Talking about Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Posted by See Me, 24 March 2020

With everything going on right now it's more important than ever that we stay connected and carry on talking about mental health.

It's now more than nine months since we went into lockdown and, although some restrictions have been eased, many people still feel a high level of anxiety. Things are changing all the time right now, and it's okay to feel worried or anxious about everything that's going on.

Remember, it's still okay not to be okay and to ask for help if you're struggling.

If you’re finding yourself struggling with feelings of anxiety or panic right now, that is normal, this is an unprecedented time, and it's okay to talk about it. The more we talk about it, the less alone we'll feel. Looking after our mental health is just as important as our physical health. NHS Inform has some good information on what you need to do to keep yourself well.

We’ve also brought together some helpful guidance from our friends and partners on how to look after your mental health and those of the people around you. It is designed for people who are feeling anxious or worried about Coronavirus, or are struggling with their mental health.

If you’re struggling with your mental health right now it’s important to find someone you trust to speak to about how you’re feeling. If you need to speak to someone right now, check out the contacts in our Urgent Help Section here

If you’re worried about someone else who you might not be seeing, reach out, ask them if they’re okay and share this information with them.

Practical Advice from the Scottish Government:

  • If you are worried that you may have contracted COVID-19, you can check your symptoms at NHS Inform. They are rolling out specific mental health advice on platforms such as NHS 24 and NHS Inform.
  • In the meantime, you can take some simple steps to protect your mental health and to look after your loved ones:
    • If you are feeling stressed or anxious, consider how you feel when you have  constant exposure to media coverage and graphic news stories. Although it is important to stay informed, consider taking a break if you feel things are getting on top of you.
    • NHS guidance encourages individuals who are displaying symptoms, and their families, to self-isolate.  It is important that you try and stay as connected to your friends/family and co-workers as much as possible via skype, email, video-calling and telephone.
    • Social media can be an excellent way to keep in touch with your loved ones. However, as with news coverage, you should be mindful of your use of social media. Use it to promote positive interactions, and put your device away if it starts to negatively affect your mood. Many smartphones allow you to set time limits for certain apps such as Facebook or Instagram.
    • If you know someone who is self-isolating, contact them by telephone to offer a chat and to ask if they need anything brought to them. If you know a person who lives alone and who has no access to a telephone, you can help by safely reaching out to ensure they have what they need to survive this difficult time.

Other Information and Support:

We know that the current situation will be particularly worrying for specific groups of people, especially those who have existing mental health concerns. There are many great resources to help, here are some good examples including some where advice has been tailored to particular groups.