Online workshop supporting people with mental health difficulties in Staffordshire to cope with winter

An innovative online workshop is offering support to people in Staffordshire to manage mental health difficulties over the winter period.

The Coping with Winter course focuses on supporting with anxiety, depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and coping with Christmas, as well as January blues.

The workshop has been developed by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service (IAPT), which has brought together existing improving access to psychological therapies teams into one, fully integrated service with a single point of contact.

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) and North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust are working together on providing the service, alongside Mental Health Matters, the Dove Service, North Staffs Mind, Burton and District Mind and Changes Health & Wellbeing.

Participants who are known to the service and are registered with a Staffordshire GP are taking part in four, one-hour sessions online that use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) interventions to help with managing issues.

MPFT Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Philippa Horn, who developed the workshop said: “This can be a very difficult time of year for many people, but this year is likely to prove tougher in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Coping with Winter online workshop is providing participants with useful techniques to help them manage anxiety or depression as we approach Christmas and what can traditionally be a difficult time in January.”

The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service (IAPT) is continuing to provide support for people across the county experiencing anxiety and low mood, as well as helping to cope with physical health conditions.

It is available to people aged over 16 who are registered with a Staffordshire GP. You can self-refer by calling 0300 303 0923 or going online at www.staffsandstokewellbeing.nhs.uk.

MPFT operates a 24/7 urgent mental health service providing telephone support, advice and triage for people living in:

In addition, MPFT is providing links to a range of national advice, guidance and resources relating to Covid-19 – these can be found at www.mpft.nhs.uk/service-users-carers/coronavirus-information/coronavirus-resources.