Mental health and wellbeing

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Alert

Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important while staying at home because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Here you can find resources to help you with both your mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health Click to get info

Coronavirus brings with it many worries that can make stress, low moods, and loneliness more likely, especially when you are self-isolating, ill, or recovering from Coronavirus.

For general advice, we recommend visiting NHS Every Mind Matters

Key support resources

There are numerous mental health support offers still available, including online services. Support and information can be accessed via the NHS website, and you can request a personalised plan to help you feel more in control and to help you deal with stress and anxiety.

If you need to talk to someone you can also contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Waltham Forest talking therapies is changing to accommodate and support those who are self-isolating, or anxious about the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) on themselves, their family, and their loved ones. In addition, the service continues to provide support for people with problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

In the current situation the service is offering support to people by telephone or video call. Online treatment is also available.

If your mental health deteriorates, or if you experience any thoughts of suicide or self- harm, please contact Mental Health Direct on 0300 555 1000 (24hrs) or Samaritans on 116 123.

For further advice and guidance please read the Government advice on mental health and wellbeing in the context of COVID-19.

Other conditions

The current restrictions may be particularly difficult for people with pre-existing mental health needs. Support can be found:

Additional support resources

Now more than ever it is important to consider how you can look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Start by checking out the five ways to wellbeing

5 Ways to Wellbeing are five recommended actions that research has shown we can all do to support personal wellbeing, help us feel good and prevent mental health problems during difficult times. These actions are:

  • Connect
  • Keep learning
  • Be Active
  • Take Notice and
  • Give

Find out more information on how to get involved with the 5 ways to wellbeing.

Additional support resources

  • Headspace is a great source of tools and tips to help you meditate and unwind
  • Buddhify is another online resource where you can get help meditating

More resources on keeping fit, healthy and active during quarantine can be found

The Government has released guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. It advises that children will react to current events differently depending on their age, previous experiences and the ways they cope with stress and communicate. Reactions may manifest as anxiety, fear, avoidance, sleeping difficulties, or physical symptoms like stomach-ache. Support your child by:

  • Listening to what they have to say and acknowledging their concerns.
  • Giving them clear, age-appropriate, honest information about the situation using trusted sources like gov.uk or the NHS website. Explain the actions being taken to keep everyone safe, and how they can help e.g. by washing their hands.
  • Trying to remain calm, remember that your emotions will affect your child.
  • If you are separated from your child (e.g. hospitalisation), explaining what is happening and why, and maintaining frequent, regular contact via phone or video.
  • Developing a routine which includes time for learning, playing and relaxing. Make a plan and try to stick to existing bedtime routines.
  • Limiting troubling media exposure for the whole family. Both too much news and a total restriction might be upsetting. Restricting only your child’s exposure may make them more curious.

If your teenager is feeling low or anxious, we recommend directing your child to Kooth

Key support resources

  • Children aged 11-18 who are feeling low or anxious can use Kooth. Kooth is a web based confidential support service available to young people. Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people.  Young people can access self-help articles, counselling and moderated forums.
  • Young Minds focus on helping younger people with their mental health
  • Shout provides free confidential support 24/7 for anyone in crisis.
  • ChildLine offers a confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem.
  • The Mix provides a free confidential telephone helpline and online service for young people

Additional support resources

Talking to children and young people about Coronavirus

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a difficult topic to discuss with children and young people, you can find useful links and advice about how to approach this subject on the Childcare support section.

Supporting children with existing conditions

It may particularly important and difficult to support your child’s mental wellbeing if they have an existing mental or physical condition, a learning disability, autism, or are a young carer.

To find out more, read the government guidance on support child mental health

The current situation may be putting pressure on our relationships in several ways. Some might be having difficulty juggling work and childcare, or spending much more time with family in a small space. Others might be worried about their health or the health of loved ones, or even dealing with a bereavement. The current circumstances can make all these challenges more difficult but there is support out there.

For general advice read advice on managing relationships from Relate

Key support resources

Specific resources

Advice for care experienced young people and children separated from their family from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) and the Family Justice Young People’s Board (FJYPB)

Additional support resources

Information, help and support  on breastfeeding can be found through

This is a particularly uncertain time, socially for those worrying about money and finances.

Help and advice on how the council can support you during this time