An innovative 10-week course to help people manage their mental health has been launched in the New Forest by West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the charity Mind.
Called The Decider, it focuses on 32 key skills that help people make better choices when they are feeling distressed to help them lead a more composed and balanced life.
It is already underway at Mind’s Wellbeing Centres in Hythe, Ringwood and New Milton. Other Wellbeing Centres in Hampshire are due to run the course.
The course aims to help people in various ways, such as:
- Having better relationships with friends and family
- Managing emotional emergencies that would otherwise cause panic and distress.
- Having greater self–awareness.
The course is open to anyone who needs advice or support about their mental health. Wellbeing centres are located across Hampshire and are an informal and welcoming place to find help and learn more about looking after your mental health.
Dr Katrina Webster, Clinical Director for Mental Health at West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The first thing to emphasise is that we want people to feel welcome – all the wellbeing centres are really friendly, non-judgemental places.
“We all learn about our physical health and how to stay physically well, and it’s important we don’t neglect our mental health. The Decider is for people who may not need the community mental health team or italk service, but still need some extra help to stay well.”
Feedback from the course has been positive, with comments such as:
- “Taught me skills, absolutely brilliant loved it”
- “It has given me many skills to use in many varied situations when stress and anxiety come on”
- “It has been such a fun way of learning something very serious, what a fantastic way of getting the message across”
- “initially I’m not going to lie I was horrified but I stuck with it and it has been amazing and really beneficial”
West Hampshire CCG estimates that of the 60,000 people who visit their GP each year with mental health-related issues and only 10,000 use hospital or community mental health services or italk.
To find out more about The Decider, talk to your GP or drop into a local wellbeing centre – details are on the Solent Mind website http://www.solentmind.org.uk.
West Hampshire CCG is committed to fighting stigma associated with mental health and has signed up to the time to change programme.