Category: News

How to fight an ‘infodemic’

An ‘infodemic’ is when there is a rapid and far-reaching spread of both accurate and inaccurate information about something. It can make it difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Isaac Asimov defined anti-intellectualism as the attitude that: “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

But an infodemic bombards us with so much information that it is difficult to know what is based on knowledge and what is based on ignorance.

The case in point is information around Covid -19. It is very easy to find conflicting information online which can make us very confused about what to do for the best.

The world health organisation have put out these Top tips for navigating the infodemic as a set of filters to decide how much faith we should have in the information we come across.

The words in the picture are reproduced below so that those who may have difficulty reading from a picture can also read them.

  1. Assess the source:
    Who shared the information and where did they get it from?
    Even if it is friends or family, you still need to vet their source.
  2. Go beyond headlines:
    Headlines may be intentionally sensational or provocative.
  3. Identify the author:
    Search the author’s name online to see if they are real or credible
  4. Check the date:
    Is it up to date and relevant to current events? Has a headline, image or statistic been used out of context?
  5. Examine the supporting evidence:
    Credible stories back up their claims with facts.
  6. Check you biases:
    Think about whether your own biases could affect your judgement on what is or is not trustworthy.
  7. Turn to fact-checkers:
    Consult trusted fact-checking organizations, such as the International Fact-Checking Network and global news outlets focused on debunking misinformation.

Mental Health Matters

 

Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it can be a lot harder to talk about. Many people think that experiencing poor mental health is unusual, but if we actually think about it, very few people will sail through life without being stressed, upset or anxious about something. In fact, 1 in 6 people will have experienced a common mental health problem in the past week.

American Firefighters Stress Guide

It is normal for you to feel down some days or stressed about issues important to you, but it is important to ensure that you are able to manage your stress healthily. The American ‘Stress first aid for Firefighter and Emergency Services Personnel’ categories can help you identify when you need a little bit of extra help. This guide can be referred to daily, or a few times a week to help you evaluate if you are on top of things, or if things are getting on top of you. Clicking on the thumbnail will take you to the full chart which you might want to print and keep, or just read the categories below.

 

Evaluate your stress

When thinking about your mental health and levels of stress and anxiety, it can be pretty overwhelming. One easy way to think about it would be to use the four levels of the firefighter scale to determine where your mental state is, and how to improve it.

Thriving – “I got this”

This would be your level if you are feeling like you are coping well. Your moods will generally be calm and steady in this section of the scale, but it is normal to have some small mood changes as you are going about your day. Due to your mental health being in a pretty positive place, you are able to follow your daily routine, focusing on tasks that you have to complete and communicating effectively with those around you. Both your sleeping and your appetite should be normal, and you should easily be able to adjust your plans, or take feedback from others without it becoming too overwhelming.

Surviving – “Something Isn’t Right”

The next level up on this mental health scale is when you may start to notice that you are finding things a little more difficult – and that is ok. Everyone feels like this sometimes; the most important thing is that you identify that you might need a little support. At this stage, you may notice that you are becoming a little more inconsistent when it comes to completing tasks and you may start to struggle with changing plans. You might also begin to notice some physical symptoms of stress such as low energy, headaches and muscle tension accompanied by a lack of sleep or loss of appetite. When spending time with ones you love, you might feel stressed or get less enjoyment. Your mood may also fluctuate more often, meaning that you experience bouts of sadness, nervousness or snappiness. If you feel like this describes you, then there are many steps that you can take to get back on top and feel like yourself again.

Struggling – “I Can’t Keep This Up”

When you begin to think like you can’t keep going and that life is getting on top of you, it can be really tough. It is important to note that most people feel like this at some point in their life and there are many resources and organisations that can give advice and help you through this. At this level of the scale you may feel exhausted and unable to concentrate. You may be avoiding interacting with family, friends or colleagues due to how you are feeling. Physically, you may experience aches, pains and fatigue, while mentally you may experience stronger emotions more consistently, such as persistent fear, panic and anxiety, sadness or hopelessness. Due to your feelings, you may also be distracted, restless or have trouble sleeping. Many people who experience these feelings self-medicate by over eating or using substances, but this will not tackle the root of why you are feeling this way and will not make you feel any better in the long run.

