stresses of modern life.
There are many good “tools” or services available on-line, and most are free or very reasonably priced, yet these are not always easy to find and people don’t necessarily know where to start looking for help.
There are a variety of “tools” showcased on this site – please take a look around and consider which ones are most suitable for you. They include books, podcasts, websites, cartoons and Apps as well as the more traditional face to face services or group courses.
The information on this site is not intended to be used as a substitute for seeing your GP or family Doctor but you may find some suggestions here for things to try whilst you are waiting for an appointment or referral.
The tools and resources are broadly divided into two groups ; things that are available on-line, and services that are local to East Lancashire ( where I work as a GP). Please speak with your own GP about what services are available in your region.
These short cartoons about depression ( produced by the World Health Organisation ) are a great starting point when it comes to learning more about depression and how to manage it.
This is only 4 minutes long, but the video explains what depression is , how it makes you feel and act, and how the “Dog of depression” can be retrained using thinking therapy or cognitive therapy.
Watch it and consider showing it to those who are close to you – it can help you to explain how you are feeling, and how you plan on helping yourself to get better.
There have been some interesting developments over the past few years in the sorts of treatment that your GPs can offer you for managing Depression, Anxiety, or stress symptoms. There are also a wide variety of “self help” tools that you could try for yourself , at your own pace. This site will signpost you to some useful websites, apps, books and podcasts.
It can be difficult to go over all of these in the one GP appointment . You may find it helpful to have a look at what is available prior to seeing your GP. Think of this site as a kind of information pack that you can use 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.
Another way of using this website is to imagine that it is like a menu on the wall of a cafe. You can choose what you would like to try , and when you want to try it. It’s up to you.
You can ask your local library for help to access the internet if you do not have access at home. Many libraries offer free Wi-Fi that you can use.
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;
Online Support & Websites
Apps on your phone or iPad
Group and One to One guided self help
Help with benefits, bills or care of someone you are looking after.
Please take a look at the film below. It is only 4 minutes long, yet gives a good overview of what Cognitive Therapy or thinking therapy can do for you.
Self Help or Self Care
“Self Care” sums up all the things that you could do to help yourself stay healthy or to manage your illness better. This is as important for simple things like coughs and colds, as it is for long term conditions like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. It is also fundamental to maintaining your overall psychological and physical wellbeing.
There are some excellent health websites available in the UK and worldwide.
NHS Choices Website is a vibrant site, and has something available for most conditions. It is always a good starting point for health advice and includes some sections on how to start exercising more or losing weight. Click here for their pages about what self care means.
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.
Self care & Self Help for a Healthy Mind
Websites which offer Selfcare for a Healthy Mind can be found here
They include the East Lancs Healthy Minds web site ( which is not directly associated with this site )
In East Lancs we have a guided thinking therapy computerised course ( “facilitated computerised CBT programme” ) available through the local Healthy Minds Team IAPT . This is accessible through a number of community facilities, colleges and some surgeries, as well as in your own home – providing you have internet access.
You can ask your GP or talk to your local Healthy Minds Team on the number provided under the East Lancs Healthy Minds Team.
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.
If you want to download this to a podcast player on your phone , open up the podcast app and search for “yoga nidra UCLA” and it will come up or click.
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. http://www.eastlancspatientinfo.co.uk/conditions/weight-loss/