shift-healthybody by miss.googly


									Healthy Body Healthy Mind
Promoting Healthy Living for people who experience
mental health problems

A guide for people with mental health problems

SECTION 1: Introduction
SECTION 2: Healthy Eating
SECTION 3: Healthy Breathing - Smoking
SECTION 4: Healthy Limits – Alcohol
SECTION 5: Healthy Information on Illegal Drugs
SECTION 6: Healthy Activity
SECTION 7: Healthy Sex
SECTION 8: Healthy Body – Healthy Medicine
SECTION 9: Healthy Body – Healthy Services
SECTION 10: Top Tips to maintain a healthy body
SECTION 11: Further Sources of Help
About Me Card

NIMHE and mentality copyright, September 2004
SECTION 1: Introduction

How do you feel generally if you have a toothache, a bad fracture or flu?
These conditions can cause pain, discomfort and distress and they can stop
us from doing what we want to do. They affect how we feel and how we think.
They show there is a strong link between our mind and our body.

Often people feel that once you have been diagnosed with a mental health
problem all your other health concerns are ignored. The physical illnesses
can be missed. Sometimes the doctor may think that for example a stomach
pain may be part of someone’s mental health problem, a symptom of that
problem or a side effect of the medication they are taking.

“Sometimes it feels like…….when you do say something about your
body they tend to blame your mental health, rather than looking deeper
for the answer………..not all physical health problems are a figment of
my mental state!”

With this in mind we have worked with people with mental health problems to
identify areas of concern and to answer some common questions about both
physical and mental health and wellbeing. This booklet hopes to provide you
with tips to look after your health and your self.

“If you don’t get any help with your physical health your mental health
goes down. If you don’t get help with your mental health your physical
health goes down……….it’s swings and roundabouts all the time.”

Healthy body – healthy mind
Many people with mental health problems experience poor general health.
There are many reasons for this including the increased stress of living with a
mental health problem, a lack of money due to relying on specific benefits or
problems with being motivated to look after yourself. But just because you
have a mental health problem – it doesn’t mean that your physical health will
automatically suffer. There is always something that you can do to improve
the way you feel.

You may also have physical health needs before being diagnosed which are
unrelated to your mental health. For example you may be asthmatic or have
high cholesterol or suffer from back pain or ulcers. All these conditions will still
need to be treated, although your medication may need to be reviewed.

It is important to try and keep a note of what your current health needs are,
what treatment you are receiving (with contact details if appropriate), and what
medication you are taking. This information will help the health professionals
working with you to develop an accurate picture of your health and to help you

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gain additional support or treatment from others, such as a district nurse, a
podiatrist (previously called a chiropodist) or a dietitan.

Healthy body – healthy you
Sometimes it may seem that healthy changes are beyond your control. You may
feel that you don’t have enough money to buy healthy food options. You may
not feel confident to go to a gym or keep fit class or you may feel that you lack
the energy or motivation to make any changes. It’s worth remembering that
healthy options are not necessarily the most expensive or the most time
consuming to prepare. Exercise does not have to be in class or even in public.
We can all do something to improve our health today.

It’s important not to try to change everything in your life at once. Try making a
few practical changes at first and then gradually build up your healthy lifestyle
– keeping you healthy.

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SECTION 2: Healthy Eating
                                           “I think regular eating is best, regular
                                           meals at regular times especially
                                           when you’ve got depression. I learnt
                                           that when I went into hospital for the
                                           first time. I felt so much better after
                                           about a week with my physical side.”

Eating a balanced diet can help you feel better and is an important part
of a healthy life. A healthy diet does not mean never eating your favourite
foods, only eating one type of food or changing all your eating habits over
night. A balanced diet is just that – balanced. You should try and eat from the
five main food groups every day. They are: fruit and vegetables; bread and
other cereals or potatoes; meat; fish or alternatives; milk and dairy products
and food containing fat and sugar.

Try to eat regularly. Foods like bread, potatoes, pasta and rice are very
good for providing energy. Five portions of fresh fruit or vegetables each day
will supply you with the vitamins you need. Fresh fruit and vegetables are
best but fruit juices and some tinned or dried vegetables can also be
beneficial. Failing this vitamin supplements are an option. However it is
better and cheaper, to try and get all the vitamins you need from your diet.

