People struggling with their mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic are urged to make use of a free service in North Devon.

Talkworks is a free NHS service dedicated to helping people in Devon work on their wellbeing and mental health, whether they are low, stressed or just not quite their usual self.

These feelings can be heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic as it creates pressures and concerns such as job losses, financial worries, missing loved ones and feeling isolated.

Sue Pike, Talkworks manager, said: “There is a real emphasis on taking care of our physical health at this time, but it can mean that people are struggling more with low mood, stress or anxiety.

“At Talkworks, we have adapted our services, meaning we are now offering talking therapies and practical help with your mental wellbeing through online platforms and over the phone.

“It’s important that those who are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing know that the NHS is still open as usual and is here to help you or anybody you know is struggling.”

Clinical team lead Jonny Wilkins said the service saw almost 19,000 people in 2019, and has the capacity to treat even more people this year.

However, like many NHS services, fewer people have been coming forward for treatment since social distancing was introduced.

He added: “The capacity we have means people can access an appointment very quickly, within a matter of days, and we want people to know that we are open and here to offer help and treatment at this difficult and uncertain time.”

To get in touch with Talkworks, call 0300 5553344 or visit the website, www.talkworks.dpt.nhs.uk