CWP speak out against seasonal solitude

by CWP News - 09 December 2015

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) is encouraging people to take advantage of support services over the festive period to try to combat isolation and loneliness.

Christmas is a time of excitement and celebration for many Cheshire and Wirral families, for a number of the elderly population in the UK this time of year is more often a time of sadness and solitude. Age UK recently found that as many as 60 per cent; or 6 million of the UK’s over-65’s say the holiday period is an unhappy time of the year.

Stephen Scorer, CWP Interim Director of Nursing, Therapies and Patient Partnerships, says: “We are calling on everybody to make positive mental health a priority. There are lots of simple things that all of us can do, perhaps reaching out to a friend, neighbour or family member who is disconnected from others and offering them support and friendship, it could be a life-saving act. In the UK, over a million older people say they are always or often feel lonely, Age UK estimates that loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.”

Having someone to talk to can really help alleviate feelings of isolation. Support services, many of them operating with the help of volunteers, will be available on a 24 hour basis over Christmas and New Year. We are organising festive get-togethers for service users across the Trust to help ensure that those who have no celebrations of their own are able to share a positive experience over the holiday season.

At the heart of CWP’s services is a patient safety campaign, ‘Stop Think Listen’ which focuses on continuous improvement in the delivery of safe and effective care, including raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing. The Trust was recently awarded the rating of ‘Good’ for Community-based mental health services for older people, and ‘Good’ for Wards for older people with mental health problems during the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection. 

If you or someone you know is alone this Christmas there is support out there - please contact your GP or one of the organisations listed below:

 Age UK - 01606 720 434 (http://www.ageuk.org.uk/cheshire/our-services/)

  • Friends of the Elderly – Be a Friend Today Campaign 020 7730 8263 (http://www.beafriendtoday.org.uk/)
  • MIND -0300 123 3393 
  • Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) - 0800 58 58 58 or text 07537 404717

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