Eating too little, or not often enough, can also cause problems. You might not
have enough energy, so you will feel tired or depressed. Your medication may
make you crave certain foods, such as sugary food or stodgy food which may
lead to weight gain. Some medications lead to weight gain without the
craving. So if you are concerned about putting on weight first try to reduce the
amount of fat or sugar you eat. Reducing the saturated fats in your diet,
(which are mostly found in animal products such as hard cheeses, butter,
animal fats, sausages, burgers and take-aways) and foods high in sugar (such
as sweets, cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks) is a good first step. Even if you
are not trying to lose weight it may be useful to cut down on the amount of fat
or sugar that you eat, helping you maintain a healthier diet.

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A healthy diet is key to reducing your risk of many diseases such as
coronary heart disease and diabetes. To reduce the risk of heart disease it
is recommended that we often eat fish and that we should try and eat oily fish,
such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards or herrings, twice a week.
Linseed oil, found in pumpkin and walnuts has a similar effect. Reducing salt
in your diet will help reduce high blood pressure and the possible risk of

Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea and cola. It can cause
restlessness and irritability, particularly if drunk in large quantities. It is
recommended that we have no more than five caffeine drinks each day. If
you are having problems sleeping or settling it may be worth trying to cut
down. You should reduce your intake gradually - try drinking herbal teas or
decaffeinated drinks instead.

Anxiety and depression and some medications can reduce the saliva in your
mouth. This is known as dry mouth and it can be uncomfortable as well as
increasing tooth decay. If you suffer from dry mouth try to avoid too
much caffeine or very sweet drinks. Try chewing sugar-free gum and
sipping water frequently or ask your GP or dentist about saliva replacements.

There’s no good reason to go on a ‘special’ diet. Eating healthily and trying
out different foods is the best idea. There is increasing research on the impact
of food on mood but the relationship between what we eat and how we feel has
not been proven as yet. However if you are recognising sharp mood changes,
particularly after meal times, it may be worth keeping a food diary and
discussing this with your doctor or dietitan.

“I used to comfort eat, when I felt low or depressed. Sometimes it’s
about having someone point it out to you, showing you the pattern of
what you’re doing and helping you to change it.”

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SECTION 3: Healthy Breathing - Smoking

                                            Most smokers want to stop smoking
                                            and stopping is the single most
                                            important thing a smoker can do to
                                            live longer.

Smoking has been shown to kill one in two lifelong smokers. The most
common diseases caused by smoking are coronary heart disease, cancer of
the lung, and lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is
difficult to stop smoking but by continuing you are putting yourself at risk.

Wanting to stop smoking and being determined to are essential for you
to stop smoking. In the short term nicotine can lift your mood and make you
feel less anxious. However you must remember it does not make you calm - it
only makes it feel that way. Smoking is an addiction and stopping the
addiction will actually lift your mood and make you less anxious. You are not
alone. At any one time one in six smokers is trying to stop smoking. Although
it can be difficult it is not impossible, there are over 11 million ex-smokers in
this country.

It’s important that you plan to quit and give some thought as to how you
can change your routine to reduce the ‘risk’ times for you. Only you
know what will help you and what will fit in with your lifestyle and what you
should avoid. However there are also things that you can do to increase your
chances of success:
• make a date and stick to it – stop smoking altogether rather than trying to
    cut down.
• take one day at a time – don’t think of smokeless days stretched out in
    front of you.
• congratulate yourself – celebrate every day – try to reward yourself when
    you achieve.
• think positive – withdrawal is difficult but don’t give up – you may become
    more irritable but people will understand.
• change your life – throw away everything that you associate with your
    habit, such as ash-trays and lighters.

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•   change your routine – avoid places where smoking was your routine or
    where you will be surrounded by smokers. This can be quite difficult as
    many mental health services are full of smokers. However, lots of services
    have areas for non-smokers and it’s worth asking.
•   keep yourself busy – keep your mind off cigarettes. Often it’s useful to try
    to be active as you can really see the benefits of stopping. You will be less
    breathless and will feel more positive about yourself and your success.
•   distract yourself – often people miss the ‘act of smoking’ and fiddling with a
    coin or a pencil, can really help. Alternatively chewing sugar free gum can
    help reduce stress
•   be kind to yourself – try to learn new techniques to help you to be calm
    and to relax.
•   ask for help – there are lots of support groups and many products and
    prescriptions which will increase your chances of stopping and staying

If you want to stop smoking try nicotine replacement therapy (available as
patches, gum, nasal sprays, microtabs and inhalators). They provide your
body with small amounts of nicotine to help you to break the habit of smoking. A
course lasts for about three months and used correctly can double your chances
of success. There are also support groups which can help and information
which is available free. Ask your local GP, your local pharmacist or contact
Quitline on 0800 00 22 00 (freecall).

