Mental health crisis support

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, help is at hand. 24 hour access to urgent mental health crisis support for adults, children or young people across Bedfordshire and Luton is now available. The service is accessed by calling NHS 111 and selecting option 2.

Total Wellbeing Luton service update

Total Wellbeing Luton remains available to support people with their emotional or physical wellbeing via the telephone or via online platforms. Call 0300 555 415 or visit the website.

Physical activity and mental health - Luton Council

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Physical activity

The government has updated and eased some of the restrictions placed upon sport and physical activity as part of the lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
It's more important now than ever, during this especially challenging time, to remain physically active. Being active can help to:
  • improve your physical health
  • manage stress and anxiety
  • generally make you feel better during times of uncertainty

What are the current government guidelines on going out to exercise?

  • You can go outside for an unlimited amount of exercise alone, with members of your household, or with up to five others from different households as long as you remain two metres apart from anyone outside your household.
  • If you play team sports you can meet to train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions in groups no larger than six providing social distancing is maintained. Any activity involving physical contact is not allowed and equipment sharing should kept to a minimum. Strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after.
  • You can use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or with up to five others from outside your household whilst staying 2 meters apart. You should take particular care if you need to use any indoor facilities next to these outdoor courts, such as toilets.
  • You should not use these facilities if you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating.
  • Outdoor gyms, playgrounds and outdoor swimming pools remain closed.
  • There are no restrictions on how far you can travel for exercise or outside activity within England, so long as you return to the place you live, and do not stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose. This includes visiting second homes.  You should avoid using public transport, and shouldn’t travel with someone from outside your household unless you can practice social distancing – for example cycling.

Please note: if visiting other parts of the UK - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - you must follow the laws and guidance in place.

A guide to being active at home during the coronavirus outbreak

This booklet has been developed to support older people and those who are shielded to be active and healthy at home.

There's a wealth of free online content to help you get active outdoors and at home:

  • The Luton Hat Trail comprised of two different tours of the town. Originally guided tours but could be done by individuals
  • Upper Lea Valley Walk is an easy self-guided stroll from the source of the River Lea following the course of the river into the green areas of the town and town centre continuing into the Bedfordshire countryside to the borough boundary at lower Harpenden road and beyond
  • Lets Go! Website provides a list of some walking/cycling routes around Luton
  • Couch to 5k: a nine week programme of podcasts, consisting of three runs a week, the programme gradually builds up intensity and provides a choice of coaches
  • Active 10 app: from the NHS is a good way to monitor and gradually increase brisk walking levels over time. It’s available to download via the App Store and Google Play
  • This girl can has put together a useful list of exercises to try at home, from table top press ups to living room wall sits - great for both women and men.
  • You can follow home workout videos from the NHS which includes a strengthening workout and a 10-min cardio workout.
  • NHS seated exercise routines for older people and those with limited mobility routines for older people and those with limited mobility
  • 10 today: a series of  ten minute workout videos for older people
  • There are a number of websites with online home workouts that you can watch and do whenever, some for free or with a free trial period. For example, Fitness Blender has over 500 free workout videos
  • Active Luton: free 30 minute Facebook live workouts and yoga sessions Facebook live and YouTube

You can find more resources from Sport England, and use #StayInWorkOut to share and find ideas on staying active.

Getting active with the kids

Get the whole family moving with these fun and free resources:

  • This Girl Can have teamed up with Disney to create dance routines to help you get active with your kid.
  • Change4Life has created some Disney themed indoor games and activities, including a Toy Story 4 inspired find Forky game that and fun and designed to get the kids moving.
  • BBC Supermovers is a fun online curriculum linked resources originally designed to promote active classrooms but could be used at home to aid homework provide an activity break with singing and dancing routines for children to join in with across different key stages.
  • Change4Life have accessible activitiesfor children and young people with disabilities.
  • Free yoga workouts for children with iMoves.
  • Stories, yoga and fun with Cosmic Kids.
  • Get moving with GoNoodle YouTube page.
  • Follow @GetSet4PE on twitter for daily tasks to keep kids active .
  • Active kids do better supports to help families get active.
  • Jump start your day with JSJ.


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Mental health and wellbeing

Total Wellbeing Luton remains available to support people with their emotional or physical wellbeing via the telephone or via online platforms. Call 0300 555 4152 or visit the Total Wellbeing Luton website.

Recent government measures mean that the majority of us are spending a lot of time at home, with many of our regular social activities and interactions no longer available to us.

The current coronavirus outbreak can be scary and can affect your mental health. There are many things you can do to support and manage your mental wellbeing during such times.

How do I manage my mental wellbeing?

Manage your media and information intake

There's extensive news and social media coverage about the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst it's crucial to stay informed, it's important to find a balance to protect your mental wellbeing.

If you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, you may want to consider limiting the time you spend on coverage of coronavirus, including social media. Use trustworthy sources of information to help you feel more in control.

Reliable sources of information include:

Managing your emotions

Concern about coronavirus is perfectly normal, but if constant negative thoughts are making you feel anxious or overwhelmed there are a number of ways to help manage your emotions.

Remember that this is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling and the things you are doing to cope with family and friends can help them too.

Try some of these useful resources for support and activities:

Mental wellbeing resources for adults

Mental health crisis support

Mental wellbeing resources for children and young people

See guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

Managing your feelings about changes to lockdown
Young people maybe stressed about change and uncertainty over the past few months and as lockdown begins to ease. Mind for better mental health website has information available to help young people understand their feelings about changes to lockdown, and give them some positive ways to cope and adjust.

Local support in Luton is available via:

Managing your feelings about changes to lockdown
Young people maybe stressed about change and uncertainty over the past few months and as lockdown begins to ease. Mind for better mental health website has information available to help young people understand their feelings about changes to lockdown, and give them some positive ways to cope and adjust.


