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Coronavirus mental health support

Looking after your mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic

by Gemma Melling

There are many challenges of living through the Coronavirus pandemic and the current lockdown restrictions – working at home, home schooling, concerns about health, worries about money and not being able to see loved ones, to name but a few.

So it is no wonder that this is also a very challenging time for our mental health and wellbeing.

Since lockdown, we have shared several articles about some of the advice and support to help you look after your mental health here on Knowsley News.

Now we are bringing this together to help you more easily find the support that is relevant to you.

Sources of support with mental health

 

The Kind to Your Mind website is designed for people living and working in Cheshire and Merseyside and has lots of advice and useful resources to help you through these challenging times.

This includes ALMA, where you can access a range of free online therapy programmes which include short modules on dealing with stress, getting better sleep, improving resilience and coping with your emotions during the pandemic.

There’s also free approved health and wellbeing apps and some great podcasts to listen to with guest including Andy Cole and Dr Chatterjee, providing tips and advice to help you get through this difficult period.

For people who require urgent mental health support, the Kind to Your Mind website also contains a number of crisis helplines, which have been recently launched and offer 24/7 support for those living in Cheshire and Merseyside.
Cheshire & Merseyside NHS Trusts have launched new mental health helplines for people in need of mental health crisis support.

Open 24 hours a day, seven-days a week, they are available to people of all ages including children and young people who need urgent mental health support.

In Knowsley, adults and children can call 01925 275 309 (North West Boroughs NHS Trust).
Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters platform has specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak. You can also complete a ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free tool to help you identify some positive steps to take.
In recognition of the unprecedented challenges which the outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can pose, Public Health England has published new online guidance on the Government’s website setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health during this difficult time, such as:
  • Maintaining contact with friends and family via telephone and video calls, or social media.
  • Keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern.
  • Focusing on a hobby or learning something new.
Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the Coronavirus outbreak, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their own reactions and creating a new routine.

The guidance issued on Sunday, 29 March, has been developed in partnership with leading mental health charities and clinically assured by the NHS. It also includes steps that those living with serious mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams.
Knowsley Bridge Social Inclusion and Vocational Service, part of Imagine Independence, usually run informal weekly drop in sessions in Huyton, Prescot and Kirkby.

Now the charity, who are dedicated to helping people with mental and physical health issues develop skills and live independently, is offering online support via its website.
The Foundation was set up by teenagers who lost their friend, Lee Thornley, to suicide in February 2018. The group are passionate about making a change to the mental health sector and providing help for anyone who may need it.

You can follow them on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram.
Young people in Knowsley can receive free counselling and emotional wellbeing support with Kooth, a service commissioned by Knowsley.

The website gives young people aged 10 to 19 the opportunity to talk to someone about their worries anonymously and access self-help materials for free.

To access a friendly counsellor or use the support features the Kooth service offers, log onto to www.kooth.com between Monday and Friday from 12pm to 10pm, or Saturdays and Sundays between 6pm and 10pm.
Knowsley Public Health has updated its 10 Ways to Wellbeing advice to help you and your family look after your mental health and wellbeing whilst staying at home more.

With ideas on how to encourage your children to talk about their feelings and suggestions on ways to keep in touch with others, plus ideas to keep the whole family active in and around the house, it has lots of really helpful information.

You can read all the advice here on Knowsley News.
The Hive Men's Group, which promotes good mental health, are now meeting remotely via Zoom every Wednesday evening from 7-8pm. New people are very welcome - simply contact Tom on 07950 987 944 for more details on how to join the call.