“It was so hard to stop but I went to my GP, got patches, went to a local
group and suffered……….but it was worth it – I feel free now. I couldn’t
have done it on my own but no-one should have to.”

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Section 4: Healthy Limits - Alcohol

                                           “Drinking is part of my social life and
                                           I enjoy going to the pub with mates.
                                           But some people get out of control,
                                           which I’ve always found really
                                           frightening. It’s about a balance isn’t
                                           it? Knowing your limits and how
                                           things affect you, same for anyone.”

Alcohol can be a positive part of life for many people and being sensible
about what you drink doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a drink or two.
Drinking alcohol can make you feel relaxed and help you to socialise. Some
people also use alcohol to ‘self-medicate’, to dampen alarming feelings or
sensations or to relieve other symptoms, such as stress and anxiety.
However, alcohol can become harmful if over-used over a long period of time.

Drinking alcohol can also make you feel anxious or depressed. If you
drink excessively you may start to feel aggressive or you could ‘black out’. It
can help to think about how you feel, your current mood, before you start
drinking. Alcohol in excess also reacts badly with most medications. It is
often recommended to avoid alcohol when taking antipsychotics,
antidepressants and other sedatives. You should discuss this with your
doctor or keyworker. It is important not to stop your prescribed medication
because you want a drink.

The maximum recommended daily levels for drinking alcohol are 2-3
units for women and 3-4 units for men. (A unit is a single measure of
spirits, a small glass of wine or half a pint of beer or lager). It is good to have
at least two days of the week when you don’t drink any alcohol.
After drinking you may have problems sleeping and the after-effects or a
hangover can cause headaches and sickness. People with mental health
problems can be particularly sensitive to these effects. Different medication
can also increase susceptibility. If you are concerned can call Drinkline free
on 0800 917 8282 (Tuesday-Thursday 9am-11pm and from Friday 9am to
Monday 11pm).

“I have to be very careful. I don’t keep any in my home because when
you’re depressed it makes you even more depressed - the drink. And it
physically affects you too.”

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SECTION 5: Healthy Information on Illegal Drugs
                                Taking illegal drugs is always considered
                                dangerous as you never really know what you
                                are taking. It really is best to avoid them if you

                                Illegal drugs include cannabis, LSD (acid),
                                amphetamines (speed), ecstasy, cocaine, crack,
                                and heroin. There are also concerns about mixing
                                prescribed and illegal drugs together.

Although cannabis may help relaxation, its effects can also be intense and
can produce psychotic symptoms for a short period of time. For some people
cannabis causes increased feelings of anxiety and it can affect functioning
and short term memory. More recent research has linked cannabis use with
an increased risk of depression and suicidal feelings, particularly among
young women.

Illegal drugs such as speed and acid can also bring on psychotic symptoms.
Some people use illegal drugs to offset symptoms, others use them to
recreate positive feelings and insights experienced through psychosis. Once
LSD is taken there is no way of stopping the reaction which can be disturbing
and frightening. You cannot predict your reaction to an illegal drug. It all
depends on what you take, how much you take, and the mood you are in at
the time.

Some drugs, such as speed, cocaine and ecstasy are all stimulants which will
increase your heart rate and generally make you feel awake and energetic.
However once the effects have worn off, many people experience a ‘come
down’ a low period when you can feel depressed and exhausted.

In some people, illegal drugs can trigger a psychotic episode or may worsen
the condition or cause a relapse. It is sensible to avoid illegal drugs when
taking medication. Using illegal drugs and stopping taking your prescribed
medication makes a relapse more likely.

If you have any other questions you can call the free and confidential helpline
Frank About Drugs on 0800 77 66 00 or It is open 24
hours a day.

