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Speak up this World Mental Health Day

sefton in mindIn conjunction with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, health experts in Sefton are encouraging people to look after themselves and open up about any issues they may be dealing with.

Most people will confront some sort of mental health difficulty in their lifetime. The state of your mental health can be affected by factors such as drugs and alcohol, work-related stress and grief – among other things.

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We need to look after our mental health just like our physical health. It’s really important that you speak to someone if you notice a change in your mental health or a change in someone else such as feeling or acting more stressed, being unhappy or disengaged. “

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: “Sharing how you are feeling by speaking to a friend or family member can help you to feel better. Activities such as meditation, exercise and breathing techniques have also been shown to enhance your mental health. There are also local services that can help you should you feel you need more support.”

People in Sefton have access to a number of resources including Access Sefton, a service that provides guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling for anyone aged 16 and over.

Ryan Forrest at Access Sefton added: “World Mental Health Day is a great opportunity to have a chat with a friend, family member or colleague to ask them how they’re feeling. Opening up the conversation around mental health will encourage those around you to be more aware of how they’re feeling and reach out for support.”

Patients looking for support can refer themselves to Access Sefton. You can contact them directly by telephoning 0300 303 2708 or visiting You can also ask your GP practice for information.

For young people aged 11 to 18 years old there is a free online service called Kooth which offers self help materials and a safe online community 365 days a year. This can be accessed at  

In extreme circumstances, people will experience a mental health crisis. This often means that you no longer feel able to cope or feel in control of your situation. You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, can’t cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hear voices.

In these cases, you should contact NHS 111 for help.

To find out more about the help available for anyone struggling with their mental health, visit the NHS website

Catch the train to your happy place for free this Sunday!

sefton in mindSefton Council is delighted to be working with Merseyrail to offer a free travel day this Sunday, 6 October to support 30 Days of Sefton in Mind.

30 Days of Sefton in Mind uses the 30 days that fall between World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) and World Mental Health Day (10 October) to highlight local activity taking place and the variety of services available aimed at improving mental health in Sefton.

A map of Sefton’s ‘happy places’ here highlights some of the best places in the borough to promote positive mental wellbeing. Many are a short walk from a Merseyrail station, so hop on the train with your free travel voucher on Sunday 6 October and visit somewhere new in the region.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Merseyrail for supporting 30 Days of Sefton in Mind, this free travel day has the opportunity to make a positive impact on residents who may be lonely or socially isolated.

“Sometimes something as simple as getting out and about can have a big impact on mental health and wellbeing. This free travel day is a great way for people to explore the borough, meet friends or try something new, all at no expense to themselves.”

To register for a free travel pass please visit  

Help Shape Your Heath and Care Future

Have your say on issues you care about in SeftonPeople across Sefton have been given the opportunity to help shape the future of health, care and wellbeing across the borough.

Anyone with an interest in health and care is being encouraged to take part in a survey which will help develop the borough wide Sefton NHS Five Year Plan, Shaping Sefton II.

When finalised, the plan, will be the borough’s response to the NHS Long Term Plan, published at the start of this year. Currently in draft form, Shaping Sefton II builds on the vision for transforming health and care set out in the original Shaping Sefton plan, developed in 2014.

Already the subject of engagement with health, care and wellbeing professionals and volunteers across Sefton through a range of events; there is now a chance for everyone in the borough to help shape the final document via the online survey.

The new five year plan will aid the delivery of our local Health and Wellbeing Strategy, currently being refreshed by Sefton Council, and will also support the work of the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership in developing its response to the national NHS Long Term Plan.

Fiona Taylor, chief officer of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG and the senior responsible officer for the Sefton Health and Care Partnership, said: “This is a great opportunity for everyone in Sefton to have a look at our draft plan and let us know if we are heading in the right direction for the next five years.

“Shaping Sefton II is a very important plan as it looks to build on the successes of the original document while looking at some of the biggest health and care challenges we are facing together between now and 2024.

“We have based our thinking on your health and care priorities including the findings of the Sefton Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) which outlines the health and care needs of everyone in the borough.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to have a look at our new draft plan, tell us what they think, and more importantly let us if we have got our priorities and ambitions right – or indeed if we have missed anything?”

To see a copy of the draft Shaping Sefton II plan and take part in the online survey go to: 

People are asked to give their views about the plan before 21 October when the survey closes. All the feedback received will be used to finalise Shaping Sefton II.  

Active Sefton launch spooktacular half term calendar

Be Active has prepared a ‘spooktacular’ line-up of activities for Sefton’s youngsters this October Half Term (October 28 – November 1).

Registration is now open and parents across the city region are encouraged to sign their youngsters up before the places are filled.

Be Active offers half term camp days and activities at leisure centres across Sefton including Bootle Leisure Centre, Crosby Lakeside Adventure, Crosby Leisure Centre, Litherland Sports Park, Maghull Meadows Leisure Centre, Netherton Activity Centre and Dunes Splash World.

Designed with October Half Term in mind, Spooky Spectacular camp days will include obstacles courses, archery competitions, hand ball, sports tournaments and more. Children are invited to attend in Halloween fancy dress on Thursday October 31. 

The LFC Foundation will return with its popular Football sessions that include drills, challenges and small sided games with prizes to be won each day.

Dance Mash-ups will also return this October with sessions dedicated to The Greatest Showman, Aladdin and Halloween Themes.

Be Active will also be launching a series of pool-based activities including ‘Spooky’ pool parties, inflatable parties and a range of swimming sessions.

As well as it’s half term camps, Active Sefton also leads a number of after-school and weekend activities throughout the year. Jump into Gymnastics classes for ages 2-8 are held weekly at Crosby Leisure Centre and Football for ages 2-10 is held on and Sundays at Netherton Activity Centre.

To book a place on any of the activities or to find out more information call 0151 288 6286 or visit, or follow us on social media – Facebook: Active Sefton, Twitter: @activesefton & Instagram: @active_sefton.

Sefton’s Public Health Director clears the air on pollution

Sefton’s Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, is delighted to release this year’s Public Health Annual Report (PHAR) which focus’s on the topic of air quality across the borough.

This year’s report takes the form of a short animation in order to better explain what air pollution is, where it comes from in Sefton and what happens when dirty air is breathed in. 

The PHAR also talks about what the Council and others are already doing to improve air quality with some recommendations about what should happen in the future.  The video can be viewed online at 

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Air pollution is a growing concern for many people who live in Sefton and the quality of the air we breathe is an issue that affects everyone.

“I am delighted that this topic was chosen as the theme for this year’s PHAR and I hope that it opens up a wider conversation about how we can all do more to protect our air.”

Matthew Ashton added: “In addition to bringing more transparency to the topic of air quality and how it affects the health and wellbeing of Sefton residents, this report is also my opportunity to recognise the work that Sefton Council has been doing to make Sefton’s air cleaner.

“Air quality is a topic that is becoming more and more important to people not only locally, but also at national level. We cannot make change happen alone and I echo my report when I call for more joined up action that will help people to breath cleaner air now and in the future.”

The PHAR and a short supplementary document can be viewed online at

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