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MindSpace Stamford urges people to reach out for mental health support during third lockdown

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People struggling with their mental health during this third national lockdown are being urged to reach out for support - because it is out there.

MindSpace in Stamford, a charity that supports people’s mental wellbeing, has a range of online classes which will be continuing throughout lockdown.

Sessions include yoga, sketching, shared reading, movement and ‘tea and chat’.

Dr Dan Petrie from MindSpace Stamford. Photo: Louise Goss
Dr Dan Petrie from MindSpace Stamford. Photo: Louise Goss

MindSpace is also opening its Broad Street premises for anyone not able to access online sessions, although people are being urged to book in advance.

Dr Dan Petrie, who founded MindSpace, said it was important for people to look after their mental and emotional health during what would be a challenging lockdown in the cold and dark winter months.

But Dr Petrie said there were also “positives” during this lockdown.

“We now have support bubbles, which we didn’t have the first time around, and you can exercise with one person from another household,” said Dr Petrie.

“There are some positives that we have learned since the first, harsher lockdown.”

He said that 2020 had “depleted everyone’s surge capacity”, which is a collection of systems humans draw on to cope with short-term issues such as natural disasters.

“In the middle of winter, when we can’t go out and do things like we did last spring, people have no reserves left,” said Dr Petrie.

“It is going to be a struggle for some people and we are already seeing evidence of that. We are going to see increasing need for mental health support.”

Asked for his message to people who were struggling for the first time, he said: “We all have mental and emotional health.

“If, for the first time in your life, this unprecedented crisis is making you realise that you are not superhuman and that you might be struggling, then reach out.

“In the first instance, speak to your friends and family because they are the ones that know you and love you, and they will want to help.

“But it is just about making connections and it all comes back to the community. Getting out for a walk with a friend can be a big help.”

MindSpace has partnered the Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, which has a round-the-clock mental health helpline, and a separate one for children and young people.

The helpline was launched at the end of 2019 just before the pandemic was declared.

Dr Petrie is now the primary care mental health lead for Lincolnshire, setting the course for provision in the county and ensuring that community resources such as MindSpace in Stamford and Don’t Lose Hope in Bourne, are working with NHS providers to ensure people can receive the help they need, no matter where the referral comes from.

In April, a new scheme will be rolled out in Stamford to help “balance the chasm between the services”, Dr Dan said.

This will see Don’t Lose Hope, Tonic Health in Spalding, The Beehive Centre in Grantham and Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind working in a more collaborative way on issues, including eating disorders and personality disorders.

To become involved in MindSpace’s online sessions, which anyone can take part in, visit www.mindspacestamford.com.

Anyone with no internet access can call 01780 437330.

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