In Crisis – “I Can’t Survive This”

This is where urgent action needs to be taken and you should seek medical advice and the support of those around you. You may find that you have totally withdrawn from your relationships and that you are experiencing symptoms such as panic attacks, nightmares or distress. At this stage, you may feel like you can’t go on anymore and have thoughts of self-harm. However, it is important to note that there is a way out of this and there is support that you can access to stop you from feeling lost or numb. These feelings are temporary and there are plenty of people who can support you until you are able to cope.

[Link to the chart]

How to get back on top

Trying to identify what is causing you to feel like you do is a good way to start feeling better. You may know the cause of the stress immediately, or you may want to use our stress factors scale from our Guide to Healthy Active Ageing to help.

 

If you are finding that things are becoming overwhelming it is important to talk to someone. This may come naturally to some people but it may be more difficult, and that’s OK too. If you have a close friend or family member that you could confide in then start here, as they know you better than anyone.

If you feel uncomfortable speaking to someone that you know then a health professional, or support service such as the Samaritans (details are below) will be able to offer you support and advice as they are trained professionals. Many people say that they feel much better when they get things off their chest.

Other ways to get back on top include upping your levels of activity – studies have shown that exercise releases chemicals in your body that improve your mood and reduce stress. In particular, exercises that have a rhythm such as running, walking, swimming and dancing have been shown to help mental health.

The NHS recommends 5 steps to mental well being (which can be accessed below), which provide 5 clear steps with easy to understand do’s and don’ts. As well as connecting with others and exercise, they also recommend learning new skills that will help boost your confidence, giving to others to give you a sense of self-worth and practicing mindfulness.

It is important to note that everyone is different, and techniques that work for some people, may not work for others. Try out a few to see which ones are right for you, and if you reassess your feelings on the scale and still find you are overwhelmed, it is important to seek medical advice. This may seem daunting at first but remember, they are trained professionals who aren’t there to judge, they are there to give you a helping hand and get you back on your feet.

 

Further Support

The Samaritans – 116123

https://www.samaritans.org/scotland/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

Mind infoline: 0300 123 3393

Age UK – 0800 678 1602

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/mental-wellbeing/

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/information-guides/ageukig56_your_mind_matters_inf.pdf

NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/

 

Problems with masks – and how to solve them

Here we explore some of the issues with masks and offer solutions, where needed.

The first thing to cover is that wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic is for public health; it may not directly benefit you, but indirectly it will.

Wearing a mask may not stop you from potentially catching Covid-19, but it does mean, if you catch it, you are far less likely to spread it and when we are all far less likely to spread it, we are all far less likely to catch it. By taking care for each other we take care of ourselves.

One of the main transmission mechanisms for all viruses is hand to face contact. You touch something, such as a door handle, that has traces of the virus then touch your mouth or nose. Hand washing is clearly important but also wearing a mask can discourage us from touching our mouth and nose.

Health impact

Some people think that wearing a face mask can have a negative health impact. Very occasionally this can be true but this is only for people who have significantly impaired health. For the vast majority of people there is no health impact, although they can be unpleasant to wear.
We know this because many people have to wear a mask as part of their working life; surgeons and other medics who wear masks to protect patients would have noticed if there were detrimental effects.

If you think you might be in the group which should avoid wearing health masks take professional medical advice. If you are not willing to take medical advice you are almost certainly not in the group.

The smell!

You may be taken aback by the smell of the mask – especially if you ate garlic recently!
You realistically have two choices, one is to get use to the smell of your breath and the other is to brush and gargle – and go light on the garlic.

Spectacles steaming up

The most drastic solution is to have laser eye surgery so you no longer need to have your vision externally corrected, that will take time and money, but quicker and less drastic is trying contact lenses instead of glasses.

If you have ruled out not wearing glasses, consider how to wear a mask and glasses in the best way to avoid your breath condensing on them. If you are going to be wearing the mask all day, sticking micropore (medical tape) across the top of the mask and your nose is a good way of blocking the breath from getting to the lenses. Another is to move the mask up your face as much as is possible to keep the breath from going straight up onto the lens.

The next trick is to make sure your glasses have a ‘surfactant’ coating. This is available from some spectacle wipes or try using normal detergent/soap. Cleaning your glasses will help stop them fogging up.

Specsavers offer a list of ideas which you can see by clicking here.

