It is understandable that you might be feeling anxious and worried about coronavirus and that it could be affecting your mental health. You might be struggling with boredom or loneliness or you might be stressed about your job and finances. For those of you with an existing mental health condition, such as anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this might be a particularly difficult time.
Considering the extra challenges at the moment, it's never been more important for each of us to think and talk more about mental health and wellbeing, and to seek support when needed. You should know that even though things can feel very hard at times, support is available for whatever you are going through.
In London, there are a range of free resources, online tools, and helplines available to help you cope and stay mentally healthy. These sit alongside non-urgent NHS psychological treatments, such as talking therapies (IAPT), if you need further professional support to help you cope with mental and emotional problems.
Simple ways to improve your wellbeing
Thrive LDN has put together a list of little things you can do to keep yourself well and some useful ways to get support if you are finding it hard.
If you're feeling anxious or stressed about work, housing or financial difficulties, then explore the helpful range of resources and guidance on City Hall's Hub.
Available support now - online tools to help your mental health
To help build resilience and maintain good wellbeing, there's a range of resources for everyone at Every Mind Matters. Including an interactive quiz, the Your Mind Plan, to get top tips and advice relevant for you.
Good Thinking is a digital mental wellbeing service that has over 100 free, NHS-approved resources designed to help manage low mood, anxiety, stress, and sleep problems. Take the clinically validated self-assessment to get a better understanding of what you're going through, helpful resources and if necessary, relevant treatment options.
Coping well during COVID webinars
A new series of NHS-led Coping Well During COVID Webinars are available if you are feeling anxious about coronavirus and how it is impacting you, your loved ones or your work. The webinar topics will include managing wellbeing, anxiety, low mood and sleeping difficulties.
The 60-minute sessions offer you the chance to explore ideas and tools to support your mental health and wellbeing in a clinically led and interactive way (when joining live).
The full schedule of webinars and registration details are available via the Thrive LDN website.
NHS psychological treatments
If you do not require urgent support but are still concerned about your mental health, contacting your GP is a good place to start.
You can also refer yourself for free, non-urgent NHS psychological therapy services, also known as IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services, which provide evidence-based treatments for depression and anxiety.
You can get talking therapies like counselling for depression and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on the NHS. They all involve working with a trained therapist. Currently, this may be difficult to arrange face-to-face, so it is likely that sessions will be online or over the phone.
In Sutton, services are open. You can refer yourself if you feel like you may need further, professional support. You can find your local service here.
Sutton Uplift is a free service for anyone in Sutton experiencing difficulties and symptoms related to stress, anxiety and depression. They can offer assessment and treatment appointments via telephone or skype.
Getting urgent help for mental health
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a phyical one. You will not be wasting anyone's time.
If you have an existing mental health condition and an assigned care team or care worker, then it's important to contact them.
NHS urgent mental health helplines are for people of all ages.
You can call for:
- 24-hour advice and support - for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for
- help to speak to a mental health professional
- an assessment to help decide on the best course of care
Alternatively, when life is tough the Samaritans are here to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult.
- Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.
Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.
- Text SHOUT to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line.
The bereavement care charity Cruse is helping families affected by coronavirus.
- Call free on 0808 808 1677 or visit the Cruse website.