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Health advice and support

Flu vaccines

As restrictions continue to lift and we get back to living our lives more normally it's important that you receive your flu vaccine this year if you're eligible.

Support with mental health and wellbeing

If you’re struggling, remember you can always talk to your GP or someone in your clinical team.

There are also a number of useful, reliable sources available on NHS Inform to help you stay calm and relaxed.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call one of these free services:

  • NHS 24: call 111 if you need urgent support for your mental or emotional health. Open 24 hours a day
  • Breathing Space: call 0800 83 85 87 for a free, confidential, phone service for anyone in Scotland over 16. If you’re experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety, Breathing Space provides a safe and supportive space, listening, offering advice and providing information. Open Monday to Thursday: 6pm - 2am and Friday to Monday: 6pm - 6am 
  • Samaritans: call 116 123 for confidential emotional support if you're in distress or despair. Open 24 hours a day
  • British Red Cross Coronavirus Helpline: call 0808 196 3651 if you're feeling lonely, worried, or are having difficulty accessing food or medication. Support is available in more than 200 languages. Open every day from 10am - 6pm

Websites:

Clear Your Head Leaflet

In August 2021 we sent everyone on the highest risk list a Clear Your Head leaflet with mental health advice for the move beyond Level 0. Read the leaflet online (PDF, 734.8kB)

Getting outside and staying active

Get outside if you can. Just being in the open air can really make you feel better, and contact with nature is known to boost your mood. It’s important to take things at a pace you’re comfortable with. If you can, try going for a short walk first. Going further each time you go out could help you get used to things opening up.

Medical appointments

Keep going to your medical appointments as usual. Always ask your healthcare team if you’re unsure about any health advice or treatments.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for keeping your bones and muscles healthy. Sunlight is our main source of vitamin D. In Scotland, we only get enough of the right kind of sunlight for our bodies to make vitamin D between April and September. From October to March, we rely on dietary sources of vitamin D. Since vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, it can be difficult to get enough from food alone.

We recommend that everyone should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D. The dose should be 10 microgram (10µg). Especially during autumn and winter when we're unable to make vitamin D from sunlight.

For most people taking a 10-microgram supplement of vitamin D daily is safe. But there are some who should seek advice first due to certain health conditions or medication. This is because taking too much vitamin D can cause calcium to build up in your body and this can weaken your bones and damage your heart and kidneys. You should seek advice from your clinician, specialist nurse, pharmacist, midwife or health visitor if you:

  • have known hypercalcaemia (high levels of calcium in the blood - this can be associated with high levels of parathyroid hormone, kidney stones, certain cancers, and chronic kidney disease)
  • have sarcoidosis (an inflammatory condition which can affect various parts of the body including the lungs and glands)
  • take digoxin
  • take calcium or other vitamin supplements already

Find out more about vitamin D supplements on gov.scot.

You can also find a leaflet about vitamin D on the Public Health Scotland website. The leaflet is available in English, Arabic, Polish, Traditional Chinese and Urdu. You can also ask for it in other formats such as large print, braille and audio versions.

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