Communicating with other people

Some studies say that in a face to face communication less than 10% is actually about what is spoken with around 35% relates to the tone and over50% to the way we hold and move ourselves,

Wearing a mask seems to slightly muffle the voice and also (literally) masks what we are doing with our mouths. This not only makes understanding more difficult, but it also makes understanding the spirit in which something is said more difficult. It may be that you thought you were saying something with a nuanced grin showing you were being tongue-in-cheek but unless you have Jack Nicholson’esque eyebrows the chances are no-one will pick up on it.
In summary, when wearing a mask be aware that you may have to state things more clearly

Hearing

In the theatre you would get complaints of the actors not speaking clearly when you have dark scenes. So much of what is ‘heard’ is a combination of the sounds augmented by visual cues and lipreading.

Try mouthing “Elephant poo” to someone, but don’t be surprised if they respond “I love you. Too” (unless they are a bus driver, in which case that would be really weird).

The thing about masks is that not only do they muffle the words but they take away our ability to lip read however technology can help.

What technology can help

If you have an android phone there is an excellent free app called ‘Live Transcribe’. As words are spoken they show on your screen. It is like having everything said subtitled.  You can see a short video of how an ambulance driver uses it by clicking on Using an app to make sure you are heard .

Like subtitles you don’t need to rely on them all the time but they can be used as a reference when you miss what has been said, or even want to check that what you thought was said, actually was. So a quick glance at your phone will show you that Coldplay weren’t singing about a “Pair of, pair of, pair of dice” but Para-para-paradise.”

What’s more, because you can load this on your phone you can take responsibility for making sure you can understand rather than getting frustrated with others for not being clear enough.

It is a bit trickier on iPhone. All the speech to text apps are paid for but there is a trick which will help you to replicate it. On you iPhone go to Settings>general>keyboard> ENABLE DICTATION. And make sure the switch is to the right to turn this on.  Then open ‘Notes’ or any other app that you would normally write in and do what you normally would to get the keyboard up. When you do click on the microphone (just to the left of the space bar) and what is spoken will be written on your screen.

Keeping safe at home

The symptoms of Covid-19 can come on very quickly and could make it difficult to phone for help.

For this reason, along with many other causes that could make it difficult or impossible to get to a phone, we recommend that anyone who spends a significant amount of time alone should consider how they would get help if they were unable to use their phone.
An obvious way to do this is by using a personal alarm and naturally, we recommend the Assure but recognised that it might not suit everyone’s needs. If you’d like to consider the options you can download our free guide to choosing the right protection.

Stay safe.

As the country re-opens…

Coming out of lockdown

The more we understand about risks the more we can look after ourselves and in doing so help protect those we come into contact with.

Until now we have had very hard and firm guidelines in the UK which have brought the R0 (R-naught = reproduction rate) of the COVID outbreak down to below one. This means on average every 100 people infected with COVID 19 will pass it on to fewer than 100 people. If we could maintain R0 below one the coronavirus will shrink out of existence within a few months.

If you want to find out more about R0 we can suggest two options:

  • the Australian Academy of Science explain about it to show why physical distancing works, click here.
  • the Maths Magazine have an article which explains about the interplay between R0 and herd immunity, though it is for those who are more comfortable with equations, click here.

Physical distancing

Information to help you stay safe in public

However, it is impractical to keep a country in permanently in lockdown and physically distanced. The firm rules we had are becoming more fluid as people are encouraged back to work and more social contact is permitted. We have been asked to use our common sense and, in order to do that, we should try and get an understanding of the risks in different situations and how to avoid them. The 2 metre rule may be impossible to maintain, but there are times when that is OK, times when it is not and times when even being on the other side of s big room might not be safe.

We have found a really informative breakdown which explains the science of how to catch a virus and more importantly how to avoid catching a virus.

  • How safe is it to pass someone in the street closer than 2 metres?
  • How safe is it to sit on the other side of a large office to other people? (it depends on the air conditioning!)
  • Is risk affected by the type of activity people are doing?

The brilliant Erin Bromage is a Comparative Immunologist and Professor of Biology (specializing in Immunology) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. That means he knows his stuff. And like the cleverest of people has a way of explaining it which makes it digestible to those of us who are new to it. He uses some American numbers but the basic behaviour of the coronavirus is the same the world over so the information stands.

If you want to get a better understanding of how to manage the risks, click here and read his explanation.

