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

The pandemic may cause you to feel worried, anxious, or scared. Here are some ways to help you look after your wellbeing.
Lady standing in a hospital

Emergency support

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis please:

1. Seek accurate information from legitimate sources

Try to only read information about Coronavirus from official sources:

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. 

Where can you get further mental health support?

Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark Samaritans

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

116 123

jo@samaritans.org (response time 24 hours)

Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich MIND

BLG Mind provide counselling, peer support, employment and benefits support, young mum and dads support and other mental health support services in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. 

01689 811222

Use the contact form on the MIND website

Kooth (support for people aged 10 - 18)

The Kooth team are here to provide free, safe and anonymous online support and counselling. The whole team are made up of friendly and experienced individuals who want to help you.

Qwell (support for people aged 18+)

Online emotional wellbeing and mental health support.

NHS Free Your Mind (support for people aged 18 - 25)

These services, now delivered online, can provide support and help coach you to better mental wellbeing. 

NHS Free Your Mind (support for people aged 25+)

Find out how these free south east London services, now delivered online, can help coach you to better mental wellbeing.

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