Helping people take care of their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

10 ways to look after your mental healthSenior psychologists from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are offering advice and guidance to help people take care of their mental health during the coronavirus crisis – and beyond.

The Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services in Sussex and Hampshire, has published information and support to make sure people can help manage the way they are feeling in what are difficult and challenging times for everyone.

Director of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, Dr Nick Lake, said: “The coronavirus outbreak is affecting us all psychologically. People will be worried about the impact of the disease on themselves, and their families and friends, not just in terms of health but in all the other ways it is changing our lives right now. This includes those people whose jobs are threatened, who are struggling financially and who may be suffering with anxiety or depression.

“It is more likely that people will suffer mental health problems because they may have lost things that normally keep us emotionally well. These include contact with friends and family, physical exercise and other routines that give us a sense of purpose. That’s why it is important that we can provide as much advice and guidance to support people where we can.”

Dr Lake has identified 10 top things which can help people look after themselves and others around them:

  1. Remember it is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle as far as you can, including diet, sleep and exercise
  3. Don’t smoke, drink or use drugs to deal with your emotions
  4. Keep connected to people by phone, email and social media
  5. Be kind to others and to yourself
  6. Use skills you already have, and have used in the past to deal with stress
  7. Limit worry by watching or listening to media coverage less
  8. Structure your day with things that you can realistically achieve
  9. Get the facts to help you determine your risk and protect yourself, and
  10. Seek advice you can trust from the NHS and the Government.

More detailed information is available from the Sussex Partnership website – www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-and-your-mental-health

as well as links to other resources to help.

There is also good advice about how to talk to children about coronavirus from Sussex Partnership’s Flourishing Families Clinic at www.flourishingfamiliesclinic.nhs.uk