Staying safe when isolated

If your behaviour means you spend significant amounts of time by yourself please do consider getting and personal alarm system of some sort. We happen to think ours is pretty great, so please do have a look at the Assure.

 

Recovery: finding drugs to treat COVID-19

So far the struggle against COVID-19 we have heard about has concentrated on avoidance. Social isolation and social distancing have slowed the transmission of the virus but it is clear that this cannot continue indefinitely. A vaccine will take at least another 15 months and possibly 3-5 years to be widely available.

There has also been work going on about how we can best treat COVID-19 so that those people who do get ill with it can have the best chance of survival and full recovery.

Until now there are no drugs of proven value against COVID-19. Some drugs that might help but only small-scale trials have taken place throughout the world. Whilst the findings may be promising they are not statistically sound enough to base roll out of treatment into the general population.

The National Health Service (NHS) is going to run a large randomised evaluation of a variety of potential pharmaceutical treatments to see which have beneficial effects.

Data from the trial will be regularly reviewed so that any effective treatment can be identified quickly made widely available.

The trial has been named RECOVERY

The RECOVERY Trial will begin by testing some of these suggested treatments:

  • Lopinavir-Ritonavir (commonly used to treat HIV)
  • Low-dose Dexamethasone (a type of steroid, which is used in a range of conditions typically to reduce inflammation).
  • Hydroxychloroquine (related to an anti-malarial drug)
  • Azithromycin (a commonly used antibiotic)

All of these drugs have been used for many years and are expected to have minimal side effects.

To find out more about the trials visit: https://www.recoverytrial.net/

 

If not now, when?

The Coronavirus crisis has brought to a head how interconnected we are. No man is an island and we all rely on a system of interconnections to provide our comfort and wellbeing.

Some of the ways we had of looking out for loved ones are being tested by self-isolation. Perhaps now is the time to explore how you can make sure loved ones can get help when they need it.

The hierarchy of needs

In 1943 Abraham Maslow codified the Hierarchy of needs. We in the developed world have long taken the lower levels for granted. Generally, we are able to enjoy shelter, clean air, clean water and food, if not by our own effort then through the safety net of state provision. The state also legislates and polices our safety and we have been lucky enough that we could focus on nurturing our sense of connection to others and also to our community and how we can become who we want to be (even if that is only to watch box sets).


Sars-CoV-2, the virus that leads to COVID-19 brings us back down the pyramid. We have to consider how we will get our physiological needs served. Those of us in homes have shelter, clothing air and water, but even then getting food (and toilet paper) has become a bit more challenging.

Considering our Safety Needs

Shielding ourselves from the coronavirus does not eliminate the other dangers that we face. People will still fall and all the ‘normal’ illnesses still exist. Some experts consider that having to change our normal routines exposes us to more danger. Reconstructive surgeons are reporting a spike in accidents where people are undertaking at home tasks they might normally have someone do for them, such as gardening and DIY.

Now more than ever it is important to make sure those living alone have an effective system of getting help if and when they need it.

Choosing the right protection

We all like to think that if needed we will get a telephone call from them but if someone is short of breath, in sudden pain, has fallen or even become immobile getting to the phone becomes impossible. Whilst we think the Assure (our solution) will suit many with its easy to wear wristband that is designed to be worn all the time and an array of triggers for comprehensive protection for all of these eventualities, we recognise that there is no one-size fits all when it comes to finding the best personal alarm for the elderly and vulnerable.

We developed a Guide to choosing the right protection for your needs and it is available to download here.

What has become more important with COVID-19 is whether you can get a system active as quickly, safely and simply as possible.

The Assure is simple to set up for yourself or on behalf of someone else. If you don’t want to do it yourself, we can preconfigure it before it is shipped so that it just needs connecting in the house – and we can talk you through that too. Click here to tailor a system to suit your needs and see how much it will cost.
If you’d like to make use us helping to set-up the service please phone us on 0345 25 75 080 as we will need to take the names and phone numbers of the wearer and a couple of responders as well as at least one email address.

 

Once you have done as much as you reasonably can to keep loved ones safe you might want to explore

Ideas for using technology to keep in touch

This article has several ideas for how to keep connected using internet technology. You will probably be aware of a lot of them but one or two might be new.
https://www.acticheck.com/making-the-most-of-social-distancing-and-social-isolation/

 

elderly woman washing hands

What is Self Isolation?

