We know this is a worrying time for many people and the single most important action we can all take is to follow national guidelines and stay at home to protect lives and help the NHS.
1. Your physical health and wellbeing:
It is vital that even as we follow government guidelines to combat coronavirus, we also keep maintaining our physical health and wellbeing. So alongside our daily outdoor exercise – be it a run, walk, bike ride etc. we can introduce activities within the home that can help us keep well.
Below some useful resources that can help us build indoor activities into our daily routine:
- The NHS has a series of 10 minute work outs that can be done in the home and require no gym equipment: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/.
- They also have a wider range of workout videos for differing abilities and age groups as part of their ‘Fitness Studio Exercise Videos’: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio which cover aerobic and strength exercises as well as yoga and pilates workouts. These include chair based exercises and have a 5 week ‘strength and flexibility’ programme available in podcast form - https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/strength-and-flex-exercise-plan/
- For those with younger children (or adults with an undying love for Disney) NHS Change for Life have a series of active ’10 minute shake-ups’ you can play based on movies such as Toy Story, Frozen and the Incredibles: https://www.nhs.uk/10-minute-shake-up/shake-ups.
- Beyond the NHS, Joe Wicks has his daily workouts, and many gyms and fitness/wellbeing communities are also offering online workouts through their websites, social media channels or YouTube channels.
- Stay in, work out - tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home. Join the Movement and use #StayInWorkOut to share how you're getting active during this time.
- Ways to keep moving - tips, advice, guidance and things you can do to keep moving during this time of physical distancing, as well as guidance for those working within the sector.
It is not just about physical fitness however...
- Public Health England is offering new advice on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic, as part of the Every Mind Matters campaign. It includes:
- NHS Every Mind Matters has 12 top tips for things that we can do now to help us maintain our mental wellbeing and cope with our feelings whilst we stay at home: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/
- Coronavirus (COVID 19): list of online education resources for home education contains useful advice and education resources for children – including resources about physical and emotional wellbeing.
- Services working together to keep children and families safe and healthy - Staying safe and healthy is really important for children and families and we appreciate this can be difficult and stressful time for many. There are a range of excellent services still available for families living in Bolton and who require information and extra support. This newsletter provides information about safeguarding issues, and details of useful resources and phone lines.
- My Wild Garden campaign for Greater Manchester: In these challenging times, many of us are more aware than ever of the importance of nature – especially the wildlife we can see in our gardens and from our windows. A new campaign, My Wild Garden, has been launched in Greater Manchester to help you reconnect with the wildlife in your garden and stay in touch with nature, particularly during this difficult time, while following current government guidelines. No matter whether you have a balcony, yard or back garden, The Wildlife Trusts and partners want to support over 5,000 people across Greater Manchester to care for and improve our natural environment. Want to receive a FREE My Wild Garden booklet packed with useful tips and activities and be part of a movement to improve our city region for nature? Register to obtain your copy and find out more.
2. Mental health support
A range of digital services and online support have been launched for children and adults, across Greater Manchester, to minimise the need for people to attend GP surgeries or hospital. These services can be accessed by people who are already experiencing mental health issues as well as people who may be struggling with the new social distancing and self-isolation restrictions. New support being offered includes the following:
- Shout crisis service – a 24/7 text service (with trained crisis volunteers who will chat using trained techniques via text responses) – Bolton residents should text GMBolton to 85258
- Kooth – an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform is available to any young person who may be struggling with their mental health – and particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak. Kooth is for young people aged 11-18 and offers a variety of resources, including: a live chat function that allows young people to contact a qualified counsellor, chat forums with other young people, crisis information and self help resources.
- Living life to the full is one of the world’s most used wellbeing support packages and aims to provide key information using everyday non-complex language
- BlueIce – an evidenced-based app to help young people manage their emotions and reduce urges to self-harm. This is only available on ‘prescription’ from a clinician working in child and adolescent mental health services.
- SilverCloud – an online therapy programme for adults proven to help with stress, anxiety, low-mood and depression.
- Time2Talk – Family Mediation Service: If you are having family disagreements or disputes during this difficult time, Time2Talk offers free, confidential and impartial mediation interventions to Bolton residents to improve relationships and to stop situations reaching crisis point. Contact 01204 331965 or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Beelieve campaign to provide mental health support - Mental health charities across Greater Manchester have teamed up in a new campaign, Beelieve, to support individuals, families and communities affected by Covid-19. Charities are seeing new issues emerge as people try to cope with the social and psychological distress that Covid-19 and isolation can cause. Beelieve will support individuals by providing resources and equipment which will allow them to access emotional and practical help now and into the future. Band 'The Lottery Winners' has offered its support and is donating profit from the sale of its new single ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ to support the campaign.
Greater Manchester Bereavement Service - If you’ve been bereaved and need support or advice, call the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service on 0161 983 0902 or visit www.greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk
3. Government guidance on Health and Wellbeing
- Government guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- Stay at home Government guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
- Government guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus(COVID-19)
4. Other relevant advice
- Chat Health
Are you a young person aged between 11-19 needing bit more help and support during lockdown?
