It feels hardly possible that we’re at the end of 2021! In a group recently we were asked to sum up the past year by completing the sentence "2021: The Great Year of..."; I went for "The Great Year of Endurance".
We've had nearly two years of uncertainty and anxiety, coping with the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic, but we've also seen people find strength and ways to absorb this, to create a new normality, to carry on despite the difficulties and hardships. It is inspiring and a privilege that people allow Healthy Minds into their lives, and I am proud of the hard work and creativity that the team of staff and volunteers put into making sure that support is available to Calderdale's communities in as many ways as possible. My thanks to everyone who has been part of this through the year.
Whilst some services are taking a break over the festive period, the Safespace team are still here every evening except Christmas Day - extra thanks to them. Next year brings some new services to Healthy Minds including piloting Safespace in A&E, and community emotional health & wellbeing teams working throughout Calderdale, in addition to everything we already offer.
If 2022 turns out to ask yet more of all of us, Healthy Minds is in a good place to help you get through it. The full team is back in force from 4th January. Until then, we wish everyone a healthy, Happy Christmas and New Year.
- Jonny Richardson-Glenn, Chief Officer
"This time of year can put a lot of pressure on us but it's important to remember the best give we can give each other this Christmas is support, kindness and a listening ear." - Sam
"Christmas isn't everybody's cup of tea but 'This too shall pass'" - Wendy
"For those of us estranged from our families or who are grieving losses; family occasions such as Christmas can be a tough time of year. It's important we remember to reach out if we need to." - Christine
At this time of year it is even more important to look after yourself, find time for yourself, and to do plenty of self-care to get you through. Try spend time outside in natural light, plan ahead as much as you can and reach out to others if you don't feel well. Take a look at our little winter wellbeing activity booklet for ideas!
Find below some information to help you stay safe and keep yourself well this winter, and emergency contacts further down the page if you need urgent support. We have also included local Covid advice.
Local guides and service information:
Coping with Christmas: Information from Mind.
VSI Winter Directory: Useful information on local support and services around mental health, physical health, Covid isolation support, support for people experiencing loneliness, food support and specialist support (e.g. for carers, South Asian communities, disabled people or learning disabled people and the elderly or older people).
Winter Wise Booklet: The Calderdale guide to staying safe and warm this winter.
Together We Can: Handy NHS information to answer any questions around accessing healthcare this Christmas.
Connected at Christmas: Activities over the Christmas period from Staying Well.
Emergency Food In Calderdale Booklet: Emergency food, free meals, and support contacts in Calderdale this winter from The Calderdale Food Poverty Forum and the VSI Alliance.
Free Christmas Dinner at Mexi Bean, Sowerby Bridge. For the homeless and elderly from 1 - 3pm. Tel 01422 833 000
Healthy Holidays Calderdale Programme: free holiday club for children on free school meals.
Healthwatch Calderdale have put together some information about health services available over Christmas and New Year.
LAB Courses for employability: Want to start something new in 2022? Gain skills and employability? Proper Job Theatre Company have opportunities on their LAB courses for people who are 19+ and unemployed, and you will receive a £50 voucher on completion. Find out more about the LAB projects here.
Emergency contacts & mental health support
If you are in danger:
Call 999 emergency services.
If you are in crisis:
NHS mental health crisis line (24 hours) 0800 183 0558
Or call 999.
If you are in emotional distress, and feel like you are on the edge of crisis:
Local NHS helpline: There is now a 24 hour mental health helpline for anyone registered with a GP in Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. Call 0800 183 0558
Safespace, Healthy Minds (Everyday apart from Christmas day 6.30pm-10.30pm) 07388990227
Samaritans (24 hours) 116 123
SANE request a call back on 07984 967 708
Shout text line (24 hrs) Text 'SHOUT' to 85258
South West Yorkshire Partnership Grief and Loss Support Service: (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) use the online chat or Call 0808 1963833
If you are a young person or child in distress:
Night OWLS is a confidential support line for children and young people in crisis. Helping them, their parents and carers living in Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.Open 8pm – 8am every day, you can contact Night OWLS on freephone 0300 2003900, by text 07984 392700 or chat on www.wynightowls.org.uk.
HopeLine UK - PAPYRUS: under 35s (9am - 12am) call 0800 068 41 41
HopeLine UK - PAPYRUS: under 35s (9am - 12am) text 07860039967
The Mix: under 25s (3pm-12am) 0808 808 4994
The Mix: under 25s crisis text line. Text THE MIX to 85258
Childline: Help line for children - call 0800 1111
If you are experiencing domestic abuse:
Information booklet here from Calderdale Staying Safe, if you are 16 or over, female or male and have experienced any form of Domestic Abuse, Calderdale Staying Safe can support you- call 01422 323339.
Refuge: domestic abuse helpline (24 hours) 0808 2000 247
Non-urgent mental health support/information:
Kooth.com (age 10-18) and Qwell.io (18+) are mental health support services that are available every day of the year - which means our counsellors and practitioners will still be available to chat online right across the holidays. For the specific hours that counsellors and practitioners are available on Kooth and Qwell (including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day). Kooth.com and Qwell.io offers support and advice that is:
- BACP accredited
- same day
- no waiting lists
- no referrals/ thresholds/ criteria
VitaMinds NHS Calderdale self-referral
South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Trust services for adults and children
OpenMinds Calderdale for children and young people
Time Out - run by Healthy Minds, for children and young people
Covid this winter
As we enter the festive period with new national COVID-19 guidelines, Calderdale Council is giving advice on how we can all make Christmas as safe and merry as possible.
With increasing cases of the Omicron variant nationally, the Government has moved to its COVID Plan B. Face coverings are required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport unless people are medically exempt; people are advised to work from home if they can; and from 15 December, the NHS Covid Pass is mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather.
To help people enjoy the festive period whilst reducing the spread of COVID-19, the Council is encouraging people to take the following steps to help protect each other, alongside the new national rules:
The Council continues to give advice to care homes and is supporting them to implement the new guidance. Proactive work has continued throughout the pandemic to support safe visiting practices and maintain infection prevention and control measures.
For up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, use trusted sources such as:
This year we shared some Winter Wellbeing packs with our community. If you didn't get a chance to pick one up at our winter warmer - you can download the booklet here! Please be aware that the booklet has been designed with a layout to be printed and stapled in the middle, so the page numbers look a little scrambled when viewing online.
In the booklet you can find some activities contributed by staff and volunteers for staying well during the winter period.
You can also download our alternative Christmas decorations activity sheet here, and make your own version of what Christmas should look like! We have included some quotes from our service users to inspire you...