13 January 2017

 The 16 January marks Blue Monday, a name given to a day in January that is reported to be the most depressing day of the year. This year, the Trust is joining Rethink campaign to break the trend to rename the day to ‘Bright Monday’.  The New Year is traditionally a happy time of year but if you’ve had a lonely Christmas, some people might be feeling low or depressed.  Bright Monday is an opportunity to talk about openly about depression and the positive steps people can take to move forward. Join us on social media @NHS_ELFT and remember to tweet us your photos and stories using the hashtag #BrightMonday. 

Need inspiration? Here are four easy ways to join in this activity:

1 - Wear bright clothing on Bright Monday - anything from a colourful shirt or tie to brightly coloured socks.

2 - Call a friend – Check in on someone you may not have spoken to in awhile, or who you think may be struggling. Make a cup of tea and get chatting!

3 - Dress up your workspace – print off our colourful bunting or decorate your area with some new plants, print out a quote, a joke, or a photo that makes you smile, or set up a small bowl of fresh fruit on your desk.

4 - Brighten up someone’s day – offer to make a hot drink for a colleague you haven’t spoken to recently, get some biscuits in for your team or if you have a meeting, or pay someone a compliment

Taking control 

Depression  or low mood is a common problem that thought to affect 1 in 5 of the adult population. Sometimes there may be no clear cause for depression but identifying the symptoms and seeking medical advice is an important first step.  Depression, be it mild or severe can make you feel helpless, although there is no simple solution, taking an active role in your treatment can help you on your way. 

There are a number of things that you can do alongside your treatment to help you, for example: 

•Keep Active  –  exercise can lift your mood and take your mind of depression
•Healthy Diet  – eating healthier food will generally make you feel better
•Drink and eat sensibly - manage your consumption of alcohol and be careful to not exceed the recommended daily limit. Eat well and maintain a healthy and nutritious diet.
•Connect with others – combat isolation by engaging with friends and family, meet people at local community groups and/or organisations.  
•Relax – take steps to manage stress: Keep active, implement a regular sleep pattern and eat well. 

Talking Therapies 

Talking about your problems can help people to overcome this difficult time. ‘Talking Therapies’ can help people to deal with difficult or stressful experiences.  The Trust provides a range of talking therapies, support and interventions in Newham, Bedfordshire and Luton. It is a free and confidential service that offers quick and easy access to help and support.  You can ask your doctor to refer you to the service or contact them directly by telephone, website.

Newham:  020 8475 8080
Luton: 01582 393 130
Bedfordshire: 01234 880 400

Getting help in Hackney 

24 Hour Crisis Helpline
The helpline is for people of any age who may have long term psychological issues or who have had a sudden crisis. All calls are confidential -  02084328020. 

Walk-in Crisis Café

As well as offering a welcome cuppa, the Crisis Cafe is a safe, supportive and therapeutic place for anyone struggling and not coping with life. The Café is at 15a Homerton Row and is open from 6.00pm-9.00pm Monday to Thursday and from midday to 4.00pm on Saturdays. Call 07938 554 298 or email wellbeingnetwork@cityandhackneymind.org.uk

Service User Network (SUN)

The Service User Network is a supportive and therapeutic group for individuals to develop self-help management strategies to prevent future crisis. To find out more,  contact the SUN on 07508 842 688 or email: SUNreferrals@elft.nhs.uk. 

ELFT Mental Health out of hours help

•For Bedfordshire - call 01234 315691
•For City of London and Hackney - call 020 8432 8020  
•For Luton - call 01582 538631
•For Newham - call 020 7540 6782
•For Tower Hamlets - call 020 3594 3179