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Clear Your Head urges people to take care of their mental health

By Chris Saunderson

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THE Covid-19 pandemic is still having a major impact on people's mental health - nearly two years after the first lockdown.

The Clear Your Head campaign encourages people to reach out.
The Clear Your Head campaign encourages people to reach out.

While there is hope with the easing of restrictions again in the coming weeks, many are still feeling anxious and struggling to cope.

People in Moray and Grampian are being encouraged to seek support as part of a fresh campaign in January.

Dr Alastair Cook, the Scottish Government's principal officer for mental health, said: "These continue to be tough and challenging times for everyone."

He says people should reach out to friends, family, colleagues - anyone able to help - if they are feeling down.

The Clear Your Head campaign can direct people to online and telephone support available from organisations including Samaritans, Breathing Space and SAMH.

They also provide hints and tips on how people can look after themselves, and feel better.

Dr Cook said that feelings of anxiety, worry and frustration are being felt by many, to varying degrees, and encouraged people to make the effort to keep in touch with others, either over the phone, or in person, to help with feelings of stress and isolation.

“The pandemic is continuing to affect all our lives, and many are dealing with difficult feelings and emotions," he said.

"It’s so important to continue to prioritise mental health, particularly during times of uncertainty, and remember that you’re not alone in feeling this way.

“If you’re feeling low, overwhelmed, unable to sleep, struggling to get out of bed, or just not yourself, I’d encourage you to talk to someone about how you’re feeling as it can help lighten the load.

“It might be a friend, or a family member initially, but organisations including Breathing Space and Samaritans can provide free, confidential advice over the phone."

People can go to NHS inform to find the right support or call NHS24 on 111 if you need more urgent help.

Kevin Stewart MSP is Minister for Mental Wellbeing and he said feelings of worry and uncertainty are understandable.

"During the winter months it’s more important than ever to look after our mental health and wellbeing."

For more information, visit nhsinform.scot/mind or clearyourhead.scot

Top tips:

  • If you’re finding things hard, or are feeling low, talk to someone.
  • Reduced daylight and shorter days can impact on how you’re feeling. Try to get out during daylight if you’re able to.
  • Even though daily life has changed, try to keep routine to your day, getting up and eating meals at regular times.
  • Build time into your day to look after yourself, as feeling good physically will help how you feel mentally.
  • If you feel worried or stressed, take a break from the news and find things to do that will help you take your mind off it.

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