RESIDENTS in Cheshire are being encouraged to look after their own mental health and the wellbeing of others as part of mental health awareness week.

That's the message from local NHS Trust Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP), which is promoting the week, run by the Mental Health Foundation.

It presents an opportunity to raise awareness of issues around mental health and this year’s campaign comes amidst the UK still experiencing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Its theme of ‘kindness’, therefore, is as relevant now as it has ever been.

With social distancing enforced and people encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, it is vitally important that people are aware of the effects this can have on mental health and wellbeing.

This can be a difficult time for many people, especially the most vulnerable.

CWP says it is important to know if you are concerned about your own mental health, or the health of a person you care for, that you are not alone. Help is available.

With this in mind, earlier this year CWP launched a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week mental health helpline that is available for residents of all ages in Cheshire West, Cheshire East and Wirral.

It is now the first port of call for mental health help – it is operated by people in the local area who will know how best to support local residents.

If urgent support is needed, please call 0300 303 3972.

The helpline pages on the CWP website also contain information about other mental health services that are available for non-urgent support.

In terms of young people’s mental health, the Trust’s MyMind website contains a whole host of resources that give advice on how to cope with the current situation, as well as information regarding mental health issues for children, young people and families.

CWP medical director, Dr Faouzi Alam said: “Each year our Trust is pleased to support Mental Health Awareness Week as we come together nationally to recognise and raise awareness of mental health issues in the UK.

"This year, the campaign takes on added significance given the potential impact that the Covid-19 pandemic can have on all of our mental health and I would urge all of our community to be responsive to mental health needs.

"I would also urge anybody who feels like they need support to use our 24/7 mental health helpline by using the number 0300 303 3972.

"This invaluable resource is available to anyone on our footprint, of any age, should they feel like they need support."