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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

New tips to support mental health during the coronavirus epidemic

  • The Public Health England guide will provide helpful advice on how to take care of your well-being, along with advice for parents and guardians about children’s mental health.
  • Major mental health charities have invested £ 5 million to expand support services
  • Plans approved by Their Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as part of their commitment to mental health

People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope, mental health minister Nadine Dorries announced today.

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges that the epidemic and long periods of self-isolation may pose, Public Health England has published new online guidelines that define the principles to follow to help people manage their mental health in this difficult time, such as:

  • keep in touch with friends and family via phone and video calls or social media
  • maintaining a regular routine and sleep
  • focus on a hobby or learn something new

Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the coronavirus epidemic, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their reactions and creating a new routine.

Today’s guidelines have been developed in collaboration with the main mental health benefits organizations and clinically insured by the NHS. It also includes the steps people living with severe mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams.

Their royal heights The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said:

The past few weeks have been anxious and disturbing for everyone. We need to take time to support each other and find ways to take care of our mental health. It’s nice to see the mental health sector collaborate with the NHS to help people keep up with their mental well-being. By getting together and taking simple steps every day, we can all be better prepared for the times ahead.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have long been supporters of mental health, through their sponsorships and the Royal Foundation’s Heads Together campaign. In 2019, their true altitudes helped launch Public Health England’s mental health platform, Every Mind Matters.

Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries said:

When I found out I had coronavirus, I felt anxious and scared.

For those who already suffer from anxiety or other mental health problems, this can present new and difficult challenges.

It is imperative to stay home if we are to defeat the coronavirus and save lives. I know how important it is that people have the support to take care of their mental health and this guide will have enormous value.

The government also announced a £ 5 million grant for major mental health charities, administered by Mind, to fund additional services for people struggling with their mental well-being during this period. This could include telephone and online support services for the most isolated and vulnerable in our communities.

Public Health England has updated its world-leading Every Mind Matters platform with specific advice on how to maintain good mental well-being during the epidemic. People can also complete a “Mental Plan”, a quick and free tool that has already been completed over 1.8 million times.

Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said:

During these difficult times, it is natural for all of us to feel worried or anxious, but there are things we can do to help ourselves and others, to prevent these feelings from becoming more serious.

We must continue to monitor friends, family and neighbors by phone or online and continue the activities that we are able to do from home and in line with the guide. By adopting a new routine, setting goals, eating healthy and maintaining physical activity, we can remain in good mental health today and tomorrow.

The government and NHS England recognize that the mental health impacts of the coronavirus epidemic are significant and are working closely with mental health trusts to ensure access to NHS mental health services for those in need.

This includes providing guidelines for trust in staff training, prioritizing services and how to maximize the use of digital and virtual channels to continue providing patient support. NHS mental health service providers are also establishing 24/7 help lines.

Mind will use their existing links with other charities, including user-led grassroots organizations, to reach vulnerable groups that are particularly at risk during this period. This should include older adults, people with basic health conditions and anyone with unstable working and housing conditions.

Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive officer and coordinator of a group of mental health charities, said:

We are facing one of the most difficult times ever for our mental well-being as a nation. It is absolutely vital that people get together and do everything they can to take care of themselves and their loved ones when we are all faced with enormous change and uncertainty. Reaching friends and relatives is essential, as well as paying attention to the impact that our physical health can have on our mental health – from diet and exercise to getting enough natural light and some fresh air.

Charities such as Mind have a role to play in helping people manage not only the initial emergency, but also to come to terms on how it will affect us well in the future. Whether we have an existing mental health problem or not, we will all need additional help to deal with the consequences of this unprecedented set of circumstances.

NHS director of mental health Claire Murdoch said:

The NHS is stepping up to offer people help when and how they need it, including by phone, facetime, skype or digitally enabled therapy packages, and we also have accelerated plans for 24/7 crisis response service.

We are determined to meet the needs of people during this difficult period and by working with our partners in the health sector and in the community, the NHS mental health services will be present through what is undoubtedly one of the greatest health challenges that the NHS has ever He addressed.

Notes to editors:

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