“I used to smoke stuff to calm myself down and I thought it really helped
me to relax…….but it’s like any drug I think. Suddenly you need to use
more to have the same effect and that actually made me anxious…….I

NIMHE and mentality copyright, September 2004
always had to have some, or know where to get some, otherwise I felt
really vulnerable. I’m sure that was worse for me than relaxing every
now and then. I talked to someone (at the local support group) who had
been through something similar and he taught me how to relax
differently…. By talking to him I learnt so much.”

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SECTION 6: Healthy Activity

                                         Being active on a regular basis can
                                         significantly improve your physical
                                         health and your mental health.

It improves the heart and circulatory system, and can help with sleeping
problems. Physical activity can also activate body chemicals which also make
you feel happier and it can reduce tension, anxiety, anger and fatigue.
Exercise has also been shown to improve self image and self esteem too. It
keeps a check on your weight and can improve your self-confidence. There is
also evidence that exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
and more recently that exercise may be effective in treating the symptoms of

“I think it’s difficult to separate the physical things from the mental things
in life. I always feel better after swimming or walking in the park. It’s for my
heart and my head.”

If you do less than 30 minutes activity a week you are classed as
‘inactive’. Being inactive can increase feelings of tiredness and make
you feel more lethargic. Current recommendations suggest taking part in 30
minutes or more of moderate exercise five days a week.

Moderate exercise will make your heart rate increase, making you breathe
harder and feel warmer but not necessarily become breathless or break into a
sweat. Don’t be put off by the goal of five times a week. You should increase
activity gradually. Doing one or two days a week is better than none at all.
Even when you’re in hospital it is important for you to keep active.

Your local leisure centres may run a variety of classes and activities and
some may be available to you at reduced rates. There may also be
specific classes where you may feel more comfortable, such as women only
swimming sessions. Contact your leisure centre to find out. Trying something
you’ve never tried before can be really positive and really fun too. There are
things to suit every taste from yoga to line dancing. You also don’t have to be

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active alone, it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, often with similar
interests to you.

For some people the thought of exercising or sport is daunting, but it
doesn’t have to be - it could just mean walking, for example, getting off the
bus earlier and walking, or using the stairs instead of the lift. There are
probably lots of things that you do now, such as cleaning, ironing, walking or
dancing that make you active already.

High-energy exercise like aerobics can help you work off feelings of
tension and frustration, whereas more gentle exercise such as walking,
and yoga can help you to relax. Choose the exercise that suits your mood.

“If you don’t want to do it you can find all the excuses in the book not to
do it. If you want to do it, if you want to do something positive, then it’s
about starting small. Thinking, once a week, while the kids are at school,
I’m going to try it out, whatever it is. I’ll see if my friend wants to go too
because then I’ll be more likely to keep going.”

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SECTION 7: Healthy Sex
                                                 “I used to have an active
                                                 sex life but then became ill
                                                 and so took medication as
                                                 prescribed. I didn’t know,
                                                 or maybe I wasn’t told, that
                                                 the drugs would have an
                                                 impact on my sex drive.
                                                 My partner was very
                                                 understanding but it’s a
                                                 difficult thing to live with,
                                                 especially when you are
                                                 trying to get better too.”

Anxiety and depression and some medication can affect how you feel
about sex, your sex drive or your ability to have sex. You may experience
difficulty getting an erection, becoming aroused or reaching an orgasm. If you
are having sexual difficulties these may have an impact on the way you feel
about yourself and your relationship with your partner. You may feel
uncomfortable but it’s important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor.

An awareness of the prevention of HIV, other sexually transmitted
infections and unwanted pregnancy is essential for everybody. Sexually
transmitted infections are usually spread when infected blood, semen or vaginal
fluid come into contact with another person during sex. Using a condom will
protect you against HIV, most sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
Infections (such as HIV and hepatitis B and C) can also be spread through
infected blood, when needles and other injecting equipment are shared.

If you’re worried or notice any changes in your sexual functioning speak
to your doctor or keyworker. You can also get free and confidential help
and advice from any NHS sexual health clinic.

Always use stronger condoms for anal sex with plenty of water-based lubricant
to help prevent the condom splitting. For oral sex risks can be reduced by:
using a condom, avoiding getting semen in the mouth particularly if there are
any cuts, sores or ulcers; or placing a latex square barrier called a dental dam
over the woman’s genital area.
If you have any concerns about HIV, AIDS or sexual
health problems including how to access local services
and support you can call the Sexual Health Helpline on
0800 567 123. The helpline is open 24 hours a day 7
days a week.

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SECTION 9: Healthy Body – Healthy Medicine

                                      There are many different types of
                                      medication that you may be prescribed for a
                                      mental health problem. While there are
                                      many different types of medication you may
                                      not necessarily have a choice of what you
                                      are prescribed. The main types used that
                                      you may be taking are: antipsychotic drugs,
                                      antidepressants, mood stablisers, and
                                      sedatives and tranquillisers.

You have the right to say what you want, when being prescribed
medication or treatment of any kind. Every drug has side effects and drugs
used to treat mental health problems are no different. You do not necessarily
have to put up with side effects. The health professionals working with you
will be trying to identify the medication that best meets your needs.

When you are prescribed medication or your medication or your dosage
is changed it is important that you consider how that medication is
making you feel. If you experience any changes in your health they may be
related to the medication and you should report these changes to your doctor.
You may also find it helpful to discuss them with a pharmacist. If you feel you
are not being listened to then it may be worth contacting your local advocacy
service or your local user group.

The right type and right dosage of medication depend on your needs. Your
needs and your medication may change over time and having your medication
reviewed regularly is essential so that you and the health professionals working
with you can assess your progress.

“To be seen as a whole person, rather than just being somebody with a
mental health problem.”

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SECTION 9: Healthy Body – Healthy Services

                                     If you have any concerns about your
                                     mental or physical health, your first port of
                                     call is likely to be your GP.

If you are currently in hospital you should ask to see the SHO (Senior House
Officer) who is the appropriate doctor on the ward. There are many other
health professionals who will be interested in your physical health and in any
changes in your health and it may be useful to try and see them too.

“It’s about having things explained properly. It’s giving this true respect
to people about how they want to live their lives. After all it is their
choice. We should all have a choice.”

Your doctor may refer you to a dietician who will assess you and will be
able to provide you with information about your diet and healthy eating
plans. They also provide you with practical help and support about shopping
and cooking and they can put you in touch with local classes and groups,
where you can learn new skills and share meals.

You may be referred to a speech therapist if you are having problems
eating or swallowing. The therapist will be able to provide you and those
caring for you with practical help and support to enable you to reduce the
problems you may be experiencing.

Your pharmacist, whether based in a hospital or locally within the community,
is the expert on your medication, any possible side effects and how it is
impacting on your physical health. He/she can advise you how to approach
your doctor to review or make changes to your medication. It is always useful
to speak to your pharmacist, particularly if your medication is being changed or
your dose is being reviewed.

“When we’ve approached pharmacists they’ve actually been very willing
to share their expertise. Again it’s the thing that patients don’t think they
can just go and speak to the pharmacist about their medication but
actually the pharmacist in my hospital was more than happy to come and
explain. He picked up more problems related to drugs than others, but
that is his area of expertise.”

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You may be referred to a physiotherapist if you have a physical health
problem such as a muscle strain, tendon injuries, mobility muscle or
joint problems or chest conditions. The physiotherapist will assess you
and plan with you a programme of support to ensure that you regain your
physical health fully.

Finally you may be referred to an occupational therapist who will
consider your broad needs in relation to caring for your self, your work
and leisure time and your interpersonal skills. They will provide
information and support to help you maintain positive health such as healthy
eating – budgeting, shopping, cooking advice and healthy activity – arranging
groups on exercise and fitness, even chair based, and providing advice and
support to access community and leisure facilities.

Sometimes it is difficult to get your point across to professionals. You may
feel intimidated or unconfident. You may feel they are not listening to you or
your concerns about your health or your requests for support and information.
It is really important that you feel comfortable with the professionals working
with you and that you feel free to ask questions about your condition, your
symptoms, your treatment, your side effects and your health generally.

“I’ve said everything I can say in as many different ways over the years
to many different people. I get totally tongue tied now because it’s like
trying to find a different language, as the one I’ve been using hasn’t
been effective.”

