Health

UK Mental Health Resources For Managing The Pandemic's Ongoing Impact

Whatever your situation, there's help out there.

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COVID-19 lockdowns and the restrictions associated with them have now ruled our lives for more a year. On Feb. 22, 2021, Boris Johnson announced a four-part lockdown easing plan for England that could mean that restrictions will be lifted entirely by June 21. In Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, political leaders are looking at a similar schedule for the end of lockdown. While this news has been viewed as a relief by some, for others it feels like a long time to try and keep their spirits up – and the impact of the past 12 months is likely to last longer after June 21. So, if you're struggling, here are some mental health resources for the remaining weeks in lockdown and beyond.

Over the last 12 months, charities have highlighted the monumental impact that COVID-19 is having, with Mind reporting that 60% of adults and over two thirds of young people (68%) have said their mental health has got worse in lockdown. Not having our usual support systems in place, combined with a lack of work or a feeling of hopelessness about the future, can all be contributing factors.

And while most people have found being stuck indoors difficult, there are also people out there for whom the end of lockdown causing major anxiety. Describing the effects of "re-entry anxiety," consultant psychologist Marc Hekster told the Independent: "Lockdown has created an artificial sense of security about the world. We have been protected from the virus and perhaps also protected from complicated family circumstances, family conflicts, and other external issues."

Whatever you’re struggling with right now, know you’re not alone. There’s so many resources, helplines, and people there to listen.

Resources & Information

Mentalhealth.org

Mentalhealth.org is a really reliable and straightforward website which can provide you with information on how different mental health conditions can manifest, as well as useful podcasts and videos to provide even more detail. They also have a whole section on COVID-19 which has tips for staying at home and what to do if you’re worried about a loved one.

Mind

Mind is one of the leading mental health charities in the UK. Throughout the pandemic they’ve shared research about the mental health impact that lockdown has had and the things you can do to keep an eye on your wellbeing. Their website includes information on how to look after your practical needs, as well as feelings to look out for.

Our Frontline

Since Nov. 5 many people face another month in lockdown but many frontline workers like medics, teachers, cleaners, and carers are still going out to work. This can have an incredibly toll on your mental health. Our Frontline was established with essential workers in mind to support you with information and a place to talk.

Shelter

For many people the pandemic has had a big financial impact too. Not knowing where you’re going to lockdown or how you’ll afford housing is really scary. Shelter has lots of information on their website about housing during COVID-19 and where to turn if you’re in distress.

Rethink Mental Illness

If you already live with a mental illness then COVID-19 may have made things harder. When you’re being encouraged not to go to your GP it can be hard to know where to turn. Rethink Mental Illness supports people living with mental health conditions. They have an area on their website dedicated to frequently asked questions related to COVID-19.

Place2Be

Schools have remained open during the second national lockdown. Adapting to new conditions at school and mixing with other children can be a source of stress and anxiety. Place2Be is a mental health charity for children. Their website has resources targeted at both kids and their parents and guardians to help navigate COVID-19 and explain what’s happening.

Beat

Beat is one of the leading eating disorder charities in the UK. It has a whole section on their website about what to do if you’re struggling with an eating disorder through the pandemic and also has a helpline if you need more immediate assistance.

Time To Change

Lockdown can be incredibly isolating and when you’re struggling with your mental health, it’s easy to think you’re completely alone. Time To Change wants to bust the stigma attached to mental health conditions. Their website includes testimonials and personal stories from people who may be going through a similar thing to you.

Headspace

Headspace is a mindfulness app. They’ve created meditations to help you sleep, focus, or move. If you find sitting quietly difficult it could be the perfect companion. Similarly, their blog gives you helpful advice on how to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life.

Hotlines & Therapy Services

When you’re struggling, speaking to someone who understands can be so helpful. Here are some helplines and remote therapy services that will put you in touch with someone directly when you need to talk.

CALM

CALM has a helpline. You can call it between 5 p.m, and midnight everyday on 0800 58 58 58. Also if you’d rather speak online, they also have a web chat.

Samaritans

You can email jo@samaritans.org or call Samaritans on 116 123 anytime

Saneline

You can call SaneLine is on 0300 304 7000 between 4:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Shout

You can text shout on 85258 anytime for confidential support.

Papyrus

If you or someone you love is having suicidal thoughts you can call Papyrus on 0800 068 4141 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org.

The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network

People of colour have been worse affected by the pandemic. If this reality is taking its toll on your mental health, the BAATN has a directory of therapists to help you find tailored support from someone who really understands your lived experiences. They also have informative videos and a podcast.

My Online Therapy

Finding a therapist can be expensive and difficult. My Online Therapy can match you with a psychologist and you can pick how often and when you speak to them.

Talkspace Online Therapy

Talkspace Online Therapy is another service which can find you someone to speak to after taking a short quiz and you can create a therapy schedule that suits you.