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Updated news stories weekly.  Published online only. en Southport and Mersey Reporter

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Publication date:- 2016-12-23

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 8.

Coping with the Festive Season

CHRISTMAS and New Year can be a difficult time for many of us, with people experiencing difficulties such as:- low mood, stress, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Others may feel socially isolated or may have recently been bereaved and perhaps unable to tell people how they feel.

Access Sefton provides NHS talking therapies services to people experiencing a wide range of common mild to moderate mental health conditions. Services include face to face or telephone consultations and workshops to people aged 16+ who live in Sefton and are available from a number of accessible locations across the borough.

The service is delivered in partnership by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and Insight Healthcare on behalf of the borough's 2 clinical commissioning groups, NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG.

NHS South Sefton CCG clinical lead for mental health, Dr Sue Gough, said:- "Access Sefton supports people with conditions including anxiety, depression and stress, and treatments can help people develop strategies to cope better. Residents can be referred by their GP or they are able to self refer into the service if they'd prefer."

Ryan Forrest, Deputy Operations Manager of Access Sefton added:- "We are very pleased to enable people to seek help early on, allowing them continue their day to day lives without any negative impact. Having someone to talk to, that won't judge, tell you what to do or how to feel, can really help."

For more information about how talking to Access Sefton can help you, call us on:- (0151) 955 3200, you can also contact them online or ask your GP for more information about our services.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or you know someone who is, seek immediate help or contact your GP or one of the support services that are organisations listed below:-

►  Samaritans:- 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours)

►  MIND:- 0300 123 3393 (9.00am to 6.00pm)

►  CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably):- 0800 58 58 58 or text:- 07537 404717 (5.00pm to Midnight)

►  Papyrus HOPELineUK:- 0800 068 41 41 (young people under 35's)

►  Cruse Helpline:- 0844 477 9400.

Professional Drivers on course to be aware of cyclists

PROFESSIONAL drivers are being given training to make them more aware of cyclists on the road.

Merseyside Road Safety Partnership has provided funding for the training which is aimed at making drivers more aware of the risks of vulnerable road users and help them avoid accidents.

The course aims to help drivers understand cycling, recognize hazards and give them guidance on how to avoid them, reinforce the Highway Code and emphasise the importance of the use of mirrors and the potential dangers of blind spots.

Drivers from Liverpool Street Scene services, which includes refuse collectors and street cleansers, are among those who have already benefited from the training which is provided by BikeRight, the cycle training organisation.

The course also offers the opportunity to gain practical experience of cycling on the roads accompanied by qualified National Standards cycling instructors.

Councilor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said:- "As cycling in the City increases in popularity and more journeys are made by bike it is important that all drivers are aware of cyclists. This training was specially tailored for those who drive for a living and Streetscene employees have taken part to enable them to better assess situations involving cyclists and ultimately avoid accidents."

The course will take place in February and March next week and for more information and to sign up online.

Liz Clarke, managing director of BikeRight!, said:- "Courses aimed at LGV drivers have a positive impact on road safety. Getting drivers out of their vehicles and on to bicycles on busy roads is a real eye opener. After just a few minutes sharing the road with heavy traffic the penny really drops about how challenging it is for cyclists using city centre streets."

All of the courses are approved by the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) and contribute to drivers Certificate of Professional Competence, or DriverCPC as it is known in the industry.  The course is also available for bus and coach drivers and has been incorporated in to new bus driver training by Merseytravel.

Matthew Chamberlain, Employment and Skills Officer for Merseytravel added:- "Working closely with BikeRight!, Merseytravel's employment and skills team successfully piloted the driver training course into new bus driver training programme. Road safety is of primary concern and adding this course gives Merseyside's new bus drivers the knowledge and understanding of cycle users before they start work behind the wheel of a bus. This course is now a necessity and we are seeing 1st hand the positive impact this has on our learners and for all road users, not just cyclists."

What do you think of this idea?  Please let us know if your taking part or would like to take part in it and let us know your thoughts, via emailing us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.com.

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