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‘Self care doesn’t mean doing it alone’, say Sefton healthcare and community leaders

Sefton’s health and community leaders are using Self Care Week (15-21 November) to offer advice and highlight the support available to help residents take better care of their health and wellbeing.

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health at Sefton Council, said:

“Self Care Week is about encouraging people to take steps to prevent illness, adopt healthier choices, manage minor ailments and look after their health and wellbeing. Self Care Week is a perfect time to think about the changes we can make to help us take better care of ourselves and our families. Self-care doesn’t mean you should do it alone – lots of support is available!”

Susanne Lynch MBE, head of medicines management at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“Knowing what to do and where to go for help is an important part of practising self care. Remember, it isn’t just your GP practice that can help, your local pharmacists are also health experts who can help with all sorts of conditions and treatments. Anyone can access expert advice and buy a range of medicines for minor illnesses over the counter from a local pharmacy, without needing a prescription from their GP.

“In addition, Care at the Chemist is a scheme for patients registered with a GP in Sefton, which enables pharmacists to provide any medicines they recommend for a range of minor conditions, which will be free of charge to patients who do not pay prescription charges.”

Active Sefton is a Sefton Council run initiative that provides services designed to improve physical health and mental wellbeing.

Natalie Ashworth, locality team manager from Active Sefton, said:

“We can provide free NHS health checks which are aimed at picking up early signs of conditions that can then be prevented such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and helping people live longer, healthier lives.

“We also run services aimed at providing people with the opportunity to live more active and healthy lifestyles and support for older people who may be at risk of a fall, to reduce their risk and maintain their independence. Speak to your GP practice about these services or call 0151 934 2352 for more information”

Support with being active and meeting people is also provided through Living Well Sefton, which is a free service led by Sefton CVS, helping people with issues affecting their health and wellbeing.

Gemma Boardman, programme manager at Living Well Sefton, said:

“Living Well Sefton supports Sefton residents to make small changes to their lives that can have a big impact on their wellbeing. From walking groups to lunch clubs, our mentors can provide in-depth support by working out how physically active you want to be and assess your wellbeing by tailoring a plan just for you.”

If you’re feeling anxious, depressed or simply need someone to talk to, there is plenty of help available. If you’re registered with a GP in Sefton, Talking Matters is a free, confidential service to help deal with common mental health difficulties. Call them on 0300 303 2708 or go to www.mhm.org.uk/talking-matters-sefton.

For practical tips and expert advice to improve your mental health, you can also visit www.kindtoyourmind.org. There’s also a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support service run by Mersey Care, for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. Text HEAL to 85258.”

The NHS website also has a host of information on symptoms, conditions and treatments. If you do need medical advice and aren’t sure where to go, use NHS 111 online at www.111.nhs.uk  or call 111 for assistance in getting the medical help you need.

A huge range of information on local services and support for improving physical and mental health, as well as easy to follow online self care guides for common conditions is available online from: