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Services provide support for mental health and wellbeing through the coronavirus outbreak

Published: Wednesday, 15th April 2020

Residents and families are being reminded of a number of services to support their mental health and wellbeing through the coronavirus outbreak.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council commissions a range of services that can help households to cope through the pandemic. Services include:

  • Changes Wellbeing Services, which provide wellbeing programmes, peer support and one-to-one advice with friendly professionals. Services are tailored, so they can help families with a key worker delivering essential services, or give support to residents staying at home to protect lives. They cover a range of issues such as managing worries about family members becoming unwell, jobs and money, food availability, and the impact of national lockdown measures such as not enough personal space, childcare arrangements, not being able to get out and about and not seeing friends. Online sessions include making changes to promote healthier thinking and behaviour; setting goals to stay well; sessions to teach new skills to tackle low mood, stress and more effective problem-solving; and mindful sessions to cope with daily stresses. Services are available online, via phone calls or video calls, and can be accessed through www.changeshere4u.org.uk, calling 07983 437747, or emailing wellbeing.here4u@changes.org.uk.
  • Services are also available to help children and young people stay well during the pandemic. Weekly age-appropriate peer support groups are available for young people aged 8-17 to help them connect with others in the same situation; bite-size training programmes are available to promote helpful thinking, healthier behaviour and emotional resilience; and one-to-one support is available to parents of young children aged 5-7 years to encourage learning through play. Teacher and parent training and support is also available, as is one-to-one therapy for children and young people who are experiencing issues relating to bereavement, loss or life-changing illness. A full range of services is available by contacting Stay Well Children and Young People via 01782 418518 or staywell.here4u@changes.org.uk.

Council leader Abi Brown said: “These are incredibly challenging times, and we fully understand that they can be testing for households across the city, whatever your circumstances. There is support available to help you through these times, and services we commission provide professional, friendly and positive advice that can help in a range of ways. Services are available for anyone who feels they could benefit from them, so we’d like to remind residents of what is available.”

Meanwhile, the council has issued around £25m in small business grants to boost businesses across the city, and is urging around 500 businesses to come forward that may be eligible for funding but haven’t responded.

Councillor Brown said: “We received £57m from government to administer to small businesses and those in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector that meet eligibility criteria. Our team continues to work incredibly hard in issuing these grants quickly to ensure businesses that meet the criteria receive funding to keep going through the coronavirus crisis. We wrote to more than 4,600 businesses to make them aware of the funding, and we believe that there may be around 500 businesses that could be eligible to receive this money that haven’t come forward. We urge those businesses to check the criteria and complete the application process on our website.”

More details on the small business grants and eligibility criteria can be found at www.stoke.gov.uk/businessratesgrants.

A dedicated team is in place to support businesses of any size with business related queries, due to Covid-19. They can support with enquiries about property related matters, details about business loans or grants as well as information for the self-employed. The team can be contacted on 01782 236878 or by e-mail at: business.growth@stoke.gov.uk.

The council is also working through contingency plans to increase its capacity to support homeless households and victims of domestic abuse, during the pandemic. This includes working with hostel, private sector and voluntary sector partners, as well as looking at its own housing stock of temporary and emergency accommodation across the city, as appropriate.

Councillor Brown added: “We are working with a range of accommodation providers so that, if there does become a need, there is an appropriate pool of emergency and temporary accommodation to help anyone who needs support at this time.”

For more information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit Public Health England: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated.

For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.

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For all media enquiries please contact Andrew Brunt in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232671.

www.stoke.gov.uk/news

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