Home Coronavirus: Help and support Check on friends and neighbours as lockdown eases

Check on friends and neighbours as lockdown eases

by Emily Maguire

With restrictions set to ease on Monday 17 May some people may be experiencing anxiety or concern about their safety and wellbeing.

It’s been more than a year since vulnerable people were encouraged to shield to protect themselves from the effects of Covid 19 and throughout that period the nation has experienced significant changes in the way we go about our lives.

For some people the thought of going back out into the world may be overwhelming and some support from friends and neighbours might help them to re-adjust and start getting back to normal life.

If you know or suspect someone you know is struggling with their mental health and wellbeing there are some things you can do to help:

Ask them what they need. For some people they might be that they just need a bit of time to get used to the idea of going out, others might need professional support  such as talking therapies such as  counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy to get over their anxieties about the world opening up.

Escort them on their first visits outside, it can seem daunting to leave the house if you’ve spent a lot of time indoors but having a companion with you might just make the transition easier.

Encourage them to stay off social media. There is a lot of mis-information about COVID-19 and much of it begins on social media platforms. A ‘digital detox’ might improve a person’s mental well-being.

Every Mind Matters has tips to cope with anxiety coming out of lockdown

How to cope with anxiety about lockdown lifting – Every Mind Matters – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

There are also a number of mental health charities who can offer help and support if you or someone you know is struggling:

If you  or some one you know is in mental health crisis and  needs urgent help, please call the NHS Mental Health crisis line on 0800 051 1508.  NHS staff will then support to get the help you need. – Available for people of all ages, including children and young people, available 24/7. Call Freephone 0800 051 1508.

  • Samaritans– a national registered charity with local branches, available around the clock. Freephone: 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.
  • Young Minds Parents Helpline offers free, confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25. Lines are open Lines are open 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday 0808 802 5544 (free for mobiles and landlines). YoungMinds website also has a range of support and guidance for parents who maybe worried about their child.
  • Kooth provides online and face to face counselling, information, advice and support for young people in secondary schools. Find out more on Kooth’s website.
  • Knowsley CAMHS Services is a referral service for children and young people in Knowsley whose emotional, behavioural or mental health issues are causing them problems in their school, family or social life. If you are worried about your child make an appointment to speak to your GP.
  • The Silver Lineis a helpline which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year for anyone aged 55 and over. It is free to call on 0800 4 70 80 90 from a mobile or landline.
  • CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably– a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. Phone: 0800 58 58 58 or visit the CALM website.
  • AMPARO– support after suicide – offering advice and support around suicide prevention as well as support to adults, children and young people affecting by suicide. Find out more by calling 0330 088 9255, emailing referrals@listening-ear.co.uk, visit the website at listening-ear.co.uk/amparo or follow on Twitter @AMPARO_LEM
  • SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide)– meeting the needs and overcoming the isolation experienced by people over the age of 18 who have been bereaved by suicide. Find out more by calling 0300 111 5065, emailing support@hotmail.com, visit the website at https://uksobs.org/or follow on Twitter @SOBSCharity.

Visit the Every Mind Matters website for your personalised Mind Plan and Kind to Your Mind for advice and resources to help look after your mental health.