Help beat the January blues with PositiveMinds

January can be a difficult month – the thrill of the festive season is over and spring seems a long way off. But for Portsmouth residents who are struggling to cope, there’s a free service on hand to help people look after their emotional wellbeing – PositiveMinds.

It is there for people who are living through low mood, anxiety, or who feel overwhelmed and helpless in face of problems such as money, housing, relationships, work, bereavement, leaving the Forces, or living away from home at university.

After opening its doors in late December to offer support over Christmas, the drop in service on Middle Street is now open from Monday to Saturday – and is ready to offer support and guidance to anyone in need.

Cllr Matthew Winnington, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care visited the new service recently and said: “Taking care of your emotional health is so important – particularly as we’re approaching ‘Blue Monday’, when the stresses and strains of life can start to take a toll. It was inspiring to have the opportunity to meet the PositiveMinds team – they’re a lovely group of people who offer holistic support and can help signpost people to other services that can help get things back on track.”

Solent Mind Wellbeing Advisors, who have experience of living with, and through, mental health issues are available at the new site to provide practical advice, coping skills, and peer support, in partnership with colleagues from Solent NHS, Portsmouth City Council, and the voluntary sector.

The service’s opening hours are Monday to Friday from 12.30pm – 7.30pm and Saturday 10.30am – 1.30pm. PositiveMinds is based on Melbourne Place just off Middle Street, about 50 yards south of Winston Churchill Avenue.

PositiveMinds is a partnership between Solent Mind, Solent NHS Trust, NHS Portsmouth CCG, and Portsmouth City Council. It is funded by the local NHS, the council, and Armed Forces grants. Find out more at www.positivemindsportsmouth.org.uk

Please note: PositiveMinds is designed to help a wide range of people, but it is not a crisis service or a “mental health A&E”. If anyone needs help urgently they should call NHS 111, which now offers specialist mental health nurses, or the Samaritans on 116 123. If there is an immediate risk to someone’s safety, please dial 999.

Mental health support in Portsmouth

PositiveMinds is one of a number of projects to improve emotional wellbeing in Portsmouth that health, social care and voluntary and community groups are working together to deliver. Other projects include Towards Better Health, which provides mental health nurses to support homeless people, the Time to Change Hub, the creation of a mental health crisis card available for individuals and groups, and Portsmouth Interaction, run by BH Live to provide sports and leisure activities to those experiencing mental illness.