NHS FORTH VALLEY is encouraging its patients to set time aside to look after their mental health, particularly during January.

The Scottish Government’s Mind to Mind campaign, hosted on the NHS Inform website, offers resources and tips on how to help cope with poor mental health.

Videos on Mind to Mind let people share stories of how others deal with life’s challenges as well as signposting relevant helplines and resources for those who need additional or urgent support.

Dr Alistair Cook, principal medical officer, said: “It can be difficult at this time of year when it’s cold, dark and people have added worries.

“Looking after your mental health though is as important as looking after your physical health and we should all try to take steps every day to help our wellbeing.

“If you are feeling low, overwhelmed, unable to sleep, struggling to get out of bed, or just not yourself, I’d encourage you to talk to someone about how you’re feeling as it can help lighten the load. Remember support is there, so please reach out if you’re struggling.”

January is often a tough time for many, with the post-festive blues, cold dark nights and miserable weather making it difficult for people to remain positive.

Dr Nabila Muzaffar, NHS Forth Valley’s associate medical director for Mental Health, said: “A range of local and national services are available, and I would encourage anyone who needs advice or support for themselves, or a member of their family, to have a look at the Mind to Mind website or contact a support organisation.”