If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis please:
- Call you GP or dial 111
- Call The Samaritans for free on 116 123 (UK only) or email, email@example.com
- Call the Mental Health Crisis Line on 0800 330 8590 (your local Community Mental Health Team in Greenwich)
- Go to your nearest NHS hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. For Greenwich residents, this may be Princess Royal University Hospital or Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
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.
firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.