Luton Total Wellbeing Service - for young people aged 16 years and above
Total Wellbeing Luton remains available to support people with their emotional or physical wellbeing via the telephone or via online platforms. Call 0300 555 415 or visit the website. If you are already engaging with them, they will contact you to tell you your options to receive support.

Tokko counselling for young people aged 10 to 15 years
Tokko provides short-term counselling to enable young people to share their problems in private. You can find out more about this and other support Tokko provides via their website. Email Ella on or call 01582 544990. If you are wondering if counselling is for you, take a look at the counselling case studies on the website to help you decide.

CHUMS Emotional wellbeing service - for everyone aged up to 18 years
CHUMS offer short and medium term support to children and young people up to 18 years old to support a variety of needs such as :

  • low moods
  • low self-worth
  • anxiety and phobias
  • self-harm
  • other emotional support

The service is open and providing support by phone, WhatsApp, Facetime and Skype as well as virtual drop-ins. You can refer yourself:

CAMHS - for everyone
If you are already working with CAMHS, they are providing support by phone rather than face to face. You can contact them on 01525 638613 between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and a clinician will discuss your concerns and provide you with advice.

ChatHealth - a text service for 11 to 19 year olds in Luton
An easy, private and anonymous way to ask questions about your health. You can now text a nurse on 07520 616070 to ask any health related questions you might have including mental health, drugs, relationships, healthy eating and much more. Available from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (except bank holidays).

Kooth - for young people aged 10 to 16 years old
Kooth is a free, safe and anonymous online counselling service for young people providing support from qualified counsellors via your mobile, tablet and desktop computer. Young people can access support directly without needing a referral by joining KOOTH online.

Kooth is available for young people aged 11-19 living in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.

  • Children and young people can chat online to professional counsellors
  • read articles written by young people
  • join forums to receive peer-to-peer support
  • access self-help materials and keep a daily journal
  • Regular forums cover topics ranging from exam stress and anxiety to eating disorders and grief

If your child needs a bit of extra support, is worrying about the future or is experiencing difficulties at school or at home, please do encourage them to use this new anonymous and free service. Young People can sign up to the service online and access self-help materials, articles and forums linked to emotional wellbeing.

Helplines (if you want to talk to someone)

HOPELINEUK - call 0800 068 41 41 or text 0778 620 9697
A specialist telephone service for support, practical advice and information to young people up to the age of 35 who are worried about how they are feeling or anyone who is concerned about a young person. Is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 10pm, Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays 2pm to 10pm.

ChildLine - call 0800 1111
ChildLine have counsellor to talk to for free anytime by calling 0800 1111. You can also log in for 1-2-1 chat and get support.

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger - text “YM” to 85258
A free crisis messenger service support across the UK. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need support, you can text YM to 85258.

Samaritans - call 116 123
Talk to a trained volunteer anytime for free non-judgemental support by calling 166 123.

NHS Direct - call 111
NHS Direct can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do.

Samaritans - call 116 123
Talk to a trained volunteer anytime for free non-judgemental support by calling 166 123.

Accident & Emergency (A&E) at your local hospital
If you feel you cannot keep yourself safe, it is best to attend your local A&E so they can help to keep you safe.

Other resources

  • Stay at home activities
    See our page for lots of ideas from education resources to card games, recipes and other online resources. Also includes guidance for parents and carers
  • Family Lives
    Has lots of online parenting advice and support
  • MoodJuice
    Has a range of online resources around mental health

Keeping connected

It's easy to feel isolated and lonely whilst spending a lot of time indoors and, potentially, away from loved ones and friends. Whilst it is vital to follow social distancing and stay at home guidance, maintaining relationships with friends and family is very important for mental wellbeing.

Whether over the phone, via messaging or online, regularly connecting with others will enhance your mental wellbeing during this time.

Help and support others

Think about how you could help those around you - it could make a big difference to them and can make you feel better too. Could you message a friend or family member nearby? Are there online community groups that you could join to support others locally?

Remember it’s important to do this in line with guidance on coronavirus to keep yourself and everyone safe. And try to be accepting of other people’s concerns, worries or behaviours.

Look after your physical wellbeing

Your physical health has a big impact on how you're feeling emotionally and mentally. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse.

Try to:

  • eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • drink enough water
  • exercise inside where possible and outside once a day
  • avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs

More useful resources:

  • Active Luton are making and promoting videos for exercising at home. There is currently a series of live exercise sessions on Facebook
  • Active Luton's School Games is providing daily/weekly challenges for children in schools
  • Team Beds and Luton Facebook page is posting videos of home exercises and have a dedicated section of their website about getting active at home

Get enough sleep

Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Good quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically, so it’s important to get enough.

Try to:

  • maintain regular sleeping patterns
  • follow good sleep practices – like avoiding screens before bed
  • cut back on caffeine
  • create a restful environment
The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.

Structure your day

In the absence of normal daily routines, you may find it helpful to structure your day to manage worry or boredom. Sticking to your normal routines is advisable where possible, for example trying to wake up, eat and go to sleep at similar times.

Do things you enjoy

When you're anxious, lonely or low you may do things that you usually enjoy less often, or not at all, try:

  • focussing on your favourite hobby
  • learning something new
  • taking time to relax indoors to:
    • give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings
    • boost your mood

If staying at home restricts this try to think about how you could adapt them, or try something new that keeps your mind active and works for you.

Bring nature into your everyday life

Spending time in green spaces can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. If you can’t get outside much you can try to still get these positive effects:

  • open the windows to let in fresh air and get some natural sunlight
  • get out into the garden if you have one

Remember that social distancing guidelines enable you to go outside to exercise once a day as long as you keep 2 metres apart from others who are not members of your household group.

Latest updates

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