Our dedicated staff are working hard in response to the coronavirus pandemic to protect and support our service users, each other and the communities we are a part of.
We work with many vulnerable individuals, and looking after them and our colleagues remains our top priority.
On this page, you'll find pandemic-specific information that may be useful to you. For advice and signposting on specific mental health issues like anxiety, depression, dementia, eating disorders and more, visit the NAViGO Hub.
We have launched a 24/7 COVID-19 mental health support service, which offers professional support to people affected by the pandemic.
The telephone support service can be accessed by anyone – from individuals already accessing services to people struggling with the new social distancing restrictions, isolation or pandemic-related anxiety.
Operated by trained employees, the service offers support and guidance for a range of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm, minimising the need for people to go to GP surgeries or hospital.
Additional fast tracked support is also provided to NHS staff, partner organisations and key workers on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.
It can be accessed by calling (01472) 256256 and selecting option 3.
It’s really important that we keep in contact with those closest to us at this time.
Social distancing does not mean we should be socially isolated. You can still contact loved ones through messaging apps, video chat, phone calls, emails or even good, old-fashioned letters.
If you think that somebody close to you needs help, reach out to them and ask how they’re doing. That alone can be enough to help someone feel less isolated in these times.
Encourage them to look for support and make them aware of the NAViGO services that can help, such as Open Minds and the 24/7 coronavirus support service. There are also national services, like Samaritans, Shout and CALM who can help.
If someone is having a tough time and needs some help, there are a number of common signs, including avoiding talking to people, finding it hard to cope with everyday feelings and losing enjoyment in things they use to find pleasure in. These symptoms often, but not always, come about after triggering situations, such as family problems, financial worries or bereavement.
The Samaritans have excellent information on what to look out for and even give little tips on how to approach difficult conversations and be a good listener.
Life is changing for a while and you are likely to see some disruption to your normal routine.
You might find it helpful to write a plan for your day or week. If you are working from home, try to get up and ready in the same way as normal, keep to the same hours you would normally work and stick to the same sleeping schedule. Set alarms to remind you of your new schedule if that helps.
If we are feeling worried, anxious, lonely or low, we may stop doing the things we usually enjoy.
Make an effort to focus on your favourite hobby if it is something you can still do at home. If not, try picking something new to learn at home.
Maintaining healthy relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family while you are all staying at home – by phone, messaging, video calls or social media – whether it’s people you usually see often, or connecting with old friends.
If you are working from home, try to find a quiet space to help you separate work and home life.
Limit your exposure to social media if you find it is heightening your anxiety.
‘Mute’ group conversations on social platforms which are making you anxious.
Try setting yourself a specific time to read updates or limit yourself to a couple of checks a day. Try to limit the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak, including on social media, and think about turning off breaking-news alerts on your phone.
Our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. We should try and build physical activity into our daily routines.
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. Think about your diet. Your appetite might change if your routine changes, or if you’re less active than you usually are.
We know that COVID-19 will have serious impacts on the lives of women, children and men who are experiencing domestic abuse.
They may feel unsafe with the prospect of being isolated in the house with their perpetrator and the current restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus are likely to result in an increase in domestic abuse incidents.
Please be reassured that numerous local and national domestic abuse support services remain in place and are working hard to ensure they can still offer support during this challenging time.
If you, or someone you know, are affected by domestic abuse, call Women’s Aid (who support both men and women) on (01472) 575757. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you can’t speak, dial 999 and, when the operator is on the line, press 55 on your telephone keypad to still get help.