Mental Health resources for support workers during the pandemic
20 May 2020
Coronavirus is not just a crisis of physical health; it is also a crisis of mental health. People are isolated, away from family, friends and other support networks, or trying to support others in very difficult circumstances, and loneliness will inevitably increase. While these challenging times will particularly affect people with existing mental health problems, the additional pressure and uncertainty are resulting in a widespread need for people to take care of their mental health.
The team at Mind have also done a great job of pulling together lots of great sources of support specifically for people working in social care. The Mental Health at Work website has hints and tips on how to stay positive during the lockdown, how to access more immediate help such as text helplines and advice on how to deal with stress, emotions and grief during this difficult time.
The Mind website also has a host of information about how to cope with being at work when others aren’t. When you’re busy doing important work, it might not feel possible to take care of yourself. But even doing small things for yourself can make a big difference to your mental wellbeing, and there are lots of ideas you can try.
This information on the Mind website can help you cope if:
- you have to leave your house to go into work during the coronavirus outbreak.
- you’re experiencing difficult feelings about coronavirus and going to work.
- you’re worried about how this may affect the people you live with or care for.
- If you are working in healthcare or emergency services during the coronavirus outbreak, you may have to cope with some difficult, unique experiences.
These are some tips to help support your wellbeing:
- Connect with people: Talk to someone you trust. Telling someone about how you feel can make a difference, even if they can’t change what you’re experiencing.
- Take care with news and information: Stay connected with current events, but be careful where you get news and health information from.
- Make time for yourself where possible: It may feel very difficult to make time for yourself while you are working, particularly if you are working more than usual or if you are under a lot of pressure. Find ways to relax, do something you enjoy or try some mindfulness activities.
- Try to keep active: Try to build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. The gym is off-limits, but there are still activities you can do, from joining in with PR with Joe to watching exercise videos.
- Look after your physical health: It may feel difficult to take care of your physical health if you’re feeling busy or stressed, but it can have a big effect on your mental health; make sure you eat well, stay hydrated and get enough sleep.
Practical guidance for going into work: You may be worried about how coronavirus is going to affect your work, from sick pay to caring for children. The Gov website has information www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-and-support-for-employees-during-coronavirus-covid-19
Other helpful mental health resources during lockdown:
- Public Health England – Guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- City Mental Health Alliance – Supporting colleagues
- Every Mind Matters – Coronavirus and wellbeing
- Mental Health At Work – Coronavirus and isolation: supporting yourself and your colleagues
- Mental Health Foundation – Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- Mind – Coronavirus and your wellbeing
- Rethink Mental Illness – Covid-19 and mental illness
- Samaritans – If you’re worried about your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak