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Somerset Health and Wellbeing Advisory Network

Apologies, the incorrect link was included in the newsletter today in the ‘Preventing falls in Somerset’ section. Here is the correct link: Falls prevention and support (

We apologise for any confusion this has caused.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II may bring up feelings of personal loss, and we understand that TV and media coverage at the moment may feel overwhelming. News and pictures may act as a reminder of personal grief and cause emotions to resurface.

Below are some short guides that may be helpful when talking about death, dying and grief. Please share all this information widely with your networks.

Support and self-care for grief - Mind
Coping with the loss of a loved one is always difficult, especially when it is not expected. It can take time to understand your feelings and adjust after the loss has happened, but there are things you can do to help yourself cope. For example, it can help to: Understand the grief process, connect with others, talk to a therapist
look after your wellbeing

How to talk about death and dying
  • Be honest. Often in difficult situations, we tend to search for the ‘right’ thing to say, or we deny what’s happening altogether. Dying is a profound process that needs honesty and understanding. Frank, open conversations can be very liberating and soothing.
  • Listen to the other person and pay attention to their body language. Don’t be afraid to look someone in eye when you are talking to them. Listen to their tone of voice and be aware of changes to the way they speak and behave. If they avoid eye contact for example, they might not be ready to have this conversation.
  • Stay calm. You might find this kind of emotional intimacy difficult, or you might be worried about seeing someone cry, or appear helpless and vulnerable. Breathe slowly to calm yourself. Keep yourself grounded by physically feeling your feet on the floor. This will help you to be present and accepting of what is happening.
  • Don’t feel you have to talk all the time. Simply being beside someone in silence can be hugely comforting.
  • Let the person know they can talk to you if they need to. You might say, “If there ever comes a time when you want to talk about something, please do tell me”. This gives them permission to talk in their own time, without expectation.
Growing Around Grief
Supporting children following the death of the Queen
The death of a prominent figure can raise questions from young people that you might find difficult to answer. Coverage of the death of the Queen will be everywhere, and for bereaved children and young people this can bring up their grief.

Books that you can share with children to help them understand death and dying
25 Children's Books That Explain Death And Grief To Kids | HuffPost UK Parenting (
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Emotional Health and Wellbeing Recourses

Please see below some emotional health and wellbeing resources. It is important to ensure these resources are well known by colleagues and staff supporting members of the public. Please share widely with your networks.


New leaf – Workplace Wellbeing
There are spaces available on New Leaf’s wellbeing activities and Mental Health training courses, provided for FREE to SMEs in the following sectors in Somerset
  • Farming and Agriculture
  • Health and Social Care
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Visitor Economy
  • Construction
More information about the Public Health funded SME wellbeing project can be found here - SME Wellbeing - New Leaf UK.
Every Life Matters – Suicide Awareness training
Additional dates have been added to Every Life Matters Suicide Alertness (3.5 hours) and Suicide Awareness (90 minutes) courses. All sessions are delivered online and are provided free of charge. Completion of the 3.5-hour Suicide Alertness course enables participants to enrol on the Orange Button Community Scheme.

Please visit Every Life Matters - Somerset Events | Eventbrite to view dates and book.
Harmless - Self-Harm Awareness training
We have recently launched the first in a series of Self Harm awareness training sessions for Parents and Carers. Additional training sessions for other groups including Frontline Practitioners, Mental Health School Leads, System Leaders and Stakeholders will be available in coming months.
Please visit Somerset children & young people : Health & Wellbeing : Training Menu ( to find out more and book training.
Connect 5 Training
A FREE Mental Health Promotion Training programme. Connect 5 provides participants with knowledge and skills to improve their own mental wellbeing. It also increases their confidence to have everyday conversations about mental health and wellbeing including suicide awareness.
There are 3 training modules all delivered online via ZOOM, each module is 3.5 hours in length and participants must attend all 3 modules. Connect 5 is available for all frontline staff, if you would be interested in attending one of the upcoming courses, please contact Amy Maggs


We have published an updated Bereavement Booklet to provide local information and support to those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Available digitally here - Bereavement in Somerset 2022 ( If you would like a printed copy, please contact
Every Mind Matters continue to update their information and resources - Every Mind Matters - NHS (

Staff emotional wellbeing resources and support - Somerset Emotional Wellbeing – Somerset Emotional Wellbeing Staff Hub
Somerset Mindline’s helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is for anyone of any age in Somerset who is experiencing mental distress or wanting emotional support. Call 01823 276 892 or 0800 138 1692.

The Somerset Suicide Bereavement Support Service is available for anyone who has been bereaved or affected by suicide. Call 0300 330 5463.

The Samaritans are available to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call free on 116 123 or text SHOUT to 85258.
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The Farming Community Network is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. Visit, or call 01934 712128.

If you work or volunteer in health and care in Somerset and need to talk, the Somerset Emotional Wellbeing Resilience Hub is there for you. Please call the dedicated, confidential Colleague Support Line for help with a trained professional on 0300 124 5595 or visit to discover all the support options that are open to you.
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Preventing falls in Somerset

Next week (18 - 24 September) is Falls Prevention Week, a national health campaign to increase awareness around falls health and injury prevention.
Falls are a common, but often overlooked cause of injury. Around 1 in 3 adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year. Whilst most falls do not result in serious injury, in Somerset around 8 people over the age of 65 are admitted to hospital every day as a result of a fall.

The effects of a fall on an older person can be devastating and not only physical but a fall can also have a serious psychological effect which can lead to a lack of confidence, increased isolation and it can rob people of their independence.

It is important to recognise the signs of physical decline, not only in ourselves but in our friends and families too. Signs to look out for include:
  • Reduced movement (inside and outside)
  • Disengaging from regular activity
  • Feeling weak or in discomfort
  • Unsteady on feet
  • Fear of falling
There are many things that can be done to prevent falls from happening and strength, flexibility, balance and reaction times are considered the most readily modifiable risk factors for falls. Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership and Age UK Somerset both offer a programme of activities to help our older people stay active and build up strength.

Public Health Catch Up Film

Next week for Falls Prevention Week 18 - 24 September Clinton talks to Michelle Purnell from AgeUK who runs exercise sessions for people who are prone too or have a fear of falling.


It is with regret that following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II a decision was made to postpone the 'Walk for a Life' event due to be held on Saturday 10 September.

We recognise that the cancellation will bring disappointment to members of the public and our partners who had signed up and supported the event. We will ensure suitable signposting to advice and support is shared on the event page. Information on a new date for the event will be sent in coming weeks.

We want to hear from you

Your feedback is valuable to us and we'd like to receive more from you and your communities. Information on issues you are spotting locally will help us to reduce barriers to accessing healthcare. Use the button below to give us your details and we'll give you a call back.
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Your local helplines

Local Helplines

Mendip District Council call 0300 303 8588
Sedgemoor District Council call 0300 303 7800
South Somerset District Council call 01935 462462
Somerset West and Taunton Council call 0300 304 8000
Somerset County Council call 0300 123 22224
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Resources and Further Information:

For the latest local information as well as digital resources, posters and flyers please visit:

For information and resources on staying healthy happy and safe at the time please visit:

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