People diagnosed with a long-term condition such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Diabetes, are thought to be 2-3 times more likely to suffer with depression and anxiety. Often patients with long-term conditions do not disclose psychological problems within their consultations with health practitioners, but tend to have increased disability due to their condition or pain.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.
People with COPD have difficulties breathing, primarily due to the narrowing of their airways, this is called airflow obstruction.
Typical symptoms of COPD include:
•increasing breathlessness when active
•a persistent cough with phlegm
•frequent chest infections
Source: NHS Choices
The Ups and Downs of Living With Breathing Difficulties
Our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) work alongside the respiratory team, G.P and other health professionals to provide emotional support to people living with breathlessness.
PWPs are experienced in working with people to help them understand the problems they may be experiencing, and look at how this is affecting someone’s ability to enjoy day-to-day life.
We use tried and tested approaches to help you achieve your own goals, working in a flexible way offering both face to face or telephone support.
Why Are We Working With The Respiratory Team?
Living with breathlessness can be worrying and stressful.
Sometimes problems with our physical health, including breathing problems, can make it more difficult to deal with the stresses of everyday life.
This can sometimes lead to reduced confidence, increased worries and reduced motivation amongst other symptoms.
We will work with you to:
• understand how your worries and stresses may be affecting you and your health,
• consider what you would like help with,
• discuss how the type of support we offer might be helpful.
We can also look at what other help may be available from other NHS services.
What Happens Now?
If you have a Salford G.P and are interested in accessing this service. Please speak to either your respiratory team, G.P or contact Six Degrees on 0161 2124981 to discuss further a referral.
In this first session the PWP will try to find out a little bit more about how you are affected and how you are currently coping.
They will also answer your questions and decide with you, whether what we or other services could offer might be of help.
If agreed the PWP will arrange a further appointment. During this appointment you will be able to discuss your current difficulties in more detail.
The respiratory team and your GP will be updated regularly to make sure that everyone is working together to support you.
Approximately 5.6% of the local population of Salford has a diagnosis of diabetes.
Six Degrees has worked collaboratively with the community diabetes team over a number of years, providing a clinic embedded within the diabetes team. This allows the specialist diabetes practitioners to refer patients directly to Six Degrees for support with psychological difficulties. Patients can be offered appointments at the diabetes service and the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) from Six Degrees, specialist diabetes practitioners and the person with diabetes can work together to provide support and improve both physical and mental health needs.
How Are People Referred?
If the Diabetes Specialist team members recognise that you are struggling with low mood, stress and/or anxiety: or if you mention this to them, they will have a discussion with you about your mood. The diabetes specialist will then give you some brief information about the service offered by Six Degrees and, if you agree, send your details directly to Six Degrees as a referral.
A PWP at Six Degrees is responsible for the clinic at the Diabetes Centre. They will receive the referral and make contact with you either by phone or by letter. Following this initial contact a discussion about your current difficulties will take place and the PWP will work collaboratively with you to identify your goals and options for support.