Living Well service improving mental wellbeing of those with long term health conditions

Published October 24, 2017 at 16:04

A new ‘Living Well’ programme being delivered across Pennine Lancashire has been set up to help improve the mental health of people living with long term health conditions.

The Living Well programme offers talking therapies through groups and one-to-one sessions in GP practices and community settings, to help people come to terms with their health condition and manage anxiety or low mood that they may have as a result of living with a long term condition.

More than 15 million people in England – 30 per cent of the population – have one or more long-term conditions. This includes people with a range of conditions that can be managed but often not cured, such as diabetes, arthritis and asthma, or a number of cardiovascular diseases. Overall, according to the Kings Fund, the evidence suggests that at least 30 per cent of all people with a long-term condition also have a mental health problem.

Research demonstrates that people with long-term conditions are two to three times more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population. Depression is two to three times more common in a range of cardiovascular diseases including cardiac disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, angina, congestive heart failure, or following a heart attack. People living with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have depression than the general population. Mental health problems are around three times more common among people with respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than in the general population.

Depression is common in people with chronic musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders. Up to 33 per cent of women and more than 20 per cent of men with all types of arthritis may have depression, and more than one in five people over the age of 55 with chronic arthritis of the knee have been reported to have depression.

The ‘Living Well’ programme will offer mental health support to people in East Lancashire suffering from these common long term conditions. The programme is delivered in partnership with NHS Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, Lancashire Womens Centre, NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group. The Living Well Programme is easy to access and you don’t need to be referred to it by your GP as the programme accepts self-referrals, and consists of 1-1 sessions and therapeutic groups.

Dr Rakesh Sharma, Clinical lead at the CCGs said:

“People who suffer with term physical health condition may find that this is affecting their mental health and wellbeing. Living Well support is available across Pennine Lancashire for anyone with a long term health condition such as asthma, COPD, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and any other long term conditions.

If you suffer from a long term condition and feel low in mood, down or depressed, are having trouble sleeping or have low energy or if you are you feeling panicked, anxious or you are worrying a lot – help is available. You can contact the programme by email: referrals@livingwelllancs.org or by phoning 07434 716256.”

Living Well is available across Pennine Lancashire for anyone with a long-term health condition such as:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Heart Disease
  • IBS
  • ME
  • MSK
  • Skin conditions

Anyone wanting more information or to book onto the programme, should contact referrals@livingwelllancs.org or phone 07434 716256.