The Coronavirus pandemic has seen North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s Community Link Workers delivering new activities to support people across our communities.

As well assisting in the community hubs in each locality, which have been providing advice and services such as food and prescription deliveries to isolating people, some members of the team are now also delivering a mental health improvement course to key Partnership staff, with the longer term aim being to offer this service to groups in the community.

Community Link Workers Leeanne Killen and Ainsley Leck delivered their first ‘Mental Health Improvement – A Practical Approach’ workshop recently to colleagues at the Dirrans Centre rehabilitation facility in Kilwinning.

The session provided information, skills and simple self-help tools that enable participants to manage their own mental well-being, build personal resilience and cope better in times of stress, anxiety or low mood.

In response to Covid-19 and the issues that have arisen for individuals and families, the Community Link Worker team are working hard to enhance their service. You can keep up to date with new developments on their website at www.carena.org.uk, or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/careandsupportNA

The team also recently ran a successful ‘Happy Hour’ campaign on Facebook, where they posted daily self-help ideas, upbeat messages and fun, family activities to bring some positivity in a time where feedback had shown that many people were finding social media content to be negative and unsupportive.

Community Link Workers can help you to improve your mental and physical well-being by providing support and information on a wide range of issues, including managing stress, local activities and support groups, employment, a healthy lifestyle, alcohol and drugs and living with health conditions.

Statistics show that at least one in four patients see their doctor for social problems and community advice. For these patients, guidance and signposting to relevant services can help to improve quality of life, emotional state and general well-being, as well as reducing levels of anxiety.

Telephone support is still available throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, and you can book an appointment with a Community Link Worker by calling your local practice.

Councillor Robert Foster, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “This type of one on one support can give patients control over their own health and well-being, offering support and practical advice that can make a real difference in their lives.

“It can also help to reduce feelings of social isolation, with Community Link Workers having more time to talk through each patient’s own situation, leaving GPs with more time to concentrate on issues of a medical nature.”