It’s Self Care Week in the UK – probably the single national awareness week that best matches talkhealth’s raison d’être. The Self Care Forum, which organises it and is targeted more than 22 million people around the country, says the week “focuses on embedding support for self care across communities, families and generations.”
At talkhealth we’ve been working hard to help people take care of their physical and mental health – and that of their family’s – since we were founded over 18 years ago.
So we’re celebrating this year’s strapline for Self Care Week, ‘Choosing Self Care for Life’ in the most appropriate way we can – by raising awareness of our growing portfolio of free support programmes, free Online Clinics and Ask the Expert sessions, and free forums, all of which benefit thousands of people every month. But we can’t rest on our laurels because we know there are tens of thousands more people out there who haven’t yet heard of our services, but who would find them helpful to live healthier and happier lives.
So, if you aren’t yet familiar with these services, in a nutshell…
Our forums are open 24 hours a day every day of the year for anyone to post questions about their health condition and share their experiences, advice and tips with other people.
Every month we hold an Online Clinic, which is open from two weeks to up to one calendar month, and an Ask the Expert session, which is open for four days. Both are focused on a specific health condition, such arthritis & pain management, mental wellbeing or eczema. Anyone can post questions to our panel of medical experts during these sessions, and our experts will reply with their professional advice.
talkhealth’s support programmes, all written by medical experts, and which range from 12 to 24 weeks, have been developed to help increase your confidence in managing your condition, and are delivered to you by email once a week.
As Dr Pete Smith, co-chair of Self Care Forum, says, “People practice self care every day when we brush our teeth, choose to exercise or eat healthily, this is self care. However, self care is also understanding how to self-treat common ailments, manage-long term conditions and avoid preventable illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.”
Everyone needs a little support to help them help themselves now and then. And as well as helping anyone who wishes to use them, talkhealth’s free services undoubtedly contribute to easing the huge burden on the NHS and on GP surgeries around the country. (However, we still stress that if anyone believes they have symptoms of a serious health condition, they should make an appointment to see their GP – and our support programmes include advice about what questions to ask to make the most of your time and theirs).
So, if you want to help raise awareness of Self Care Week, please spread the word about our free services. You can find out more about the initiative on the Self Care Forum and on the NHS website. If you’re on social media you can follow it using the hashtag #SelfCareWeek.