Clocks go forward

For many an increase in daylight hours can help to brighten people's mood but for those experiencing depression, the change in seasons can actually heighten feelings of hopelessness.

Tony McLaren, Breathing Space/ NHS Living Life National Coordinator explained: "Many people have the preconception that the brighter days will automatically lead to increased feelings of happiness and wellbeing but in fact for people who are already feeling down it can have the opposite effect. The onset of spring and summer can actually intensify their low mood which refuses to lift despite the improvement in weather and longer daylight hours."

"Perhaps this is a signal to try to make a few changes; increasing your levels of physical activity and talking to friends and family about your worries may be one way of helping to lift your mood, contacting free services such as Breathing Space or NHS Living Life for an impartial chat or to help you understand your thoughts and feelings may be another option. There are many physical, psychological and social effects associated with depression; it's best to address and understand feelings of low mood and see whether you need extra help."

Margaret Finnerty, NHS Living Life Team Leader said: "Our Self-help coaches guide individuals through self-help workbooks to help people understand some of the reasons why they are feeling low, depressed or anxious. The sessions take place fortnightly over a period of approximately six to twelve weeks over the phone at a time suitable to the individual. Our coaches can help to remind people about coping mechanisms they may have forgotten and help teach individuals new ways of coping in their life."

NHS Living Life offers a Guided Self-help service for people suffering from low mood, mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety.

If you would like to know more about Living Life please call 0800 328 9655 where arrangements will be made for you to have an appointment to discuss the service.

Living Life is open from Monday - Friday 1pm to 9pm.