Oxford City Council is marking Mental Health Awareness Week, Monday 18th to Sunday 24th May, by urging people to consider how kindness can improve our own and others’ mental health. It thanks everyone who has shown kindness and helped those in need in these difficult times.

The Council has partnered with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to promote the Oxfordshire Mental Health helpline, for non-emergency mental health care and advice. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The helpline gives information about how to get help and access support from professionals.

There is a range of further support available, including practical support to help with the challenges of coronavirus, activities, more specialist advice, and help with mental health. They are also circulating posters and colouring sheets in food parcels.

The Council also supports residents’ mental health through its Activity Hub, which provides online advice on exercise, mental health, learning, and cultural activities.

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Healthy Oxford, Oxford City Council, said: “This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, a time to promote the range of support available. This is particularly relevant now when we have the additional anxieties caused by coronavirus, from isolation, job losses and new pressures on relationships.

“We continue to provide practical support, from food supplies to prescription deliveries. Also, to help people keep active in mind and body, our online Activity Hub has lots of ideas and resources. With some restrictions now lifted, safely getting exercise is so important.

“Given that the theme of this mental health awareness week is kindness, be kind to yourself – we all need to take care of ourselves at this time. Get out and enjoy nature, take a walk, take up a hobby – but also be kind to everybody else. Just a few kind words to somebody can make all the difference to how they’re feeling that day.”

Rob Bale, clinical director for mental health in Oxfordshire at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “When people need mental health care, support or advice they should call the 24/7 Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Helpline. Our trained mental health advisers will be able to make sure people get the care that is right for them.”

The helpline number for adults is 01865 904997. For children and young people the number is 01865 904998.

Image: Ellie Wilkins