Personalised Care Toolkit: Relationships and Feelings

Personalised Care Toolkit: Relationships and Feelings

Struggling with anxiety or depression, low self-esteem, intimacy or socialising is not uncommon.

How a person feels will have a huge impact on their relationships, ability to self-manage and ability to live as well as possible with their IBD.

Supporting a patient to identify their feelings or when they're not coping and seek help, build resilience and manage their emotional well-being is as important as treating bowel inflammation. It might be helpful to think about positive mental health as a sign that a person's treatment is working. You may want to consider:

  • Compassionate language and active listening.
  • Encouraging the person to talk about their condition, especially with friends and family.
  • Signposting to a national patient organisation or local group to talk to someone or meet others with the condition.
  • Referring to mental health services or local emotional well-being programmes.
  • Facilitating open days where patients can meet and talk.
  • Social prescribing a local activity to reduce their loneliness or isolation (this request may need to be made via primary care services).
  • Exploring how their continence issues could be better managed or giving them a can't wait card to support them getting out more.
  • Referring to a gynaecologist, biofeedback nurse, psychosexual therapist or counselling for support with intimacy or sexual function issues.


Don't forget to go back to our resources directory for resources about the other areas of self-management.

If you would like us to add a resource or link, or have any feedback please send us an email.