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​Emotional wellbeing in the summer 

Summer is often associated with freedom and leisure – but the season can also bring added pressures that many people are unaware of.

NHS Lewisham CCG Senior Clinical Director, Dr Charles Gostling said: "For many people who experience loneliness or isolation, the summer can make matters worse, because of the perception that everyone is having fun and jetting off to enjoy their holidays.

"But for many – particularly those with a long-term health condition, limited resources, housing concerns and insecure employment, the options can be limited. Existing worries and pressures can be compounded, leading to anxiety and depression in some people."

The summer period can also bring added pressure for working parents who have to find childcare during the summer holidays – particularly if they're on a tight income.

Dr Gostling added: "But the good news for people in Lewisham is that help is available for anyone experiencing anxiety and depression."

The NHS advises of '5 steps to mental wellbeing', which are:

  • Connect – connecting with people around you.
  • Be active – even something simple like walking.
  • Keep learning – new skills give a sense of achievement.
  • Give to others – including volunteering.
  • Be mindful – more aware of the present moment.

If someone has anxiety and depression, they can book an appointment with their GP, who will advise what form of treatment is best.

Many people can receive help from what is known as a 'talking therapy'. Talking therapies can help all sorts of people in different situations. Sometimes you may hear them referred to as counselling, talking treatments or psychological therapies.

A talking therapy is for anyone who's going through a bad time or has emotional problems they need help with. For many adults it may be the same – or even more effective than medication.

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme began in 2008 and has transformed treatment of adult anxiety disorders and depression in England.

Talking therapy services in Lewisham are provided by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM).  The process of being referred to a talking therapy has been made as easy as possible, in fact you can you can fill in a simple form to refer yourself without needing a GP appointment.

Dr Gostling said: "Depression and anxiety can affect anyone at any time of the year – even in the height of summer. But there's no need for anyone to feel alone or unsupported. The NHS is here for you, and we can help you to feel better."

Read more about accessing talking therapies.

Read more about the '5 steps to mental wellbeing'.