Mental health – you are not alone

By Dr Niruban Ratnarajah


The importance of looking after our emotional and mental wellbeing has been headline news this week.

USA superstar gymnast Simone Biles received widespread support when she withdrew from several events at the Olympics to focus on her mental health.

England cricketer Ben Stokes has also announced that he is taking a break from the sport to do the same.

No matter how famous, anyone can struggle with their mental health and there is no stigma in seeking help. You are not alone and support is available.

The last 17 months have been particularly tough for our children and young people who have missed out on school, meeting their friends and taking part in all their usual activities during the Covid pandemic.

The Be Kind to My Mind website has been created ‘by young people, for young people’ in Bolton to reduce the stigma around mental health. It has information about local services, where to go for urgent help and a video of young people talking about their personal experiences.

Kooth also provides free, anonymous online counselling and support for 11 to 25 year olds in Bolton.

We also know that if a young person is struggling emotionally, it can affect their parents. That’s why I’m delighted that this week the CCG has launched Qwell for parents and carers in Bolton.

An extension of Kooth, it is aimed at those who are helping to support their child’s mental health or may need emotional support themselves.

Bolton's Primary Care Psychological Therapy Service (IAPT) provides free, confidential talking therapies for adults aged 16 and over. Find out how it can help with a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders or phobias.

Our GP surgeries also have mental health practitioners, professionals who can ensure that you get the right help.

There are many organisations which can help: check our website or the Greater Manchester mental health hub for more information.

Finally, take part in Bolton’s Big Wellbeing Conversation for the chance to win a £25 gift card. They survey is open until August 31 and the results will help to ensure that Bolton’s mental wellbeing support services are targeted where they are most needed.





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