Katherine Ash
Caring for mental health

Whether you were prepared for the news on Saturday evening or not, there was an element of “here we go again”!

I’m a local GP working in Derby and speaking to my patients over the last six months, there has certainly been an increase in the number of conversations I’ve had about anxiety depression and mental health generally. Many people have struggled with reduced physical interactions with other people, have found moving online for interactions really hard, and have felt increasingly isolated. I’m sure that among us, there will be some who recognise these challenges.

I wanted to give you some specific information which you might find helpful yourself, or you may be able to pass on as you support those around you. I’ve included information about where to get mental health support, and to remind you that the counselling services are all still working at present, although via telephone service or online, and are doing a great job at contacting and supporting people.

Above every emotion as we head into lockdown, remember that you are not alone. Your Heavenly Father cares infinitely more for you than you’ll ever know, and He has placed you in a church family where I hope you feel loved, supported and cared for. Remember this! You are NOT alone.

Here are some practical and locally specific information about places you can get support.

1. LifeGroups - this should be your first port of call. If you aren’t in one, get in one! (Email the church office if you’d like more info). In your LifeGroups continue to be honest about how you are feeling and pray with one another.
2. Sunday’s - there is the opportunity to ask for prayer during our Sunday morning meetings, you can chat with one of our host team who will be able to pray with you.
3. Contact the church office - between these hours: 9:00-16:00 Tues-Fri (01332 322655)

Other tips which might be helpful
  • Keep a routine
  • Exercise regularly (daily if you can) - a simple brisk walk is enough or you can go mad and do a Joe Wicks - there will be some new Joe Wicks workouts 3 times a week ????
  • Stay connected with people who energise you
  • Be careful how much social media and news you are consuming - if this stresses you out then maybe limit to once a day
Where you can get more support?
  • Your place of work be able to offer you support (NHS, Toyota, Rolls Royce)
  • Derbyshire - Mental health support is now available to Derbyshire residents of all ages through a new mental health support line. 0800 028 0077 - this is a freephone number and calls from landlines or mobiles should be free. The support line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is for anyone in Derbyshire who is struggling. I’ve had a number of patients who have found this support invaluable, especially in the middle of the night.
  • Burton / Uttoxeter - Talking therapies are also available and this website has a list of them:
Call your GP if you are struggling - we are all still working hard behind the scenes, and will be able to give you advice. Your practice may well have an online form where you can message the practice and ask them for advice which you may find easier.

Let’s continue to intentionally love and care for one another, especially those most vulnerable in both our church community, and in the communities around us. This period will affect us all in different ways, so let’s make sure we are compassionate and gracious in our dealings with each other.