Looking after yourself during the pandemic

People are responding differently to the Coronavirus crisis. Some people who’ve been in touch with us are finding life with restrictions easier to manage, but some are really struggling to cope with all of the changes to our daily lives, including the changes to mental health support and legislation. 

If you’re struggling, know that it isn’t your fault. It’s normal to be feeling the way that you are right now, and it’s important to let a trusted person know if things are becoming unmanageable for you – which might be a family member, friend, neighbour or mental health professional.

If you don’t know anyone you can speak to about how you’re feeling, you might like to contact one of the listening services below or get in touch with us and we can look for services in your area.

If you’re in crisis or have self-harmed and need urgent support, you can still call 999 or go to your nearest A&E.

If you’re in crisis but have been told to self-isolate, you can call NHS 111 or 999 in an emergency, your GP or mental health crisis team.

If you haven’t made contact with your local COVID-19 Mutual Aid Group already, you can find your nearest one here. Groups can offer all kinds of practical and emotional support, from help with your weekly shop to a friendly phone call.

For a supportive conversation you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or The Silver Line (for over 55s) on 0800 4 70 80 90, 24/7. 

The Mix (support for under 25s) is available on 0808 808 4994 everyday from 4pm-11pm.

The Mental Health Foundation have produced a website about how to look after your mental health at this time, including ideas for nurturing relationships, looking after yourself at work if you’re working throughout the crisis and managing your finances.

The National Survivor User Network have also produced information about support services available during the pandemic.

Further advice and support includes:

COVID-19 and Anxiety – from Anxiety UK

Dealing with Self-Harm in Lockdown & Experience-Led Self-Help Resources – from Self Injury Support

Coronavirus: dealing with bereavement and grief – from Cruse Bereavement Care

Eating Disorders and Coronavirus – from Beat

COVID-19: Surviving Lockdown with Voices and Visions – from the National Hearing Voices Network

Our sister project, The Dragon Cafe, have set up a new collective blog called Connect where members can share thoughts, stories, poems, photos, music, recipes and more, as well as chat. The Dragon Cafe are also live broadcasting events and activities, from massage to dance, every Monday online here.

If you find Twitter a helpful resource, you might like to visit @MadCovid, a community space for user and survivor led projects, featuring video diaries from people living with trauma, mental health difficulties and distress, creative activities and events.

MadCovid are also managing a hardship fund with grants of up to £200 to help people with mental health difficulties pay their bills or access support. For more information please see their website.

You can also get in touch if you’d like us to share details about your own projects, or support services in your area.