These are unprecedented times and it's completely understandable to be worried about the impact coronavirus may have on you or those you care about.
Try to stay calm and follow the official advice from the Government. It's also really important that you talk to your manager, work colleague's family or friends. You are not on your own.
The charity Mind has information you might find helpful.
Looking after your mental health while you have to stay at home is important.
Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the subject. Rumour and speculation can make anxiety worse. Read the Govt Advice Gov.uk
Follow hygiene advice and make sure you wash your hands.
Its ok to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak especially if you have experience trauma or a mental health problem in the past or if you have a long term physical health condition that makes you more vulnerable than others. We need to be aware of and avoid increasing habit that may not be helpful in the long term like smoking and drinking.
Try to stay connected keep in touch with your friends and family by telephone, email and social media or contact a helpline for support. There are a number listed on the NHS website:-https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/
Looking after your Mental Health
Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. We have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.
Further advice from Every Mind Matters can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Answer the five questions in this interactive quiz to get top tips and advice for you. Every Mind Matters – Your Mind Plan Quiz.
How do you look after your Mental Wellbeing?
Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.
At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time such as:
- look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
- spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes
- try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
- keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden
You can also go for a walk outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others.
Here is some information you may find useful during the self isolations and looking after your Mental Health https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/looking-after-your-mental-health-while-self-isolating/
Department for Work and Pensions – Access to Work for Mental Health
Access to Work offers Mental Health support for anybody who is experiencing mental health difficulties through Able Futures.
If you live with mental health difficulties, you know there are good days and bad days. You also know the bad days can affect you at work. You probably find it hard to focus or perform at your best. The aim of Able Futures is to help you enjoy more good days.
With nine months support, signposting and information from a qualified mental health professional, you could learn more about your mental health, understand how you can access treatment for any mental health problems and connect with other people and support organisations who know what it's like to live with a mental health problem. Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. The support service is fast, flexible and, best of all, there is no charge to use this service.
Apply for mental health support
Check your eligibility for mental health support from Able Futures
Enjoy more good days.
Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work so you can enjoy more good days. Call Able Futures free on 0800 321 3137 from 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.
Mental Wellbeing Apps.
Apps can provide a convenient way to look after your mental health and to tackle mental health problems like anxiety, stress and depression. The NHS Choices website offers information on a number of mental health apps that have been reviewed, evaluated and recommended by the National IAPT Workforce and Wellbeing Manager. Please click the below link for further information:
- NHS choices link
- Headspace - Mindfulness exercises – Please be aware that this programme has a charge for continuing beyond five sessions
IDAS services during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We understand that these are concerning and challenging times for people living in unhealthy relationships and living with domestic abuse. Spending more time at home is not safe or easy for everyone.
IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services) are supporting residents in Barnsley in several alternative ways to provide advice and guidance including:
- Online video support sessions
- WhatsApp messaging
- Telephone calls
- Online live chat on our website
You can contact IDAS on 03000 110 110 or visit idas.org.uk to find out how you can safety plan, receive advice or access services.
Making some simple and small changes around how you live can help you deal with the ups and downs life brings. NHS Choices suggests there are five steps you can take to improve your mental wellbeing:
5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing
- BE ACTIVE - take a walk, cycle, play a sport. Any activity you enjoy that can become part of your life.
- CONNECT - connect with people around you including family, friends, colleagues etc. Spend time developing these relationships.
- KEEP LEARNING - learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and increase your confidence. E.g. Sign up for a new course.
- GIVE TO OTHERS - small acts such as a smile or larger acts such as volunteering can improve your mental wellbeing and possibly increase your social network.
- TAKE NOTICE - be more aware of the present including your thoughts, feelings, your body and the world around you.
I'm Fine Campaign
The Mental Health Foundation have launched a campaign called 'I'm fine'. This is raising awareness to not take 'fine' for an answer as most of the people who say this do not mean it. Every week 1 in 6 of us experiences mental health problems. For advice on looking after your own mental health, and supporting a friend, family member or colleague with their mental health please click on the below link for more information:
Its Ok to talk – Andy's Man Club, Wakefield
ANDYSMANCLUB are real, non judgmental, talking groups for men. They are the creators of the viral #ITSOKAYTOTALK movement.
"Our overall aim is to halve the number of suicides in men Under 45. I know that's a massive task, but it's something to strive for. Even if we only manage a quarter – we will have done something amazing."
More information can be found on their website here.
The menopause, sometimes referred to as the "change of life", is the end of menstruation. This is where a woman's ovaries stop producing an egg every four weeks. She no longer has monthly periods and is unlikely to get pregnant. In the UK, 51 is the average age for a woman to reach the menopause, although some women experience the menopause in their 30s or 40s. If you experience the menopause before the age of 40, it's known as a premature menopause. Menstruation (monthly periods) can sometimes stop suddenly when you reach the menopause. However, it's more likely that your periods will become less frequent, with longer intervals between each one, before they stop altogether.
Some symptoms of Menopause:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
The NHS website below can provide useful information and guidance about the menopause and treatment options that are available. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/
Self Help Techniques
Below are some self-help resources which you may find useful:
- Mental Health - Self help guides
- Suicide Prevention Toolkit
- Suicide Postvention Toolkit
- NHS: Stress, Anxiety and Depression Help and Advice
- NHS Self Help - Stress
- NHS Self Help - Panic Attacks
- NHS Self Help - Obsessions & Compulsions
- NHS Self Help - Health Anxiety
- NHS Self Help - Depression & Low Mood
- NHS Self Help - Anxiety