Don’t let money worries make you ill
Being worried about your finances can often lead to health problems directly through stress and insomnia and indirectly with increased alcohol consumption and smoking. You can find help and useful information through:
- Quit4Life – the Hampshire quit smoking service. If you really want to stop, the evidence shows smokers who attend Quit4Life sessions are up to four times more likely to succeed than those who try to quit by willpower alone. You can contact Hampshire's Quit4Life NHS Stop Smoking Service by calling 0845 602 4663, texting QUIT to 60123 or by referral from a GP or any health professional. Sessions are free, open to everyone and are run by professional smoking cessation advisers, who can give out free stop smoking medication.
- For advice and support on reducing alcohol consumption please visit http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/alcohol/Pages/Alcoholsupport.aspx
- There is a strong link between our mind and our body and how you feel can be affected by the lifestyle choices you make. And if you do have a mental health issue, your mental wellbeing may be improved by implementing small changes to your lifestyle. The following website: http://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/health-and-wellbeing/ has extensive information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and how to access mental health services.
- Stress is the way you feel when you are under too much pressure and it can cause illness, physical and emotional problems. NHS Hampshire recommends trying to identify the underlying causes of the stress and seeing if you can make changes to reduce it. Talking things through with family and friends can help, as can relaxation and physical activity. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you feel you need to. Remember that your GP can offer advice and support. If you’re not registered with a doctor
or would like to change your GP, you can find out more about GP surgeries in your area, the
services they offer and opening times by calling 01962 853361 or visiting www.nhs.uk
Basingstoke and Deane has a range of opportunities for you to get active. Information about the many formal sports facilities and clubs is provided on the website of Sport Hampshire and Isle of Wight: Find a club or facility
But remember, you don't need expensive equipment or to join a gym or sports club to keep physically active. Trainers or comfortable walking shoes are all you need for enjoying brisk walks. Why not join one of the free Health Walks which are available as part of the accredited Walking the Way to Health scheme? They are suitable for all abilities, led by an experienced walk leader, cater for beginners to regular walkers and are a great way of meeting new people and enjoying your local area.
Taking half an hour to play with the kids is a free, fun way of being active. Dig out the frisbee, ball or skipping rope and head off to your local park or open space to have a laugh – you’ll feel great!
For other simple ideas on how to keep active please download the Get Moving Get Active brochure or contact the council on 01256 844844 to request your copy.
The following websites also provide ideas and information about keeping active:
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service can give free advice of fire safety and smoke alarms
Walking or cycling to work
Find out the best route with the Basingstoke Cycle Network Map. The map shows existing and proposed cycle routes across the town, including local cycle parking locations. Download the cycle routes map or call 01256 845772 for a copy.
Advice on commuting initiatives is available from the Hampshire County Council website . Other organisations, such as Sustrans, Cycling England and Living Streets, offer advice and information on the benefits and opportunities for walking and cycling:
Walk to school initiatives
Hampshire County Council also has information on the benefits of walking (and cycling) to school as well as practical guidance on school travel plans and safer routes to schools and other connected information or call 01962 857 454.
Small changes to what you eat can make a difference to your health and your purse. For some ideas and guidance on healthy eating, please visit the following websites:
Free school meals
Free school meals are available to children whose parents or guardians are in receipt of one or more of the following benefits:
- Income support
- Income-based jobseeker's allowance
- Employment and support allowance (income related) – from 27 October 2008 Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- Families in receipt of child tax credit will also qualify provided that (a) they are not entitled to working tax credit, and (b) their annual income, as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, does not exceed £15,575 as at 6 April 2008 (subject to annual review).
- Guarantee element of state pension credit
No other benefits qualify for free school meals.
Applications for free meals should be made directly to the school(s) the children attend. For more information about Free Meals, please call 023 8062 7735 or visit Free school meals eligibility .