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Mental health support

Strict new measures were put into place from Wednesday 25 March, asking everyone in the community to stay at home except for essential journeys. Staying at home will be difficult, but this is to protect yourself and also other members of the community. When we remove our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection

We understand that for some people, staying at home for long periods of time can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings being affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping. You may also feel isolated and alone, but we are here for you. There are a number of services and organisations available to help and support you and there are details of some on this page. It is also important to remember that it is okay to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently.

There are some things you can do that may help, such as staying in touch with friends and relatives on the phone or by social media. Some people have found it useful to re-connect with a hobby or learn a new skill through an online course. There are also lots of resources you can use to keep you well during your time at home.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Go for a walk outside in the fresh air (unless you are self-isolating) or try a home workout
  • Try not to be glued to the news
  • Think about how you can adapt your daily routine and set new goals
  • Borrow an e-book from the Guille-Allès Library’s online selection 
  • Learn how to meditate
  • Listen to a new podcast such as “Feel better, live more” with Dr Rangan Chatterjee, “Happy Place” with Fearne Cotton, Bryony Gordon’s “Mad World” or perhaps the TED Radio Hour Podcast
  • Experiment in the kitchen with some new recipes 
  • Challenge yourself with a sudoku 
  • Pick up an instrument or new craft to help focus your mind and pass the time
  • Try a free online course from Future Learn

Dr Russ Harris, author of the international best-seller ‘The Happiness Trap’, has created a video to illustrate how to use ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to deal with the Coronavirus, and the fear, anxiety and worry that goes with it. Watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmvNCdpHUYM

If you are experiencing particularly low mood or high levels of anxiety or stress for a sustained period of time, we would advise contacting your GP to discuss how they can help and the support that they can provide. Mental Health Services are accepting new referrals for urgent and emergency cases – where there is a risk involved – but GPs are asked to monitor and manage their patients during lockdown and then consider if a referral is appropriate.

All of the different parts of HSC MHS have been aware of the potential impact on both our population as a whole and high risk groups such as those with existing mental health problems and our front line staff.

A psychological health group (cell) was established when these measures were put in place, in order to share experiences across the whole service. This includes a dedicated, senior member of staff from Healthy Minds, 2 care or Occupational Health allocated to different areas – public messaging, hospital, HSC community, private community staff. This group has reached out to the various sectors and have supported individuals and groups of staff who have been negatively impacted by their experience working with COVID patients.

COVID-19 contacts

Clinical questions

Monday to Friday 08:00-16:00 (email inbox monitored between 09:00-17:00 Monday to Friday)

Non-clinical enquiries

Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00

Businesses with financial concerns

Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00

Individuals with financial concerns

Monday to Friday 08:30-16:00

Guidance for critical businesses and workers

Monday to Friday 09:00-17:00

Accommodation Advice

Monday to Friday 08:30-16:00