12th January 2017

This time of year, just after Christmas, can be particularly grueling. We’ve had a month of (expected) jollity and now we’re faced with the bills! And then there’s the diet we’re supposed to be starting… and enrolling at the gym… but the weather is awful… so we don’t want to go out… so we stay in… so blow the diet!… and f…orget the gym! Is it any wonder they call it The January Blues?!!

But for those of us coping with anxiety and depression as part of our daily lives already, The January Blues is the last thing we need! So how are we expected to react to the news that both funding and nurses for mental health services has been cut?

According to The Independent, “Between 2010 and 2015, mental health trusts suffered real terms cuts of 8.25%, losing the equivalent of £598 million from their budgets each year” and “the number of qualified nurses working in psychiatry dropped by 10.8% from 41,320 in 2010 to 36,870 in 2015”.

An article by The Daily Mail adds to the sorry picture. It states that local authorities use less than 1% of their budget on mental health services and 13 local authorities actually spent NOTHING on preventing mental health problems in 2015/16!

No wonder a spokesperson for Psychologists Against Austerity stated in The Independent article that the current situation is “toxic for mental health”.

Thankfully, this week Theresa May announced plans for more support and an extra £15m towards community care to help tackle the problem.

Also doing their bit are WHISC. In fact, practically everything WHISC does aims to improve mental health!

For example, the Listening Ear service promises to listen to anyone* in need of someone to talk to. So whether you’re feeling isolated or just want to come in and moan about the weather, please feel free to drop-in (no booking required) and ask for a member of staff.

WHISC also offer FREE counselling. When, in my experience, there is at least an 18 week wait for an NHS counsellor, what a relief it is that, by comparison, WHISC’s waiting list is a mere three weeks! So, if you feel the need for a professional counselor, please give them a call for more information.

Then there is the FREE Stressbusters course starting up again this Spring. The course is 4 x 2 hour sessions, aiming to improve quality of life by raising self-esteem and self-confidence in a supportive and safe environment.

This Spring also sees the next Writing Helping As Therapy course starting. The FREE course aims to help you enjoy the experience of self-expression by writing, which can be fun as well as therapeutic, with an emphasis on using what you write as a means of improving your self-awareness and self-esteem and helping others do the same.

Or, if you’re feeling more energetic… or that you should be feeling more energetic!… there are a number of fitness and relaxation classes you can join in on. These include Yoga, Tai Chi, Self-Esteem Booster Classes, and Pilates.

For more information about any of the above services or anything else WHISC do, please do get in touch.

*Please note that WHISC’s services are for women only.