To follow Government guidelines on Coronavirus and public health, everyone within the UK has been asked to stay indoors. But what is self isolation exactly? This article will discuss the details of self isolation along with how best to stay safe throughout the ongoing situation across the country. We will also discuss who is most at risk from Covid-19 along with the importance of social distancing even whilst self-isolating.

What are the government’s guidelines for self-isolating?

At the time of writing, the Government’s Covid-19 Action Plan, is at a stage that has widely been called a lockdown. What this means, is that leaving the house should be strictly for essentials and exercise. Fundamentally, this is limited to minimal journeys for food or medicine along with exercise in your local area. For those that are unable to work from home, lockdown also allows for journeys to and from work. Where possible, journeys for food and medicine should be avoided. Many supermarkets are offering improved delivery services to accommodate demand and pharmacies across the country are delivering prescriptions.

The lockdown is being enforced across the country to reduce all non-essential contact and curb the spread of the virus. That is why the Government has also advised social distancing, meaning that whenever you do need to leave the house or have necessary visitors you stay at least 2m away from them With the virus having an an incubation period of up to 11 days and some people only showing very mild symptoms when they do get it, it is possible that someone that does not look ill could pass it on.

While much is unknown still about the virus, there have been some consistencies amongst those most affected by Covid-19. So far, it is those over the age of 60 that have been most at risk of developing severe symptoms. Here’s some underlying health conditions that can exacerbate the illness.

  • Breathing problems – those with asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer or any other respiratory issues must be particularly careful as Covid-19 affects the lungs.
  • Diabetes – those with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at higher risk.
  • Hypertension – high blood pressure  is a risk for anyone developing Coronavirus, particularly those that have had organ transplants.

How to stay safe while self isolating

For those that are particularly vulnerable, self isolation can be particularly daunting. It’s hard enough when you lose lose social visits. Keeping healthy is hard wile mobility is limited and you’re staying inside. It is important that self isolating is done as safely as possible to protect your physical and mental wellbeing. Here are some of the key ways to minimise the risk that might result from self isolating for older people:

Care Visits and Prescriptions

For those that require a carer, it is still important to practice social distancing wherever possible and keep contact to a minimum. Similarly, carers should be taking all hygiene precautions, such as using sanitised gloves and face masks where possible. Should a carer show any symptoms of the illness, such as a dry cough or fever, is is worth requesting a different carer to visit in their place.

Many pharmacies across the country can arrange to have your prescription delivered. It is worth finding out if they provide non-contact delivery services to a person who is at risk. Pharmacies across the country are developing these non-contact delivery services to assist those most at risk.

Personal Safety

With many elderly people living alone in the UK, self isolation can be particularly isolating. For those with health or mobility problems it can also be dangerous. All of the ‘normal’ health threats remain as well as COVID-19. That’s why it is important to keep up regular communication. It’s vital to check in on those that are more vulnerable at this time. Keeping to a regular daily time for calls can help provide some peace of mind throughout the self isolation period.

The Assure personal alarm bracelet can also be used to monitor the safety of those that are more vulnerable. The wristband provided a combination of alert triggers to provide comprehensive protection.

If the wearer gets short of breath or experiences pain a squeeze of the band will call for help; it can also monitor for severe falls. Te I’m OK checks are the simplest way for the wearer to confirm they are OK periodically throughout the day.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about self isolation or would like know more about the Assure personal monitoring system, please get in touch. Simply call us on 0345 25 75 080 or email us and one of our helpful team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Woman gardening wearing emergency alarm wristband for elderly and disabled

Making the most of Social Distancing and Social Isolation

Mental health matters

Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it can be a lot harder to talk about. Many people think that experiencing poor mental health is unusual, but if we actually think about it, very few people will sail through life without being stressed, upset or anxious about something. In fact, 1 in 6 people will have experienced a common mental health problem in the past week.

American Firefighters Stress Guide(click on this graphic to get the full sized chart)

It is normal for you to feel down some days or stressed about issues important to you, but it is important to ensure that you are able to manage your stress healthily. The American ‘Stress first aid for Firefighter and Emergency Services Personnel’ categories can help you identify when you need a little bit of extra help. This guide can be referred to daily, or a few times a week to help you evaluate if you are on top of things, or if things are getting on top of you. Clicking on the thumbnail (above) will take you to the full chart which you might want to print and keep, or just read the categories below.

