Merton gives residents a helping hand to healthy l

All libraries in Merton will soon have wellbeing information points available to visitors who want to find out more about the mental health services available to them in the borough, get help with stress management and access a raft of other wellbeing information.

Drop in services are also available at Mitcham Library and will shortly be rolled out to Pollards Hill, Raynes Park and Morden libraries between now and the end of July. The drop in service will give people free access to a wellbeing co-ordinator for one to one advice and assessments without the need for an appointment.

This service will help to reduce waiting times for people who need access to anxiety and low mood management courses, guided self-help sessions as well as other more intensive therapies but might otherwise have to book in for an assessment elsewhere.

The drop in service co-ordinators will also run a range of free workshops for Merton residents including confidence and assertiveness building, managing stress in the workplace, eating and living well along with mental health awareness training.

Sutton and Merton PCT Chief Executive Bill Gillespie said:” In addition to this we are investing over £2.4M to increase mental health therapy services in our area to ensure patients get faster access to the care they need closer to home. It is hoped we will improve the health of our residents by giving them treatment earlier to prevent more serious conditions.”

Merton Council’s cabinet member for Adult Care Services and Health Councillor Maurice Groves said: “We are committed to improving the health and happiness of our residents. By providing information points and drop in services at our local libraries in Merton, we are putting the needs of residents first and ensuring they can have better access to the advice and support they need in their daily lives.

“The free workshops are designed to help reduce stress both at home and work. Increasingly, levels of work stress are spilling over into our private lives. These workshops will suggest ways to alleviate stress along with providing helpful dietary information and advice.”

The service and workshops are funded by the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust’s Choosing Health Funding and are available to all people over the age of 18 who live in Merton. All they need to do is fill in a referral form online at http://www.wellbeingservices.co.uk or pick one up from any Merton library or GP surgery and drop it into their local library or send to Imagine, Suite 64-65, The Grange, 1 Central Road, Morden, SM4 5PQ.

For more information residents should call 0203 178 2550 or visit http://www.wellbeingservices.co.uk