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Emotional and Mental Health Resources

Here are a selection of articles and resources designed to help with coping with the emotional and mental health issues of living with Congenital Heart Disease.

If you have any comments about these, would like more information or to talk through an emotional or mental health issue please contact Anne Crump, Mental Health Support Worker.

Here are the contact details of the main specialist Mental Health Organisations providing information and resources on all types of mental health issue, diagnosis, treatment and medication.

Depression

One in five people can experience depression at some time in their life.
Dealing with Low mood and Depression has more information and self-help strategies on depression.

If you need help now because you feel despairing or suicidal please contact
The Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 available 24 hours a day, free of charge calls from mobiles and landlines.

How to Access Counselling and Psychological Services is a brief guide to the main ways you can find a counsellor or contact psychology services. Here is the Department of Health Leaflet Which Talking Therapy for Depression which outlines what psychological help may be available for mild to moderate depression through your local IAPT service (in England). Contact your GP and ask about talking therapies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as different arrangements apply.

Breathing Space Scotland offers an accessible first stop and listening service for people who are feeling down and depressed as well being able to put you in the direction of help. Helpline 0800 83 85 87 (6pm-2am).

Aware Northern Ireland is a National Charity that aims to support people who are experiencing depression.

In Wales the Community Advice and Listening Line, Mental Health Helpline can put you in the right direction in getting local help and support for depression. Helpline 0800 132 737.

Anxiety

Here are a number of resources on coping with different aspects of anxiety.
Ways into relaxation describes the practical breathing and relaxation techniques that can be helpful, as well as other aspects of anxiety management. Anne Crump the Mental Health Support Worker is happy to talk through calming breathing exercises and relaxation techniques with you over the telephone so please call (020 8240 1165). She can also send you a Relaxation pack with information and a CD of some breathing and relaxation exercises.

Me, My Heart and Anxiety explores how we can move towards befriending ourselves and our anxious thoughts and feelings
  
Try out a Beach Oasis Relaxation Exercise on our YouTube Channel.
Read the pdf on Breathlessness and Anxiety in ACHD by the Imparts Team (Guys, St Thomas and Kings College).

Panic attacks
can be really scary, the article Coping with Panic Attacks from GUCH News, outlines some ideas for dealing with them.
See also this pdf  Panic Attacks! What are they and how can you help yourself from Anxiety Uk

Anxiety UK has more information on anxiety and needle and  injection phobia. Anxiety UK also run a Helpline: 08444 775 774 (Mon-Fri).
Check out this pdf from the Imparts team on Overcoming your fear of needles.

Mindfulness is a mind-body approach that has become popular to help people manage anxiety, stress, recurrent depression, pain and long term medical conditions. More information can be found in this pdf: So what is Mindfulness? and this video, What is Mindfulness.

Traumatic and post traumatic stress can be a common experience as a result of medical interventions and surgery. Read more about this here.

Surgery

If you are worried about surgery or other medical procedures you will find some helpful suggestions in these articles. Preparing for and Coping with Surgery and How to deal with worry during medical procedures. Read about Rosie's experience of surgery in her article for GUCH News +James Cobb shares his thoughts in Facing up to Anaesthesia.

Insommia

Our sleep can become disrupted for all sorts of reasons such as worry, bereavement and depression. Newcastle Hospitals Community Health have developed this comprehensive guide which is full of information and practical suggestions: Improving Sleep.


Changes in Health

Changes can occur in our health due to many factors including ageing and issues relating to living with a congenital heart condition.
Dealing with Deterioration in Health offers insights about the emotional impact of when things don't get better. If you would like more information on this issue please see our page on deterioration in health.

Published in GUCH News Lets talk about concerns about life expectancy explores some of the common emotional reactions to loss and deterioration in health.

Here is a list of organisations that have more information and offer support with bereavement.

Our Patient Helpline 0800 854 759 provides emotional support for people born with a heart condition or those close to them. This can be a friend, relative, partner, teacher, carer or colleague.

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Help & Advice

Information on managing your heart condition, including Physical, Emotional and Mental Health.

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