Looking after yourself whilst you are receiving kidney treatment

Living with a long term health condition can have an impact on your emotional wellbeing. Looking after your emotional health is just as important as looking after your physical health.

Evidence* suggests there are five steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing. If you give them a try, you may feel happier, more positive, and able to get the most from life.

  • Connect – connect with the people around you. Spend time developing supportive relationships with people that have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
  • Be active – you don't have to go to the gym. Take a walk, spend time outside, stretch, or play a game. Find an activity that you enjoy and make it a part of your life. You might need to think creatively about getting more activity into your life in a way that feels manageable.
  • Keep learning – learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, learn another language, or figure out how to fix your bike?
  • Give to others – even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.
  • Be mindful – be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness "mindfulness". It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.

NHS Psychological Therapies

Psychological therapies, sometimes called talking therapies, can help with common difficulties like stress, anxiety and low mood. If you are registered with a GP you can refer yourself directly to free services (or you can ask your GP to refer you).

These services are also known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services and provide psychological support in a variety of ways including face-to-face, online, over the phone, and courses.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire:

0333 200 1893

B&NES: B&NES Talking Therapies

01225 675150

Wiltshire: Wiltshire IAPT Service

01380 731335

Swindon: LIFT Psychology

01793 836836

If you have any concerns about your mental wellbeing or physical health you can always contact your GP. If you need urgent help please call 999 or attend A&E.

If you are feeling distressed and would like a confidential listening service, you can contact the Samaritans. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Telephone: 116 123
Email: jo@samaritans.org

Other ways to access free support

Kidney Peer Mentor Service

The Kidney Peer Mentor Service aims to give short term practical and emotional support to people living with kidney disease, their families, and carers. All trained peer mentors are people who have lived with kidney disease themselves, and are allocated to you based on their experiences. If you would like to find out more please email: kidneypeermentorservice@nbt.nhs.uk

Renal Psychology Service for Renal and Transplant Patients

We have two clinical psychologists based within the Renal Team at Southmead to support people with a wide range of issues. Sometimes people experience emotional difficulties as a direct result of adjusting to and living with kidney problems, at other times difficulties may come up independently making it more difficult to cope with the demands of living with kidney problems and treatment. If you would like an appointment with one of the renal psychologists please speak to a member of staff who will be able to refer you.

If you or the individual you are caring for need support reading this please ask a member of staff for advice.

How to contact us:

Clinical Psychology Service
Renal & Transplantation Directorate
Gate 10 Level 6
Southmead Hospital
Westbury on Trym
BS10 5NB

0117 414 7696

Looking after yourself whilst you are receiving kidney treatment