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Help put good mental health on the map in Sefton

Sefton Council is inviting residents and groups to share their favourite places to promote positive mental wellbeing as part of its 30 Days of Sefton in Mind campaign.

 We want to know which parts of Sefton have a positive influence on your mental health. This could be activities at one of our leisure centres, your favourite part of the coast or a maybe a special place that puts your mind at ease.

 The aim is to create a positive mental health map of Sefton, showing the places where people go to feel better and in turn help reduce the social isolation that can often be a symptom of depression.

 To get involved and help create the map, tell us about your favourite place and tweet it along with a photograph to @SeftonCouncil using the hashtag #30DaysofSeftonInMind or alternatively email to communications@sefton.gov.uk.

 Whether its somewhere you go to exercise, your favourite place to spend time with your family or even a quiet place you like to go for some alone time, we want to know about the happiest places in Sefton.  We also want local groups to promote what they do to help promote positive mental wellbeing.

 The 30 Days of Sefton in Mind campaign covers the 30 days that fall between World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and World Mental Health Day (October 10). The campaign aims to use this 30 period to promote positive mental health across the borough and signpost residents to the many services available to them.

 The campaign is led by Sefton Council and supported by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Southport and Formby CCG and Sefton Council for Voluntary Service.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Last year the 30 Days of Sefton in Mind was hugely successful with over 100, 000 people viewing the campaign on social media.

 “Poor mental health can present itself in many different ways and for that reason the methods people use to deal with it can be very different. Unfortunately, social isolation and depression often come hand in hand, we hope that by creating a positive mental health map, we can signpost not only to services, but also to locations that can truly promote a positive state of mind.” 

Tips for looking after your health in Sefton this bank holiday

However you are planning to enjoy the long weekend, the local NHS has some useful information for how to take care of yourself in case of illness or injury.

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“Most minor illnesses and ailments can be effectively treated at home with a well stocked medicine cabinet at any time of year but remember to store things like painkillers and antihistamines safely and out of the reach of young children. Your local pharmacist will be happy to advise you about the over the counter preparations that can help.”

She added:

“If you’re out and about over the bank holiday weekend, you could add a small first aid kit to your bag or the boot of the car, just in case. Drinking plenty of water and protecting yourself from the sun are also simple ways to take care of yourself.”

Although GP practices will not be open on Monday 27 August, some local pharmacies will be open if you do need help unexpectedly. Pharmacists can give advice and suggest treatments for a range of minor illnesses and injuries. With no appointment necessary, you can get back to enjoying your weekend rather than waiting to see a GP.

You can visit the CCG websites to see which pharmacies will be open this bank holiday:

You can also find details of other services that can help if you’re unwell, including walk in centres and NHS 111, which is available anytime and for free by calling 111 and also now available online at www.111.nhs.uk.

Patients and families praise ‘invaluable’ Southport cancer event

Over 100 people whose lives have been affected by cancer have been learning about the local support available to them at an ‘invaluable’ event in Southport.

The health and wellbeing event was organised by the Southport Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre in conjunction with NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, held at the Royal Clifton Hotel and provided an afternoon of information for local people.

Hannah Bland from Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) was a guest speaker talking about the role of ‘community connectors’. These volunteers work to reduce social isolation by supporting people to access local groups and organisations and help them to become more involved in their local community.

Those attending the health and wellbeing event said they benefited from hearing from other people affected by cancer and sharing ideas, as well as the two breakout sessions on ‘the fear of recurrence’ and ‘the importance of self-management’, which were led by local healthcare professionals.

The range of support available locally for people was displayed on more than 30 market place stalls that people were invited to browse. Stallholders ranged from the clinical nurse specialists from Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust and Aintree Hospital NHS Trust, to support groups, voluntary organisations and other services that can help people live with and beyond cancer.   

Going beyond physical health, visitors were treated to a mini-makeover provided by Boots No7 or a hand massage courtesy of Sefton OPERA. Taking time to care for your mental wellbeing is just as important as physical treatment. 

One of those patients who attended the event said: “Whether it’s your first time of going or your third, you always get to hear new information and help which can only be a good thing.

“These events are invaluable as you can speak to specialists and ask questions which you may have forgotten to ask a doctor or consultant.

“It’s good that friends, family and carers can go to these events as they too can get help and advice and without these events where could they turn to.”

Graeme Allan, primary care cancer lead and Macmillan GP at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “It’s great to see so many people coming to find out about the local services available to them.

“Cancer touches so many people’s lives and it’s important that we support people as they go through treatment, or are caring for someone else who is.

“I want to thank The Southport Macmillan Centre staff and volunteers, Sefton CVS, our local Trust and everyone else who helped bring this day together.”

The next health and wellbeing event promises to be even better as the focus of the afternoon will be all about living life and having fun. The staff at the centre will be combining this event with the Christmas fair so there will be plenty to see and do. More details will be released later in the year.

Summer holidays don’t have to spell unhealthy habits

The school summer holidays are a chance to relax, sleep in, and enjoy a break from homework, but it’s best to maintain some routines to stay healthy and avoid a ‘shock to the system’ come September.

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Routines such as regular bedtimes and mealtimes are important for keeping your children on the right learning path.

“Studies show that memory, learning, attention, mood, behaviour and physical health are all improved through sleep.”

Here are some top tips for healthy eating and drinking during the summer holidays:

There’s room for occasional treats during the holidays but it can get expensive to keep buying a round of ice creams for the whole family – try to plan ahead and take some healthier snacks with you on a day out.

Change 4 Life have some great ideas for healthier lunchbox and picnic swaps that are easy to prepare and fun for the whole family: www.nhs.uk/change4life/recipes/healthier-lunchboxes.

It can be difficult to keep food cool on hot days, so follow this advice from NHS Choices on how to prepare and cook food safely, including on barbeques: www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-prepare-and-cook-food-safely

Try to limit your intake of sugary drinks – even fruit juices contain sugar. Water is the healthiest option and the best for rehydration on a hot day. You can make the drinks more appealing to kids by adding novelty ice cubes or chopped fruit and cucumber.

Debbie added: “Eating healthily, regular exercise and good sleep all go hand-in-hand and will make the summer holidays more enjoyable and stress-free for the whole family.”

Sefton helps Legions to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One

Sefton Council have helped to fund a number of events across the borough to mark the Centenary commemorations of World War One.

Throughout the coming months Sefton branches of the Royal British Legion will be holding special events to mark one hundred years since the end of the Great War, including poetry readings, themed lunches and quiz nights.

The following events are taking place across the borough:

Southport: WW1 Themed Lunch (Thursday September 6, 1pm)
Formby: WW1 Themed Quiz Night (Wednesday October 24, 7.30pm)
Netherton & Sefton: Armed Forces Night (Friday October 26, 8pm)
Crosby: Poetry & Reading Night (Friday November 2, 6.30pm)

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This year marks the centenary of the end of World War One and we are proud to be able to support the various local legions in supporting our communities.

“These events go hand in hand with our Beyond The War Memorials campaign as we look to honour our WW1 heroes and heroines from across the geographical area which now makes up Sefton.

“We’re also looking for budding poets and writers to get their thinking caps on and compile emotive, thought provoking and fitting poetry for our BTWM project.”

More information about the Legion events will be released in due course.

For further details and to obtain an entry from for the BTWM Poetry competition, email information.service@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 257 6401.

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