Health: Service can help cope with stress and depression

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Stress, anxiety and depression is real.

If you think “it will just go away on its own”, change the way you think, says Dr Andy Harris, chief operating officer at Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group.

The darker nights and the change in the weather can make us all feel a bit low. But while it’s normal to have an off day, if it affects our lives for longer it could be time to get some help.

We want to get more people accessing the support they need at the right time and we’re trying new ways of helping, including physical activity, volunteering, support with things like employment, housing issues, debt and legal advice.

If you need some help, the Leeds Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, an NHS service run by Leeds Community Healthcare and partners such as Leeds Counselling, Touchstone and Community Links, is there for you.

It helps people overcome common mental health problems like stress, anxiety or depression.

It is really easy to access local support and you don’t need to see your GP, just call 0113 843 4388 or email The service will give you really quick access to trained advisors who can talk through how you are feeling and advise on the best ways to help.

There are different kinds of support, many may not be as you might imagine.

These include stress control classes, which participants say work well in helping them cope. If you have had three or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks, then you might benefit:

Feeling anxious, on edge or unable to stop worrying

Feeling down or depressed

Feeling tired or having little energy

Becoming easily annoyed or irritable

Trouble concentrating on things

Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

Feeling bad about yourself in some way

Classes are held all over Leeds.

In addition, here are some other things you can do to help yourself feel a bit brighter:

Try not to focus on the negative parts of your life, focus on the things you can do something about.

Make time to do something you enjoy – meet up with a friend for a natter, or try out a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to have a go at.

Talk to a friend or relative about how you are feeling.

Try to tackle the things you are avoiding and face up to them little by little, as putting things off can make things worse.

Exercise makes us feel good so try and take the stairs instead of the lift, or get out in the fresh air and daylight and go for a walk.

Stress, anxiety, depression and emotional problems all affect people in different way but the important thing is you are not on your own – help is available.

Understanding coping techniques, being more in control and finding ways to overcome stress, anxiety and low mood are all ways in which the Leeds IAPT service can help you to help yourself.

So change the way you think and call 0113 843 4388 for support now or go to for more information.

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