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Round-up: January 2020

Beat the January blues! 

To start the New Year we hear from Bikram Raychaudhuri who is a local GP and the Coastal West Sussex CCG Dementia and Adult Mental Health Clinical Lead

Feeling low or ‘blue’ is not uncommon in the winter, especially after the excess of Christmas and the New Year. For many it is a return to work, the weather is grey and we remember the (extra) amounts we spent / ate over the holiday period. However, Seasonal Affective Disorder (or – the Winter Blues) also has a ‘real’ medical basis. Theories suggest that this is due to our bodys response to daylight (or the lack thereof).  Shorter daylight hours in winter lead to production of higher levels of melatonin, which in turn can lead to feeling tired and sometimes depressed. 

But help is at hand and there are some simple tips to help change your mood, such as
  • Winter Sun – if you can, try to get out in the sun or plan a winter holiday to a sunny location. You could consider buying a light box which can help improve your mood
  • Eat yourself happy – remember to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet 
  • Get active – activity helps to change the levels of mood-regulating hormone serotonin in the brain. It may also help to get out and meet new people which could have an additional positive effect 
  • Start small - Christmas and New Year can be overwhelming so focus on small goals that are easily achieved 
If you think you are feeling low and not quite up for January, despite the methods above, help and support are available: 

Time to Talk offer talking therapies to people who are struggling with anxiety, depression or managing a long term condition. You can self-refer to the service or talk to your GP about a referral.
Samaritans offer listening and support to people in times of need by dialing 116 123 free from any phone. 
The Sussex Mental Healthline is a telephone service offering support and information to anyone experiencing mental health problems including stress, anxiety and depression. If you live in West Sussex the service is available 24/7 by calling 0300 5000 101.

Please book an appointment to discuss this further with your GP if necessary. 

Help us to help you

NHS emergency services are there for you in an emergency or life threatening situation. For medical treatment when it is not an emergency there are many other options available:
  • Call 111 for help and advice 24 hours a day
  • Go to your GP  for a telephone or face to visit appointment
  • Visit the national NHS website - the biggest health website in the UK
  • Find your nearest Minor Injury Unit or Urgent Treatment Centre 
  • Go to your local pharmacy - they can offer advice on how to treat minor illness and ailments
Our local emergency services are particularly busy at this time of please remember to chose the right service for your needs.

Name your newsletter!  

In the December newsletter we explained that from January there will be one newsletter for West Sussex which will feature news and information from across the whole county.

We also asked you to put your thinking caps on for what the combined West Sussex ePanel/Health Network should be called. So we would like to invite you to make your suggestions for what you think is a suitable name by the end of January. From all of the suggestions that we receive, we will compile a list and ask you to choose your favourite and this will happen in the Febraury or March newsletter.

From April, to coincide with the formal merging of the West Sussex CCGs, we will launch as the newly named [*INSERT NAME HERE*]

Dry January  

Dry January is the annual campaign which encourages people to give up alcohol for the month of January. It is run by the charity Alcohol Change UK.

Having a break from booze for January has lots of benefits including better skin, better sleep, healthier body and more energy. And it doesn't stop there. Studies show that 72% of people who complete Dry January are still drinking less six months later and that has real long term benefits.

Sign up today to start receiving tips and stories from other participants.

Healthwatch event

Healthwatch West Sussex are working in partnership with Rivers Learning Project Community (LPS) to hold a small Community Information event for women. Rivers LPC is an independent charity for women based in Crawley which supports women to break down barriers when seeking help and support.

Everyone is welcome to come along and meet local charities, groups and organisations, and learn what they can do to help support you. The event is free and will be held on Thursday 13 February from 9.30am to 12pm at the Broadfield Community Center, Broadfield Barton, Crawley RH11 9BA

The West Sussex CCGs will be attending along with many local organisations including:
  • Age UK  
  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • Carers Support  
  • Expert Patients Programme
  • MIND Brighton and Hove
  • St. Catherine’s Hospice
  • YMCA Downslink Group

More information is available by contacting HealthWatch West Sussex 

Find out what's in store for health and care

The Kings Fund are hosting a free online event on Wednesday 22 January from 1 - 2pm which will look at the UK health and care landscape in 2020 and explore how recent trends and future developments could affect people working in the sector, patients and members of the public.

A panel of speakers will discuss the results of the general election and what this could mean for health and care. They will also focus on some of the key issues for 2020 which include:
  • social care funding reform
  • population health and health inequalities
  • workforce
If you are interested in finding out more please register now.

The Kings Fund is an independent charity working in England to achieve the vision that the best possible health and care is available to all.

Stay warm and well  

There are a number of services in West Sussex that can help support you to keep well during the cold weather. 
  • You can register to receive cold weather alerts direct to you or your carer either by home phone, mobile, text or email. The alerts include information about when, where and how long a severe cold weather event is forecast. The service is particularly useful for those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, vulnerable residents, parents of young children, carers and healthcare professionals across the county. Receiving this information early can help you manage your health conditions and plan to keep warm and well.
  • West Sussex Energy is a partnership between the district and borough councils of West Sussex to provide householder with advice and impartial information on how to make energy more affordable. Their aim is to help local residents to keep warm and well, reduce energy usage and save money in the process. Information, top tips and advice are available by visiting the West Sussex Energy website.
  • West Sussex Wellbeing has a huge range of information about keeping you and your family well. 
  • There are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter including reading the top tips to stay Winter Ready which is provided by West Sussex County Council.

Cervical Cancer Prevention Week: 20 -26 January 

Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women aged 35, and 75% of cervical cancers are prevented by cervical screening (smear tests). Cervical Cancer Prevention Week encourages women to reduce their risk of the disease by promoting the steps they can take to look after their health. 

It is important that all women with a cervix know how cervical cancer can be prevented. This means: Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is the UK’s leading cervical cancer charity providing trustworthy information, campaign for change and provide support at every step. 

Read the latest news from our partner organisations... 

Coastal bites

We want to make sure these bulletins cover the information you want to hear about.
Please tell us what you think and if you have any ideas of what you would like to see in future issues.
For all other news stories please visit the West Sussex CCG websites:

Coastal West Sussex CCG
Crawley CCG
Horsham and Mid Sussex CCG

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