Mental Health. As we chatted to our Glow Collective, you guys on social + our very own Glow Hub team, it’s a topic that ran through pretty much every conversation. From normal day to day stress to anxiety, gender dysphoria, repressed emotion or grief, the reality is mental health and wellbeing is a massive part of everyone’s life. We don’t always feel 100% and that is OKAY… from opening up to friends and family to getting more serious help, we caught up with Kyle, eTherapy Coordinater at a Manchester Psychological Wellbeing Service on what getting help entails and their top tips for bad mental health days…
What is your role at Self Help Services and what does it entail?
I work at Self Help Services (mental health charity in Manchester) as an ‘’eTherapy co-ordinator’’; one of the therapeutic options we currently offer to our clients is known as ‘’computerised CBT’’ – essentially it’s an online programme (SilverCloud Health) containing CBT exercises alongside other interventions such as mindfulness.
It comes with a heap of knowledge/theory related to anxiety, depression, social anxiety, phobias, OCD, stress, etc. and supports people in learning more about their current situation whilst equipping them with the tools to help them feel better.
A client would complete this programme over 4-8 weeks, on their computer/tablet/smart phone/app with telephone support from myself or my colleagues once per week, and they get to keep their account after the final session!
Self Help Services (Manchester) currently offer instant access to SilverCloud health, you can create a referral to see if it would be a good option for you.
What’s the advice you would give to someone thinking about reaching out but feel anxious about it?
Access to support is more accessible than it’s ever been before, now is a brilliant time to reach out!
How you do that though depends on where you live and you can find more information on Mind’s website. A lot of services now allow self-referrals, so if you feel uncomfortable speaking to your GP it’s likely you can speak directly with the service you wish to refer to.
All talking therapy services should have a confidentiality policy in place, so you can feel comfortable knowing your privacy is being upheld. Mental health services also operate on a non-judgmental stance when it comes to mental health and human behaviour, for example the majority of staff within these services will undergo training to support them in normalising all mental health conditions.
What should someone expect when they ring?
If you are currently registered with a Manchester GP, you’d be able to make a self-referral by calling and speaking with one of our administrators, they confirm your details and explain/book the initial appointment. It would only take around 5 mins to make a referral over the phone.
There’s also the option to make a referral via our website, or by speaking with your GP, whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
If you currently live outside of the Manchester area, I imagine other services will operate in a similar way. You can find your local mental health service via NHS direct.
Your top tips for bad mental health days?
1. Try to re-evaluate your expectations about yourself and invite in some self-compassion. Experiencing shame and judgement can add to the struggle and prolong the problem.
You could ask yourself ‘’how would I compassionately support a loved one with this problem?’’.
Self-compassion can often feel uncomfortable and alien in the beginning, knowing that you already hold compassion for others can help direct some of that back to yourself when you need it.
2. It’s common to feel isolated when we we’re struggling, which can then make us feel worse. Reflecting on what we hold in common can be really helpful.
3. Try to remember whatever you do/think/feel – somebody else has/is/will, feel the same way, I guarantee it!