Mental health during Covid-19 second wave

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New lockdown – looking after our mental health
Boy sat down looking at the floor

There are signs that mental health issues have risen in the population during 2020, particularly among young people.

With changing restrictions governing our lives, many people are concerned about the impact on mental health.

 

So, what can help us during these uncertain times?

Your feelings are normal!

Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that it’s normal to experience anxiety and low mood during these unprecedented times. When the future is as uncertain as it is now, we may worry more, trying to predict what might happen next and living in the moment less. This can be particularly difficult if we are anxious about things which are outside our control. 

High levels of uncertainty, combined with isolation from friends and family, may result in changes which feel overwhelming. This may include difficulties sleeping, eating more or less than normal, or finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions.

woman in face mask walking bike along pavement

Same storm, different boats

Although the Covid-19 pandemic is the same ‘storm’ for everyone, we are not all in the same ‘boat’. Experiences of the pandemic vary considerably, with some people facing greater challenges than others in getting through the storm. For example, you may have serious concerns about finances, employment, study, your own health or that of friends and family members.

With further national restrictions on top of those many people have been under since July, these worries may have increased, particularly as we move into the winter months.

Ten top tips for staying mentally well

Many of us will be able to manage these uncertain times and protect our mental health by taking one day at a time and focusing on our wellbeing:

  • Have a daily structure
  • Get regular daily exercise, preferably outside
  • Maintain your sleep routines
  • Try to eat a healthy diet and get support if you are in financial crisis
  • Keep in contact with friends, family and loved ones online or on the telephone, where possible
  • Make time for enjoyable activities, relaxation, and self-care
  • Restrict media and social media that increases a sense of despair and helplessness
  • Cultivating an attitude of gratitude can help improve mental health and may be even more important during times of significant challenge as a result of Covid-19.
  • Have hope: it will not solve our problems or make them go away, but it can give us the motivation to keep going when times are difficult
  • Contact helplines to get support if you need it

Read more tips for staying home during Covid on Every Mind Matters

Help is available

If you are concerned that you, or someone else, may be developing mental health difficulties and require support beyond the self-help strategies outlined above, help is available. During the first lockdown, it was reported that one in three adults and more than one in four young people did not attempt to access support because they did not think that their problem was serious enough, and there was a fall in referrals to NHS talking therapies and children and adolescent mental health services. Services remain open and support is being offered online. Please see the following link for more details, or speak to your GP:

Please use the NHS website to find a service, or speak to your GP.

Get support for your mental health condition

For people with pre-existing mental health conditions, please reach out and try to get as much support as possible. This can be via your GP and statutory services, and support is also available from national organisations; details can be found here

Find details of support available

Get help in a crisis

Finally, if you, or someone else, is in crisis and thinking about suicide, please get help immediately.

More information on help available can be found here:

NHS: Help for suicidal thoughts

HelpGuide: Are you feeling suicidal?

Resources

Helplines and crisis contacts

We signpost to organisations that offer direct support for mental health problems

View helplines
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Five Ways to Wellbeing posters

Five posters - one for each of the Five Ways to Wellbeing: connect, give, learn, be active, take notice

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Starting University

A brand new resource for young people about to start university

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Coronavirus: guide for line managers

A guide to help employers support staff mental health during Covid-19.

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Coronavirus: Quick tips for Line Managers

Tips to help line managers protect their staff’s mental health when working from home

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Wellbeing Action Plan (aged 16+)

Our new Wellbeing Action Plan is for all young people attending sixth form or college.

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Life after lockdown Wellbeing Action Plan

During the coronavirus pandemic, we have all been through enormous change and some of us may experience further uncertainty and change in the coming weeks and months

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Work from home wellbeing action plan

This is a personalised, practical tool that we can all use whether or not we have a mental health issue. There are sections for you to complete, including a positive daily plan.

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Supporting children returning to school (parents & carers)

Guidance for parents and carers on how to help your child prepare to go back to school

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Supporting children returning to school (teachers)

Guidance for school staff on how to comfort primary school pupils while maintaining social distancing

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Coping with self-harm resource

This guide includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm and how to support a young person for parents and carers

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Young people who self-harm

A guide for school staff

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Perfectionism

How to spot and respond to unhealthy perfectionism

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Asking for help

Tips for young people on when it’s time to talk about their mental health, or if they want to help a friend

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Social media and teenagers

A practical guide for parents and carers of teenagers on using social media

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Wellbeing Action Plan (child)

A simple, resource to help young people keep themselves well and get them through difficult times

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Guide to depression for parents and carers

This booklet aims to help recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

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Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (primary)

An activity pack for children, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to Wellbeing

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Wellbeing Challenge activity pack (secondary)

An activity pack for young people, filled with fun activities following the Five Ways to Wellbeing

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Resource

Warning signs poster

A bold A3 poster showing the warning signs that tell you when someone may be depressed. This poster could save a life.

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Patent and trade mark professionals

Protecting your mental health and wellbeing: A guide for patent and trade mark professionals

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Depression booklet

Featuring useful facts, figures and information, this booklet also contains sources of help and what not to say to people experiencing depression

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Resource

Parents guide to depression (Welsh)

This booklet aims to help parents recognise and understand depression and how to get appropriate help for their child

View resource
Resource

Coping with self-harm (Welsh)

A guide for parents and carers in Welsh

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Resource

Supporting children & young people as they settle back into education

Ideas for parents and carers on how to support their children as schools reopen.

View resource

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