Coronavirus: information and updates

Mental health and coronavirus

You may feel unsettled, stressed, anxious or uneasy during this difficult time. This is a normal reaction, particularly if you're having to adjust to a new situation. There are things you can try that might help you to manage feelings of anxiety. Staying in touch with friends and family will help. And there are helplines and befriending services that can support you too.

Warning If you need to speak to someone right now

If you are in danger, call 999.

Ring the Samaritans for free on 116 123.

They're always open. You can talk to them about anything. You do not have to wait until you feel in crisis.

If you want to talk to someone about how to get professional help, you can call the:

Accessing mental health support

If you need mental health support, contact the psychological therapies service. The service is available to anyone who:

  • does not already have NHS support for their mental health
  • lives in England
  • Is aged 18 and over

Support can include:

  • help with common mental health problems, like anxiety and depression
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • counselling
  • guided self-help

After completing the online form, you should receive a letter within 6 weeks. This will say what support they will offer you and how you can access it.

Find an NHS psychological therapies service (NHS)

Anxiety

Coronavirus may mean that you're worried about your health and other people you care about. Charities, mental health associations and even apps can help with managing anxiety. For example:

Coronavirus and your wellbeing (Mind)

Clear Fear is a free app for helping you to recognise, manage and reduce your anxiety and fear.

Coronavirus anxiety: how to cope (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy)

You could also try counselling or therapy if you need to talk to someone about your anxiety. This could be through:

  • the NHS
  • counselling service if your employer provides this
  • charities or community organisations who provide counselling services

Services for young adults

Some charities and organisations have services to support young people:

YoungMinds has tips and advice on where you can get support for your mental health during coronavirus.

Coronavirus and mental health (YoungMinds)

Childline can help you find ways to cope when you’re worried or anxious.

Anxiety, stress and panic (Childline)

Contacting people you know

Other people you know are probably feeling isolated too. Your family and friends might be grateful to get a message from you. It might give both of you a chance to talk.

Video calls

Seeing someone's face while you are speaking to them can help when you're feeling lonely. There are lots of free video services, such as:

  • FaceTime
  • WhatsApp
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • Facebook messenger

Online communities

Finding a positive online community is a great way to talk to other people and share your experiences.

Scope online community

Support groups for parents

Some people also use Facebook groups to help find others in similar situations to talk to. You could search for groups set up for specific conditions or for parents of disabled children.

Gaming with friends

Playing games with someone online can be a good way to connect and share interests.

How gaming helped my mental health (Young Minds)

Helplines and befriending services

The Mix supports adults under 25. They have a helpline, email and live chat service where you can talk to an adviser about anything you're worried about.

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) runs a confidential information service. You can call or use webchat. Staff are trained to listen, support, inform and signpost. Open from 5pm to midnight.

The Silver Line is a free and confidential helpline for older people. They provide information, friendship and advice to older people. It's open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Nextdoor is an organisation that can help you to meet people in your local community.

The Befriending Network has a directory of local befriending services.

Mind's Peer Support Service links you with local people to share your experiences.

Mindfulness and CBT

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you manage problems by changing the way you think and behave. This can help with anxiety and depression. Mindfulness is a technique to improve mental wellbeing by paying more attention to your own thoughts and feelings or the world around you.

These apps could help with mindfulness and CBT:

Mindshift can help you develop strategies to deal with difficult situations. It’s based on CBT techniques.

MyLife meditation app offers short, guided meditations, yoga and acupressure videos tuned to how you feel.

Supporting your child

Children and young people may also be feeling anxious because of coronavirus. Their lives and routines have changed too. Supporting your child can be hard, so here are some resources that may help.

Supporting your child during the coronavirus pandemic (YoungMinds)

Combined Minds is a free app for parents of young people with anxiety.

Supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing (GOV.UK)

Psychological First Aid: Supporting Children and Young People (free online training from Public Health England)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 11/02/2021

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