Mental Health & Prevention

Looking after your body & mind

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How do I stay physically and mentally well when socially distancing or socially isolating myself?

  • Mindfulness
  • Activities to reduce anxiety
  • How can I access help in a mental health crisis?
  • Online Well-being Groups
  • Maintaining some routine

Information & guidance on Covid-19

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On this page you will find a host of resources to help you and your family through this time:

  • ’What can I do to keep me strong during this Coronavirus Pandemic?’
  • How do I stay physically and mentally well when socially distancing or socially isolating myself?
  • Watch your anxiety levels
  • Look after others
  • App to help you recover from stress, worry and low mood

/ Covid-19

Headspace is here for you. To help support you through this time of crisis, we’re offering some meditations you can listen to anytime.

These are part of a larger collection in the Headspace app — free for everyone — called Weathering the storm. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you’re feeling.

Click here for more information

Short Mindfulness films

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Dr Mike Scanlan is a local expert therapist and has provided patients across Northampton some short videos on mindfulness to help you  during this time. 

Topics to build your character strength, better decision making and tips on meditation.

Short Films created and edited by Dr Mike Scanlan.

Coping Strategies for Difficult Times

Coming soon: These three short videos about a range of skills that you can use to help you cope with the demands of life, especially the challenging situations we find ourselves in during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have been put together by Cara Leigh Hall one of the SPLWs in the Grand Union PCN as a conversation where Cara talks you through a number of techniques with some explanation of why they work. She gives you time to try them out and adapt them for your situation.

Coping Strategies 1- Two Simple Techniques to help you re-calibrate your response to anxiety and anxiety provoking situations: 5,4,3,2,1 and 7-11 Breathing

Coping Strategies 2- Skills to Improve your Tolerance to Stress. Cara talks you through 8 simple DBT Strategies to enhance your tolerance to a range of different stressful situations

Coping Strategies 3- Your Compassionate Friend- a simple strategy to help you best manage the situation that you face today, based on the book by Paul Gilbert (2020) The Compassionate Mind.

Coping Strategies

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The Action for Happiness Northamptonshire hub agreed to launch a ‘coping strategies’ newsletter on Friday 20th March on International Day of Happiness.  This then grew into a weekly newsletter when COVID19 lockdown measures were announced on Monday 23rd March.  Each edition, has helpful ideas and suggestions to keep physically and mentally well through this period and beyond.

Social Prescribing
Link Workers

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A non-clinical service to enhance health and well-being

What is Social Prescribing? 

Social prescribing is a new service designed to support people with a wide range of social, emotional or practical needs with the focus on improving mental health and physical well-being. We recognise that people’s health and well-being is affected by a wide range of social, economic and environmental factors and so we take a holistic approach and aim to support people take greater control of their own health and well-being.

Well-being Action Plan



As a federation we are promoting people to know how to take care of themselves, And be able to access self-management resources especially to promote positive well-being

The enclosed well-being action plan highlights some of these resources and also put them within the framework of the five ways to well-being : Giving, Relating, Exercise, Awareness and Trying something new.  In particular we also recommend people to review the Action for Happiness website.

Writing an action plan can improve your well-being. Your GP/nurse may highlight some things they think could be included. However it is your well-being plan and you are in control. Start today at the by clicking the link and look at it regularly to help you to stay on track.

My Well-being Action Plan

Great Dream

Everyone's path to happiness is different. 

Based on the latest research, Action for Happiness have identified 10 Keys to Happier Living that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell "GREAT DREAM". 

For each of the ten keys, you'll find information, questions, resources and suggested actions to help apply them in your daily life.

All you need to do is follow this link:

Action for Happiness

Do you want your organisation to be part of a social movement promoting positive mental health in Northampton?

Northampton’s General Practice Alliance is promoting Action for Happiness to increase positive mental health in Northampton

Positive mental health:                                                     

  • Increases creativity and productivity
  • Reduces sickness absence
  • Increases healthy behaviour
  • Most interventions are low key and easy to implement
  • Following the GREAT DREAM actions can improve individual and corporate wellbeing
  • Poor mental health has a negative economic cost.
  • Supporting managers and Human Resource leaders to better understand mental health will benefit both employees and businesses

To find out more, visit

Also visit our Northampton Action for Happiness Facebook page, for details of local activity, events and courses.  

We are especially looking for partners to help us promote Action for Happiness across Northampton and wider – be part of something GREAT! For further information please visit the Action for Happiness website via the link above, or contact us on

Happy Cafe


On 14th June 2018, local independent business, Dapper Sandwich Company, became Northampton’s first Happy Cafe as accredited by international charity, Action for Happiness. The launch event was held at the cafe, earlier this month.

The concept of a happy cafe is to create a friendly and welcoming place to meet other people with a shared interest in promoting happiness and well-being. Dapper Sandwich has a range of literature, posters, pamphlets and postcards relating to happiness on display - and Action for Happiness supporters can identify themselves to each other by wearing a lapel badge available at the Café. There will also be a schedule of monthly events to help promote happiness and well-being in the community.

Heather's Cafe - Northampton

There is now a second happy cafe to have opened in Northampton. Heather's Cafe in Kingsley Park Terrace. 

Heather's hosts weekly craft groups, chronic pain support groups and the Northants fifty plus network, which meets on the last Friday of the month at 2pm. You can also just pop in when you want to. As part of the Happy Cafe Network we aim to get people feeling happier, and that starts with a smile and a chat.

To find out more click here

Depression Pathway

Dr Smart is also working
on Suicide Mitigation
training with member
practices. This links in
with GP Surgeries being
able to spot signs of
suicide and depression
using a tool on GP
systems. To learn more,
follow the link below.

Find out more

The Depression Pathway aims to:

- Alleviate or remove the symptoms of depression

- Build personal resilience in Northamptonshire people

- Promote Happy workplace where people are supported and enabled to return to work

- Reduce suicide in Northamptonshire

Dr David Smart, GPA director and lead in Mental Health created the Depression Pathway and explains the primary outcomes of the pathway below:

- Identify depression quickly and accurately
- To provide safe and effective treatment appropriate to the individual that support choice, hope and opportunity to enable them to have control over their recovery.
- To co-produce with people who have lived experience how best to develop and promote the pathway.
- To promote physical health/holistic care of people with depression.
- To involve carers/friends and family and workplace how best to support peoples recovery.