The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will affect us all differently. Many will experience feelings of worry due to concerns about their health and the health of loved ones, or loneliness due to self-isolation and social distancing. Changes to routine, caring responsibilities, employment, financial circumstances and the ability to take part in activities are also likely to impact our mental health and wellbeing.
In the long term, we may experience grief and trauma due to the outbreak, or distress whilst we adjust to changes in day-to-day life. It is important that we all know what support and help is available for us, our friends and our family.
Some of us may have pre-existing mental health conditions, might be front-line workers or might have a learning disability and/or autism, meaning that we need additional and specialised support. Find information for vulnerable people here.
The support on offer can help us with our mental health and wellbeing meaning that we will sleep better, are able to do the things we want to do and can have positive relationships with those around us.
Is there any local support available in Sefton?
Access Sefton is a free, confidential service to support people with anxiety, depression and other common mental health conditions. The service is available to anyone aged 16+ and registered with a Sefton GP. The service provides psychological therapies (sometimes called talking therapy) on the telephone and online guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling. Self-referrals can be made between 8am and 8pm Monday to Tuesday, and 8am to 5pm Wednesday to FRIDAY on 0300 303 2708 or online 24/7.
NHS Mersey Care are providing urgent 24/7 mental health support. Anyone, including those in crisis can refer themselves into the service by calling 0800 145 6570 (freephone).
NHS Mersey Care are also providing a psychological support line or ‘listening ear’ service between the hours of 8am to 8pm Monday to Sunday for anyone aged 16+. The service can discuss your needs and signpost you to resources, information and other services!
The Life Rooms is providing mental health and wellbeing support for anyone aged 18+. They are providing online staying well at home learning courses. They also have pathway advisors who can support and provide advise around debt management, employment, housing, benefits and more. They can be contacted by phone 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday on 01514786556 or you can visit the website
Kooth provides online support form children and young people in Sefton aged 11-25. The site is staffed by fully trained and qualified counsellors and is available until 10pm each night. It is free, safe, confidential and provides a non-stigmatising way for young people to receive counselling, advice and support online.
The Venus Centre is an organisation for women, families, young people and children. They offer general support for women, and counselling for children, young people and women. Services are running virtually via telephone calls, apps and video calls or if preferred text or email. They are still accepting referrals and providing assessments, support and therapies. Further details can be found online or contact 0151 474 4744 or 07467 045 205 between 1pm and 4pm Monday to Thursday, and 12pm to 3pm Friday.
The Swan Women's Centre team are working from home and are able to respond by phone, email, text and Facebook, if you are worried, anxious or just need to talk to someone. Visit the website for more information or call 0151 933 3292.
I've seen some of the work across Cheshire and Merseyside, how do I access this support?
The Kind to Your Mind campaign has been launched across Cheshire and Merseyside and aims to support the mental wellbeing of those living and working in Merseyside. It includes the ALMA online hub, which includes mental and physical wellbeing resources e.g. online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
I would rather use national support services; do you have any information about these?
The NHS mental health and wellbeing advice website contains information for people experiencing stress, feelings of anxiety or low mood. It includes self-assessment, audio guides and practical tools.
Every Mind Matters provides simple tips and advice to support you to take care of your own wellbeing and mental health or support someone else. It contains short videos on a range of topics from mindful breathing to improving sleep.
The NHS has published a series of mental wellbeing audio guides to support people with feelings of anxiety or low mood.
Anxiety UK provides a helpline for people experiencing or suffering with anxiety, one to one therapy support and a free subscription to the Headspace application. Visit the website or call 03444775774.
Is there any support available for children and young people?
0-19 services, including health visitors and school nurses, are still operating in Sefton and are contactable for support, advice and information around family health and wellbeing. These services have been adapted to ensure safe delivery during the Covid-19 outbreak.
For more information, contact the duty team on the following local numbers:
Bootle (Derby, Linacre and Litherland wards): 0151 247 6010
Feelgood (Ford, Netherton, Orrell and St Oswald wards): 0151 247 6147
Formby (Ainsdale, Harrington and Ravenmeols wards): 01704 395 723
Hampton Road (Birkdale, Dukes and Kew wards): 01704 385 125
Houghton Street (Cambridge, Meols and Norwood wards): 01704 385 125
Maghull (Molyneux, Park and Sudell wards): 0151 247 6810
Prince Street (Blundellsands, Church, Manor and Victoria wards): 0151 247 6354
Further information about the locations that the 0-19 team cover can be found at the NWBH website.
Kooth provides online support for people in Sefton aged 11-25. The site is staffed by fully trained and qualified counsellors and is available until 10pm each night, 365 days per year. It is free, safe and confidential.
If you want advice on supporting children and young people, Parenting 2000 offers a wide range of support services - services are now running via telephone and online, including You Connect 5 Courses for parents, parenting circle family support group and the Alchemy Youth Club - services are now running via telephone and from a range of online platforms.
The Venus Centre provide counselling and advice to women, families, young people and children with multiple and complex needs. Counselling is available at the Star Centre for children and young people. During the COVID-19 situation, services are running virtually via telephone calls, apps and video calls or if preferred text or email. They are still accepting referrals and providing assessments, support and therapies.
The Alder Hey CAMHS team offer support during crisis, including assessment support via telephone. They are also due to begin a range of online groups and seminars from May 2020 for parents/carers, children and young people. To make a referral for support contact 0151 282 4527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information can be found on Twitter at @camhsSefton
More information about support for children and young people can be found in the 'Sefton Educational Psychology Service Guide for Supporting Parents, Carers, Children and Young People During the COVID-19 Pandemic' at /public-health/mental-health-emotional-wellbeing.aspx
Is there support for bereavement available?
The new NHS Bereavement Helpline has been set up to offer guidance, support and advice to those dealing with the loss of a loved one at this difficult time. The service will provide advice and guidance on things such as funeral arrangements, the various documents required and how to register a death, and some suggestive ways to stay connected with, and remember their loved ones.
The service is available in the North West Region as a response to The Northern Care Alliance’s Trust request for bereavement support.
Contact them on 0800 2600 400, open 8am-8pm every day
Cruse Bereavement Care has free online resources to support you during a bereavement, including specific information on how grief may be affected during the coronavirus.
At A Loss is a signposting website with an online chat facility called 'GriefChat' that allows you to speak to a bereavement counsellor.
Child Bereavement UK provide one-to-one support for those grieving the loss of a child, or for children and young people (up to age 25) who are experiencing bereavement. There is a live chat feature and a helpline open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm at 0800 02 888 40 for those wishing to access private and confidential support.
Mind provides information on bereavement, where to go for support and suggestions for helping yourself and others through grief.
Amparo provides emotional and practical support for anyone affected by suicide. The service is completely confidential and can provide short-term or longer-term support.
For a step-by-step practical guide following a bereavement visit the government website. The site includes information on how to register a death, arrange a funeral and check if you are eligible for bereavement benefits.