When you can ask, get the right information and understand what it means for
you - you will feel more positive. You will be able to consider your choices and
you will be in a better position to make decisions about your treatment.
Having the right information will make you feel more confident. After all you
are an expert of your own health and what works for you.

Before you see the doctor it is useful to plan what you want to ask. Try to
make sure that the questions are specific. You may find it difficult going to the
doctors and raising problems with health professionals but a little planning can
go a long way to making you feel more confident about your appointment.

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It can really help to write things down. If you can, make a note of the
points you want to raise and the response you receive. If you don’t
understand then keep asking. Sometimes professionals use medical
language or trade names of medication that you will not be familiar with, but
they won’t know if you don’t ask.

You may also find it helpful to take someone with you to important
appointments as it is often difficult to take everything in at once. You
may wish to take your carer or a friend with you. Alternatively your local
advocacy project or user group may be able to put you in touch with an
independent advocate who will be willing to attend meetings with you to
ensure that you receive the care that you are entitled to.

Having a mental health problem should not have an impact on the physical
health care that you receive. This is backed up by the Disability
Discrimination Act (1995) which makes it unlawful for service providers to treat
disabled people less favourably than others – because of their disability. The
law also requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments to the
way they provide services to people with disabilities, including people with
mental health problems.

More information about the Disability Discrimination Act can be found on the
Disability Right’s Commission website ( or can be obtained
from the DRC Helpline on 08457-622633.

Health checks
It is important that we all have the full range of regular screenings and health
checks, eg breast, cervical, prostate, dental and eye. You know your body
better than anyone else – so if you don’t feel well, see your GP.

The new contract for GPs (nGMS) encourages them to offer annual physical
health checks for people with mental health problems. You may also be able
to access specific support or services. Some practices are providing flu-jabs
for people at increased risk, or smoking cessation services specifically for
people with mental health problems. It’s always worth checking with your

Further information about what services you can expect from primary care is
included in a new leaflet ‘Getting the most from your GP practice’. The leaflet
provides clear information about how you can receive help with your physical
health, mental health and medicines (for information about availability contact
the National Institute for Mental Health at

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SECTION 10: Top Tips to maintain a healthy body and mind
Being diagnosed with a mental health problem does not exclude you
from the need to look after your mental health positively, or from health
professionals taking all your health needs seriously. Your stress levels,
the pressure and worry you may experience and your ability to cope will have
an impact on the way you feel and your physical health too.

Coping strategies vary for people but it is important that you: find ways
of motivating yourself, get support from other people, take life one day
at a time, look after yourself and manage your problems and symptoms.
There are a number of positive steps you can try to look after your mental
health and doing something positive can make all the difference.

Being you - try not to be too hard on yourself. We can all have difficult
days from time to time and we all cope with things differently. There is no
right or wrong way of dealing with life and what it may throw at you. Every
day we cope with something different.

Relaxing and feeling good – take time for yourself and for the things that
you enjoy which help you to be calm and relax. You know yourself better
than anyone so make sure you take some time for you too. Reading, listening
to music, prayer or meditation - whatever works for you.

Talking about it - most people feel isolated and overwhelmed by their
problems sometimes - it can help to share your feelings. Keeping in touch
with friends and family can be really important at difficult times. You don’t
have to struggle on alone. If you feel there is no one to talk to, you could call a

Getting involved - meeting new people and getting involved in things can
make all the difference - for you and for others. Your local user group can
be a source of support too and getting involved there may mean you are able
to help others in a similar position.

Learning new skills - learning new things can increase your confidence -
whether it's for pleasure, to make new friends or to improve your
chances of a job.

Doing something creative - all kinds of creative things can help if you are
anxious or low. They can also increase your confidence. Music, writing,
painting, drawing, poetry, cooking, gardening - experiment to find something
you enjoy.

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Asking for help - everyone needs help from time to time. Its OK to ask for
help, even though it feels difficult - whether its from friends and family, or from
your local doctor, practice nurse, support group, faith community or helpline.

All quotes included in ‘Healthy Living – a guide for people with mental health
problems’ are from people with experience of using mental health services
and are reproduced with their permission.