Evaluate your stress

When thinking about your mental health and levels of stress and anxiety, it can be pretty overwhelming. One easy way to think about it would be to use the four levels of the firefighter scale to determine where your mental state is, and how to improve it.

Thriving – “I got this”

This would be your level if you are feeling like you are coping well. Your moods will generally be calm and steady in this section of the scale, but it is normal to have some small mood changes as you are going about your day. Due to your mental health being in a pretty positive place, you are able to follow your daily routine, focusing on tasks that you have to complete and communicating effectively with those around you. Both your sleeping and your appetite should be normal, and you should easily be able to adjust your plans, or take feedback from others without it becoming too overwhelming.

Surviving – “Something Isn’t Right”

The next level up on this mental health scale is when you may start to notice that you are finding things a little more difficult – and that is ok. Everyone feels like this sometimes; the most important thing is that you identify that you might need a little support. At this stage, you may notice that you are becoming a little more inconsistent when it comes to completing tasks and you may start to struggle with changing plans. You might also begin to notice some physical symptoms of stress such as low energy, headaches and muscle tension accompanied by a lack of sleep or loss of appetite. When spending time with ones you love, you might feel stressed or get less enjoyment. Your mood may also fluctuate more often, meaning that you experience bouts of sadness, nervousness or snappiness. If you feel like this describes you, then there are many steps that you can take to get back on top and feel like yourself again.

Struggling – “I Can’t Keep This Up”

When you begin to think like you can’t keep going and that life is getting on top of you, it can be really tough. It is important to note that most people feel like this at some point in their life and there are many resources and organisations that can give advice and help you through this. At this level of the scale you may feel exhausted and unable to concentrate. You may be avoiding interacting with family, friends or colleagues due to how you are feeling. Physically, you may experience aches, pains and fatigue, while mentally you may experience stronger emotions more consistently, such as persistent fear, panic and anxiety, sadness or hopelessness. Due to your feelings, you may also be distracted, restless or have trouble sleeping. Many people who experience these feelings self-medicate by over eating or using substances, but this will not tackle the root of why you are feeling this way and will not make you feel any better in the long run.

In Crisis – “I Can’t Survive This”

This is where urgent action needs to be taken and you should seek medical advice and the support of those around you. You may find that you have totally withdrawn from your relationships and that you are experiencing symptoms such as panic attacks, nightmares or distress. At this stage, you may feel like you can’t go on anymore and have thoughts of self-harm. However, it is important to note that there is a way out of this and there is support that you can access to stop you from feeling lost or numb. These feelings are temporary and there are plenty of people who can support you until you are able to cope.

How to get back on top

Trying to identify what is causing you to feel like you do is a good way to start feeling better. You may know the cause of the stress immediately, or you may want to use our stress factors scale from our Guide to Healthy Active Ageing to help.

If you are finding that things are becoming overwhelming it is important to talk to someone. This may come naturally to some people but it may be more difficult, and that’s OK too. If you have a close friend or family member that you could confide in then start here, as they know you better than anyone.

If you feel uncomfortable speaking to someone that you know then a health professional, or support service such as the Samaritans (details are below) will be able to offer you support and advice as they are trained professionals. Many people say that they feel much better when they get things off their chest.

Other ways to get back on top include upping your levels of activity – studies have shown that exercise releases chemicals in your body that improve your mood and reduce stress. In particular, exercises that have a rhythm such as running, walking, swimming and dancing have been shown to help mental health.

The NHS recommends 5 steps to mental well being (which can be accessed below), which provide 5 clear steps with easy to understand do’s and don’ts. As well as connecting with others and exercise, they also recommend learning new skills that will help boost your confidence, giving to others to give you a sense of self-worth and practicing mindfulness.

It is important to note that everyone is different, and techniques that work for some people, may not work for others. Try out a few to see which ones are right for you, and if you reassess your feelings on the scale and still find you are overwhelmed, it is important to seek medical advice. This may seem daunting at first but remember, they are trained professionals who aren’t there to judge, they are there to give you a helping hand and get you back on your feet.

 

Further Support

The Samaritans – 116123

https://www.samaritans.org/scotland/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/

Mind infoline: 0300 123 3393

Age UK – 0800 678 1602

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/mental-wellbeing/

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/age-uk/documents/information-guides/ageukig56_your_mind_matters_inf.pdf

NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/

 

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