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Support is available if you are suffering with anxiety, stress, low mood or depression, NHS 24 nurse says

By John Davidson

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Help is available if you are feeling low. Picture posed by model
Help is available if you are feeling low. Picture posed by model

People in the Highlands are being reminded that they can access national resources available to support their mental health over the holidays.

The winter months can be strain for many, and David McKissock, a senior charge nurse within NHS 24’s Mental Health Hub, says there is no need to deal with problems alone.

He said: “Winter can be a difficult time for many people. The drop in temperature and shorter days can have a marked impact on mental wellbeing. Christmas, Hogmanay and all the associated parties, get-togethers and other fun events can be joyous occasions, however they can also unfortunately bring more strain to those that are already feeling vulnerable.”

Scotland’s online health information service NHS inform hosts a wealth of mental health and wellbeing advice for a variety of conditions. It also promotes free digital programmes called SilverCloud, Daylight, and Sleepio that can help with anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

David added: “The advantage of using these fantastic digital tools for your mental wellbeing is that they can be accessed at any time you need them. However, we do also recognise that sometimes it is helpful to have blether to get worries off your chest. If you feel you need to chat, you can also contact Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.”

Breathing Space is a free and confidential service for anyone aged over 16 in Scotland who is experiencing low mood, anxiety, or depression. The phone lines and webchat are open Monday to Thursday, 6pm to 2am and Friday from 6pm to Monday until 6am.

“NHS 24 mental health services are available to everyone in Scotland, of all ages. If you're feeling distressed, in a state of despair, suicidal, or in need of emotional support, you can phone NHS 24’s Mental Health Hub on 111, any time, day or night,” explained David.

“Our team are highly trained and can lend a listening ear, offer advice, and guide you to further help if required.

“It’s understandable that some people will feel like the festive period is a burden, but we want everyone to know that there is always someone there to listen if you are feeling overwhelmed and need support. By taking this first step and reaching out, this will help you to learn how to cope and feel more positive about your future.”

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