Coronavirus is affecting my mental health – what can I do?

The current Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic may cause you to feel worried, anxious, or scared. Read our seven steps to looking after your wellbeing while staying informed.
mental health

1. Seek accurate information from legitimate sources

Try to only read information about Coronavirus from official sources:

Only reading credible sources of information can help you avoid the fear and panic that misinformation may cause, which can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control. 

2. Try to avoid excessive exposure to media coverage

Constantly monitoring the news and your social media feeds about COVID-19 can intensify feelings of worry and distress. It’s important to find a balance while keeping informed. If you find the news is making you feel stressed, set boundaries for how much news you read, watch or listen to. For example, turn off phone notifications from news apps. 

3. Look after yourself

It's normal to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak. Focus on the things you can control, instead of those you can't. Where possible, maintain your daily routine, and prioritise your wellbeing and mental health.

4. Stay connected and reach out to others

Keeping in touch with your friends and family and talking through your concerns can help ease the stress caused by COVID-19. Check in with people who you know may be worried or live alone. If you are very worried, contact a helpline for emotional support.   

5. Talk to your children

It's equally important to help children cope with stress too. Answer their questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that children can understand, without causing them alarm. 

The World Health Organisation have created advice on how to help children cope with stress during Coronavirus

6. Don’t make assumptions

It's important not to judge people and avoid jumping to conclusions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The virus can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sex.

7. Stay well while self-isolating

If you are showing symptoms or have the virus, you will be required to self-isolate and stay away from other people. This may seem like a daunting prospect, but keep in mind that this is only temporary.

It is important to create a daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself, such as catching up on sleep.

There are still many ways to stay connected to the people who matter to you, digitally, or on the phone. When staying in touch with friends on social media, try not to share content that sensationalises things. Your friends may be worried too. Only share content from trusted sources.

Remember to also look after your wider health needs, such as having enough prescription medicines available to you.

If you need ideas about how to support your wellbeing, Mind, the mental health charity, have put together practical tips to help you. 

Find out more

The information in this article was originally sourced from the Mental Health Foundation. 

Two key mental health resources in Wandsworth that you could turn to for help are:

Talk Wandsworth

Talk Wandsworth provides free confidential support for common mental health problems, such as: depression, anxiety and stress.

They provide talking therapies for any one over the age of 18 who lives in, or who has a GP in, the London Borough of Wandsworth. The majority of our treatments are delivered in the form of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Talk Wandsworth have adjusted their way of delivering treatments to ensure that they remain accessible. They are currently offering a number of different treatments that can be delivered remotely, including: telephone sessions, Skype sessions, Skype Groups and through evidence-based online platforms. Skype groups at this level, which run for between 5 and 7 weeks. Groups included are: Overcoming Worry (for anxiety), Mood Management (depression), Panic and Phobias, Managing Long Term Conditions and Stress Management.

You can access these services by self-referring:

Click here

The Talk Wandsworth Wellbeing team have told us that they are ready to assist, providing help and support in the form of workshops, which anyone can attend without a referral.

They said:

The workshops offer strategies and skills to help maintain positive wellbeing during the Covid-19 crisis.*

*In addition to the very popular Coping with Stress, Self Care & Relaxation courses, a new workshop has been created to support our clients’ wellbeing and address the impacts of adjustments that they will be making for the current COVID-19 situation.

We would like to encourage clients to engage with us via the social media platforms:

Twitter: (@talkwandsworth)

Instagram: (@talk.wandsworth.wellbeing)

Nextdoor: (NHS Talk Wandsworth).

To find out more and a full list of topics visit Talk Wandsworth website:

Talk Wandsworth

or for the Eventbrite workshop click here:

Eventbrite  

 

Big White Wall

  • An anonymous community where members can support each other
  • Access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Trained professionals available 24/7 to keep the community safe
  • Self-assessments & recommended resources
  • Creative tools to help express how you’re feeling
  • Wide range of self-guided courses to do at your own pace

Click here for more information

Where can you get further mental health support?

Samaritans

If you need to speak to someone you can call the Samaritans. They're always open and are there to listen.

Call 116 123 to speak to someone.

Visit their website

Cruse

Cruse Bereavement Care provide bereavement support to people across the UK. Talk of death in the news and online can be distressing if you're already struggling with grief. If you need someone to talk to you can call the Cruse helpline. You can also talk to them if you've been bereaved as a result of Coronavirus.

0808 808 1677 - Monday-Friday 9.30- 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they're open until 8pm.

Visit the Cruise website

Mind 

Mind is a mental health charity which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. 

Visit the Mind website 

Mental Health Foundation

The UK's charity for everyone's mental health, promoting good mental health for all.

Visit the Mental Health Foundation website

Young Minds 

Young Minds is a mental health charity for children and young people.

Visit the young minds website

Mental Health Europe 

Mental Health Europe is the largest independent network organisation representing mental health users, professionals and service providers across Europe.

Visit the Mental Health Europe website

 

Do health and social care services know what you really think?

Share your ideas and experiences and help services hear what works, what doesn’t, and what you want from care in the future. 

Share your views