Through Chat Health you can text a specialist nurse on 07507 331753 for confidential support and advice on a range of topics including emotional wellbeing, relationships, sexual health, alcohol and drugs and much more
- Don’t delay in seeking medical care
It is really important that you know the NHS is still here for you should you need medical help. You can still contact your GP by phone or you can use NHS 111 online or by calling 111.
If you are injured or seriously ill it is important that you should come to hospital. We have all the usual treatments available in Accident & Emergency (A&E).
We don’t want anyone to avoid coming to hospital if they need urgent medical treatment. If you have any of the following come and see us:
- Chest pain
- Stroke symptoms,
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe tummy pain or headache
- Mental health concerns
- You have a child who is very unwell
We’ll give you the care you need.
For more information about hospital services visit www.boltonft.nhs.uk or watch Francis Andrews, Medical Director, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust explain more: https://youtu.be/xHhq2cHJfMA
- Health advice for people with asthma
The Government has released guidelines for people who would be at very high risk if they caught coronavirus because they have a severe respiratory condition, including severe asthma.
Leading charity Asthma UK has been working with the NHS to provide further information and useful resources for people living with asthma on their website. This includes guidance on shielding for very high risk groups.
People are advised to speak to 111 or their GP practice for specific questions around their own, or family members, condition and needing to shield. Remember to follow the social distancing guidelines and use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
If your asthma is getting worse and you have symptoms of COVID-19 use the 111 online service or call 111.
- Diabetes and coronavirus (Covid-19)
The vast majority of people who contract coronavirus (Covid-19) will experience only mild symptoms and make a full recovery. However, people with diabetes or other long-term conditions are more likely to experience symptoms of greater severity. Diabetes UK has created some helpful guidance and advice for people living with diabetes and their families.
Eating and drinking well during coronavirus
The Greater Manchester Nutrition and Hydration programme aims to make sure older people in Bolton and other areas are eating and drinking well enough to stay healthy and independent.
This may be particularly challenging at the moment as social distancing measures can limit access to a variety of healthy foods.
Bolton Age UK has provided some helpful tips for eating and drinking well during lockdown. There is also advice available if you are shopping on behalf of an older friend or relative.
- You Can Stop – a new smoking campaign to help you quit
The You Can Stop smoking campaign has been launched. The campaign, by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, aims to help smokers to quit during the current coronavirus pandemic.
During the next four weeks there will be promotion of key stop smoking messages, advice and information and access to the GM stop smoking helpline and other resources.
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health, and there has never been a more important time to quit. You are more likely to succeed in quitting smoking with advice, support and stop smoking medication.
Pharmacies across the borough will be supporting the ‘You Can Stop’ campaign, and are able to provide you with advice, information and guide you on the best nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for you eg patches, gum and inhalers to help you quit. Please remember that pharmacists are busy at this time so please phone ahead to check.
For further help and support:
- GM Health Hub
- Greater Manchester Stop Smoking helpline- 0300 123 1044
- Stop Smoking Support for Pregnant Women
Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do to stay safe and healthy and give your baby the best start in life. In addition to following government guidelines around social distancing, pregnant women are encouraged now more than ever to start their journey to becoming smoke free, to protect themselves and their families during this critical time.
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust is continuing to offer a range of excellent stop smoking support to local pregnant women and their families through the Smoking in Pregnancy scheme. Midwife support workers provide telephone and online advice and support to discuss your pregnancy health issues and options for quitting. The service offer includes behavioural support and access to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products to pregnant women and their partners. After you have signed up to the scheme you will be encouraged to track your progress and success which will be recognised through a voucher reward scheme.
You can contact the Bolton Stop Smoking in Pregnancy service by telephone 07827 992883 or by speaking to your local community midwife.
- Don’t miss the signs for cancer
We’re all staying at home to protect our NHS.
But some appointments shouldn’t be missed.
If you notice changes to a mole on your skin; blood when you go to the loo, when you cough or where you wouldn’t expect, or lumps, or rashes you should get checked out by your GP.
Practices are still operating, but phone first. Don’t put it off. It’s important you get new and unusual symptoms checked out.
If you’ve had a letter about a smear test, phone your GP. Routine smear test are on hold, but if your last results were abnormal then you shouldn’t wait.
- Stopping drinking for people dependent on alcohol
During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic some people will be experiencing more stress and anxiety and may be drinking more alcohol than usual; or their drinking may be escalating to alcohol dependency which may seriously harm their health and wellbeing.
This advice sets out information about alcohol units and related risks; practical steps for cutting down and when and where to seek professional help and advice. Remember there are still services available to help you or help others and most are operating telephone or online support.
Further help and advice is available from:
- ACHIEVE (Bolton’s substance misuse service) 01204 483090
- Alcoholics Anonymous 0300 123 1110
- Drinkline 0300 123 1110