Looking after your mental wellbeing
Keeping ourselves mentally and emotionally well is as important as looking after our physical wellbeing. We know from speaking to local people that many have felt that their mental wellbeing has been affected by worries about COVID-19 and the restrictions that have been introduced by Government to help keep us safe.
There are many resources online that can help support our mental and emotional wellbeing. This simple guide outlines some national and local information and services that are available.
Who should I call in a crisis?
You can contact the Single Point of Access if you feel you are in a mental health crisis.
If you have a mental health emergency, call 999.
Samaritans run a free 24-hour helpline on 116 123 for anyone in distress.
Maytree offers email and telephone support for people who are feeling suicidal between 8am and 8pm on 020 7263 7070; firstname.lastname@example.org
NHS 111 can be helpful for a non-urgent query.
Mind have guidance on how to plan in advance for a crisis.
Where can I access support if I work in the NHS or in social care?
If you are an NHS or social care worker there is support for your mental wellbeing.
The meditation and mindfulness app Headspace is offering free use for NHS staff.
Frontline 19 mindfulness app has been set up to offer free and confidential counselling support to all NHS and frontline workers impacted by working on the COVID-19 outbreak.
Keeping Well Service frontline offers free and confidential wellbeing and psychological support to all NHS staff, volunteers and those providing care to others in the community, including in residential homes, in North West London.
Someone close to me has died; where can I get support?
If you live in Westminster, CCIWBS offer bereavement counselling. You can contact them on 020 7284 0090.
If you live in Kensington and Chelsea, Cruse Bereavement Care offer bereavement counselling. You can contact them on 020 8964 3455.
How do I look after my mental and emotional wellbeing?
Government guidance on managing your mental health during COVID-19 includes lots of information on looking after your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Establishing good sleeping patterns can be helpful.
Looking after your physical health is important and can boost feelings of wellbeing.
Talking to others when you are feeling upset or anxious can be beneficial. You can self-refer for free and confidential therapy for anxiety and depression, access a crisis line for urgent help and find useful FAQs and resources
There is more information on Talking Therapies on here.
Central and North West London NHS Trust also have a great “stay well at home isolation pack" with similar guidance.
What should I do if I feel scared and anxious?
- Visit Anxiety UK to get support now
- Healthwatch England have produced some guidance if the COVID-19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on your mental health
- Recovery College Online have produced an online course to equip you with the tools to cope during this pandemic.
- Good Thinking have published a set of tools to help you if you're feeling anxious, sad, stressed or experiencing sleep deprivation
- Mental health charity, Mind, has compiled this support page
- West London Clinical Commissioning Group, Public Health England, Community Champions and Maternity Champions have created a series of three information sheets to signpost and support local residents who may be struggling with their mental health. They cover Urgent Support, NHS Services, Online Resources.
- Rethink Mental Health have issued this update on the mental health act, how to support yourself, support for carers and a general COVID-19 page
- OCD UK have released these survival tips to help you through the pandemic
- The NHS have a comprehensive list of mental health helplines
I have an existing mental health condition; how can I find support?
Many people have been living with specific mental health conditions for a long time, which might have been made more difficult by the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some resources that might be helpful:
Alcoholics Anonymous runs a 24-hour helpline on 0800 917 7650, Narcotics Anonymous runs from 10am- midnight on 0300 999 1212, and the National Gambling Helpline runs from 8am-midnight on 0808 8020 133.
Bipolar UK offer a number of online-based peer support services.
Depression and social isolation:
CALM has a phone line for men aged 18-35 on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm-midnight). Older people who are at risk of loneliness and isolation can call Age UK’s Befriending Service for support.
Beat have a phone line for adults and for (0808 801 0677) and for under-18s (0808 801 0711).
There is a more comprehensive list available on the NHS helplines page.
Support for young people
Young people have had to face serious challenges over this period which has had a big impact on their mental wellbeing, or ‘mental health’. Mental health is something we all have, and it can go up and down and change, just as our physical health can.
We listen to what young people are telling us about what they want and need to protect, maintain and improve their mental health and continue to be impressed by the courage and resilience shown in facing up to the challenges they are facing.
There are many resources online that can support young people. This simple guide outlines some guidance and resources that young people have told us that they find useful, along with more details on what are youth group does.
A good place to start is with your GP for help with your mental health. If you are distressed and don’t want to wait, try:
- 24/7 Crisis Text line. Text “SHOUT’ to 85258, or click here
- Call: 0800 023 4650 for urgent mental health support in Westminster or Kensington & Chelsea
- Free, anonymous help and counselling from Kooth
- If you need help urgently, but are not at risk of harm, or serious harm, call 111 or visit NHS 111 online
- If you feel you need help immediately, call for an ambulance on 999.
Reach out to local groups
Kensington and Chelsea
We have an active group of young volunteers called Young Healthwatch Westminster (14-25 year olds) who work with us to ensure young people’s voices are heard in what mental wellbeing support looks like. They also run projects and produce resources to provide guidance for young people.
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