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SECTION 11: Further Sources of Help
134-138 Borough High Street
London SE1 1LB
Telephone: 020 7716 6777
Fax: 020 7716 6774
mentality is the only national charity dedicated solely to the promotion of
mental health. They work with the public and private sector, user and survivor
groups and voluntary agencies to promote the mental health of individuals,
families, organisations and communities. They can assist you with any aspect
of planning, implementation and delivery of mental health promotion including
Standard One of the National Service Framework through policy support and
development, advice on what works and mental health promotion training and

Mental After Care Association (MACA)
1st Floor
Lincoln House
296–302 High Holborn
London WC1V 7JH
Telephone: 020 7061 3400
Fax: 020 7061 3401
MACA is a leading national community mental health charity serving people
with mental health needs and their carers. It works in partnership with other
organisations to deliver a wide range of mental health services, including
advocacy, assertive outreach, community support, drop-ins and social clubs,
employment training, forensic services, respite for carers, supported housing.

Mental Health Foundation
83 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0HW
Telephone: 020 7802 0300
Fax: 020 7802 0301
The Mental Health Foundation, incorporating the Foundation for People with
Learning Disabilities, is a UK organisation with main offices in London and
Glasgow. They provide research and practical projects to help people
survive, recover from and prevent mental health problems.

NIMHE and mentality copyright, September 2004
15-19 Broadway
London E15 4BQ
Telephone: 020 8519 2122
Fax: 020 8522 1725
Information helpline: Open Mondays to Fridays 9:15am to 5:15pm
telephone: 0845 766 0163
Mind – the mental health charity is based in England and Wales. Mind work to
create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress.

National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE)
Blenheim House
West One
Duncombe Street
Leeds LS1 4PL.
Telephone: 0113 254 3811
National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) aims to improve the
quality of life for people of all ages who experience mental distress. Working
beyond the NHS, they help all those involved in mental health to implement
positive change, providing a gateway to learning and development, offering
new opportunities to share experiences and one place to find information.

Registered Office
28 Castle Street
Surrey KT1 1SS
Telephone: 020 8547 3937
Fax: 020 8547 3862
National Advice Line Tel: 020 8974 6814 (open 10am to
3pm, Monday to Friday)
Rethink is dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by severe
mental illness, whether they have a condition themselves, care for others who
do, or are professionals or volunteers working in the mental health field.

Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (SCMH)
134-138 Borough High Street
London SE1 1LB
Tel: 020 7827 8300

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Fax: 020 7403 9482
SCMH is working to improve the quality of life for people with severe mental
health problems. It aims to influence national policy and encourage good
practice in mental health services.

The Upper Mill
Kingston Road
Surrey KT17 2AF
Telephone: 020 8394 8300
Fax: 020 8394 8301
The Samaritans offer 24 hour confidential emotional support to people in
emotional distress including those who have suicidal feelings.

UK Advocacy Network (UKAN)
Volserve House
14 –18 West bar green
Sheffield S1 2DA
Telephone: 0114 272 8171
Fax: 0114 272 7786
UKAN is the federation of Independent Patient Councils, Advocacy Projects
and user forums for mental health service users. The organisation actively
promotes user empowerment and user involvement in the choosing,
monitoring and running of mental health services.

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About Me Card

About me


Telephone number

Next of kin

About my local services
Local inpatient unit


Community Mental Health Team

Local support group


Local PALS

Other numbers

About my health
Current health status

Current medication (including dosage)

Most recent health checks

Things I need to ask
Questions I want to ask my doctor

Questions I want to ask my keyworker

NIMHE and mentality copyright, September 2004
Healthy Body and Mind promoting healthy living for people with mental
health problems

This is one of four resources produced to provide information about the
physical health care of people with mental health problems. The other three
resources are for:
- professionals working in in-patient settings;
- professionals working in community settings; and
- professionals working in primary care.
An evaluation framework is also available for people to record any changes in

The resources have been produced for the National Institute for Mental Health
in England (NIMHE) as part of Shift, its Anti Stigma and Discrimination
Programme. The Programme works towards creating a society where people
of all ages do not experience stigma and/or discrimination on mental health
grounds, and enjoy the same rights as other citizens.

The programme will run from 2004-2009. Priority areas include the media and
the general public, young people, private, voluntary and professional
organisations and the public sector. The programme works towards reducing
health inequalities and supporting people to challenge stigma and
discrimination on mental health grounds wherever it exists.

DoH gateway number 4062

NIMHE and mentality copyright, September 2004

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