Practice self care for life

Thursday, November 11, 2021


Self Care Week is organised by the NHS and Self Care Forum to encourage people to take steps to prevent illness, adopt healthier choices, manage minor ailments and look after their health and wellbeing.

It’s an opportunity to think about how we live our lives and make changes that will help us take better care of ourselves and our families. This could mean looking at what we eat or drink, much we exercise or how much sleep we’re getting. They could be about staying connected with friends, family and neighbours which may be good for our wellbeing and theirs.

Choosing the right services

Knowing what to do and where to go for help is an important part of practising self care. Remember, it isn’t just the GP practice that can help, your local pharmacists are also health experts who can help with all sorts of conditions and treatments. Anyone can access expert advice and buy a range of medicines for minor illnesses from a local pharmacist, without needing a prescription from their GP.

Online advice on what you need in your medicine cabinet for winter is also available.

In Sefton, Care at the Chemist is a local scheme for patients registered with a GP in Sefton, which enables the pharmacist to provide the recommended minor illness medicine for a number of conditions, free to patients who do not pay prescription charges.

If you do need medical advice and aren’t sure where to go, use NHS 111 online or call 111 for assistance in getting the medical help you need.


Local support to live healthier

Self care doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone, there is lots of support available to help you.

Active Sefton is a Sefton Council run organisation providing services designed to improve physical health and mental wellbeing. These services include free NHS health checks for anyone aged between 40 and 74, who have no underlying health conditions. You can register for an NHS Health Check online or by calling 0151 934 2352.

These free health checks are aimed at picking up early signs of conditions that can then be prevented such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and helping people live longer, healthier lives.

Active Sefton also run services aimed at providing people with the opportunity to live more active and healthy lifestyles and support for older people who may be at risk of a fall, to reduce their risk and maintain their independence. Speak to your GP practice about these services or go to for more information.”

Support with being active and meeting people is also provided through Living Well Sefton, which is a free service led by Sefton CVS, helping people with issues affecting their health and wellbeing.

Living Well Sefton’s local mentors supports Sefton residents to make small changes to their lives that can have a big impact on their wellbeing. From walking groups to lunch clubs, they can provide in-depth support by working out how physically active you want to be and assess your wellbeing by tailoring a plan just for you. You can self refer online or call 0300 323 0181.

Sefton Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) can put you in touch with a wide range of local voluntary, community and faith (VCF) organisations that may be able to help. Take a look at their Here for You Directory – there’s more than 1,000 organisations delivering over 3,000 services that are available to residents across Sefton, or call Sefton CVS on 0151 920 0726.


Local support for better mental health and wellbeing

If you’re feeling anxious, depressed or simply need someone to talk to, there is plenty of help available. If you’re registered with a GP in Sefton, Talking Matters is a free, confidential service to help deal with common mental health difficulties. Call them on 0300 303 2708 or go to For practical tips and expert advice to improve your mental health, you can also visit There’s also a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support service run by Mersey Care, for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. Text HEAL to 85258.


Self care tips and tools

Many common conditions and minor ailments such as these can be easily treated at home, for most people.

The NHS and the Self Care Forum have produced a range of easy to follow online ‘self-help’ guides to help people manage common conditions. These videos, fact sheets and audio books are really useful, should you or a loved one or neighbour need advice on these conditions, how you can treat them and when you should seek medical advice

Self care videos on conditions like indigestion, ear infections, headaches, sprains and strains are available on YouTube.

Fact sheets on these and other conditions are available from the Self Care Forum.

Audio files on these conditions are available here:

Name Size
Self Care - Acne (Audio) 2.0 MB
Self Care - Advice for cold weather (Audio) 2.1 MB
Self Care - Back pain (Audio) 2.8 MB
Self Care - Blocked Nose (Audio) 2.5 MB
Self Care - Chickenpox (Audio) 2.9 MB
Self Care - Common Cold (Audio) 2.2 MB
Self Care - Constipation (Audio) 2.1 MB
Self Care - Cough (Audio) 2.2 MB
Self Care - Ear infection (Audio) 2.9 MB
Self Care - Eczema (Audio) 2.6 MB
Self Care - Fever in Children (Audio) 4.3 MB
Self Care - Headache (Audio) 3.1 MB
Self Care - Heart burn and indigestion (Audio) 2.8 MB
Self Care - Mental Health (Audio) 4.3 MB
Self Care - Sore Throat (Audio) 2.5 MB
Self Care - Sunburn (Audio) 3.0 MB
Self Care -Sprains and Strains (Audio) 3.1 MB


The NHS website also has a host of information on symptoms, conditions and treatments.


Support to reduce your alcohol consumption or drug use

During the COVID-19 pandemic harmful drinking has risen significantly, consequently impacting on people and their families and communities. A ‘Lower My Drinking’ app has recently been developed to support us to think about alcohol and the role it plays in our lives. The app is free to download for anyone who lives or works in Cheshire and Merseyside and uses scientifically-proven tools to support you to reduce your drinking to the recommended limit of 14 units a week or less.

Sefton Council also offers a range of services to support individuals experiencing problems associated with alcohol and drug use.  For further details including how to access services visit the following


Local service provision to stop smoking!

It is never too late to stop smoking and the health benefits are felt immediately. Smoke Free Sefton offer FREE support to stop smoking and access to proven treatments and are currently offering a blended approach of telephone and face to face support at a venue close to you, with day time and evening appointments. By accessing your local Stop Smoking Service you are 3 times more likely to quit. For more information or to make an appointment, please telephone 0300 100 1000 or visit our website  


Support to look after your sexual health

Sefton Sexual Health offers a free and confidential service in clinics across Sefton, but there is also lots of things you can do to look after your sexual health from home!

From the Sefton Sexual Health Service website, you can order condoms for free online, order self-testing kits for STIs and pick up lots of useful advice on safer sex. You will also find information on how to buy over the counter treatments and services from your local pharmacist.

Please go to for further information.


Practising self care is something we all need to do every day. For ourselves, for our families and for the NHS.