WELLBEING & MENTAL HEALTH

As fears grow over the spread of coronavirus, many people’s mental health may be suffering.

Earlier this week the World Health Organisation issued guidelines for protecting mental health during the outbreak.

Stay safe and take care everyone.

Remember the FYF Team and Troopers are all here to support you so please keep in touch and talk to each other on No LIMBits.  We’re all stronger together and there to help with anything you’d like to chat about.  There are also many different Mental Health Organisations available and online resources so please check out our ‘Wellbeing and Mental Health‘ section for more information.

A long period of isolation may well be a necessary measure for public health but it has been acknowledged that it could also have a detrimental impact on people’s mental health.

What should you do if your mental health is suffering during self-isolation? Check out some tips here.

The coronavirus outbreak is affecting the way many of us live our lives, and it’s normal that this will affect people’s mental health. Samaritans have gathered some resources that might be helpful.

Check it out here.

NHS Lanarkshire’s Psychological Services have issued helpful advice about managing anxiety as a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

Health boards and health and care staff across Scotland have been understandably focusing on ensuring hospital and community services are prepared for the expected increase in cases.
Psychological Services also want to remind people of the importance of looking after their own and others’ mental health during this stressful time.

NHS Lanarkshire Director of Psychological Services, Dr Gary Tanner (pictured), explained: “The first thing to say is that it’s perfectly normal to be feeling stressed or anxious right now.

“The vast majority of us will never have experienced anything like this before.
“But there are small steps we can each take which can help us cope much better with anxious thoughts and feelings.”

The NHS Lanarkshire Psychologists’ guidance can be found online here.  It highlights the very normal physical feelings that come with anxiety, which include a racing heart, chest pain, sweatiness and a shortness of breath.  It also points out how one of the big problems right now is uncertainty – something human beings find very difficult to cope with.

While we can’t simply switch off our anxious thoughts and feelings, there are simple things we can do in response which can make a big difference.  For example, eating healthily, exercising and sticking to a sleep routine are all important.  Staying in touch with people we like and trust also matters. Phone calls, messages and video calls are good ways of doing this – even if we’re having to self-isolate.

Dr Tanner added: “One of the most important things we can do at this time is be kind – to ourselves, and to others.  “Being kind to others makes us feel good about ourselves as well.”

For those currently seeing an NHS Lanarkshire mental health professional, teams will keep you updated about any changes to appointments.

Some steps you can take to manage stress/anxiety:

The OMC is offering weekly online mindfulness sessions, open to those who feel they would benefit.

These sessions are completely free and open to the general public, meaning you do not need prior mindfulness experience or practice to take part. Each session will also be available as a free podcast shortly after for anyone who missed the live session or wishes to practice again.  More details here.

On this page you will find easy access to a range of information, resources and support for helping you understand how to deal with your anxiety during these difficult times while Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting on our lives.

Free online learning: Breathe, Relax and Stay Strong Scotland: experience meditation in this 30 minute session to release stress anxiety in these challenging times. A range of dates to select from and can be accessed below

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/breathe-relax-stay-strong-scotland-tickets-100811824882

Stevie Kidd is an International Business/Life Performance Coach, Entrepreneur & Endurance Athlete.  If you’d like to keep up with his daily posts, he will be posting a lot of mindfulness posts on social media mainly Linkedin , Instagram and Twitter.  Check out one of his posts below.

How do I stay in the present moment when it feels unbearable? | Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindful Observation

This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps you notice and appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment in a more profound way.

The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment, something that is easily missed when we are in our usual daily routine. Right now we are slowing down which is not within our control. SO……..

  1. Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower or a plant, or even the clouds, or even a tree or a branch, .
  2. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows.
  3. Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time.
  4. Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence.
  5. Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the world.

It’s about Practicing stillness and Alpha

 

Mindfulness Scotland is a small registered charity based in Glasgow. “Our vision is to contribute to the development of a more mindful and compassionate Scotland. We endeavour to engage in socially oriented rather than profit driven activity, working alongside the NHS and third sector organisations.”

More information here.

Aye Mind is on a mission to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people – by making better use of the internet, social media and mobile technologies. We have worked with young people aged 13 to 21 to create and share a wide range of Resources. More information here.

Combined Minds

Combined Minds is an app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, to help families and friends support young people with their mental health. More info here.

Clear Fear

The fear of threat, or anxiety, is like a strong gust of wind. It drags you in and makes you want to fight it or run away.

Instead, face your fear with the free Clear Fear app and learn to reduce the physical responses to threat as well as changing thoughts and behaviours and releasing emotions. More info here.

SMILING MIND

Equipping young people with the integral skills they need to thrive in life.  Supporting yourself and each other through Coronavirus. More info here.

For anyone who is finding it hard at the moment to cope with the news, self-isolation or just in general – this brilliant calendar from Action for Happiness has some really good easy ideas to follow. Special Olympics Great Britain also has more info, resources and fitness ideas on Covid-19 which we will be adding to as we go along. Click here http://bit.ly/3a1B1oM.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Mental Health Improvement Team

Dealing with Loss and Grief:  during COVID-19

As we work through the disruption and impact of the current COVID-19, it has left us to deal with a tsunami of emotions from anger, anxiety, fear and denial, emotions often associated with grief.  We grieve when we lose someone or something that is important to us and of value, this can be bereavement, job loss, relationship breakdown, opportunities, freedom and social connections. Grief is a natural response and affects people in different ways. Remember there is no right or wrong way to grieve. The way grief affects us depends on a range of factors including what kind of loss has been suffered beliefs, religion, age, relationships and our physical and mental health.  The lockdown in place has restricted our movements and our freedom to connect with our social supports in the ways that we might normally. This can be even more challenging when you are grieving as more often than not many of us cope with the help of family, friends and our wider social connections such as religious and spiritual gatherings, clubs and other activities. Keeping routine and structure can help us through the grief process, however this is difficult to maintain whilst in the midst of a pandemic. Therefore we need to look at alternative and creative ways of accessing our supports such as online and telephone contact.

A final note, think of grief using the imagery of the four seasons to illustrate that grief is cyclic, there is no end point and whilst some days will feel cold, dark and wintry, remember spring and summer will always emerge.

Below are some links and telephone supports information available to help during the current crisis.    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Bereavement Services provides lots on information on services and resources.

Pregnant and New Parents

Maternal Mental Health Scotland: links to useful guidance for pregnancy and birth during COVID 19. www.maternalmentalhealthscotland.org.uk

Children and Young people

Childhood Bereavement UK: has produced a short film, supporting bereaved children during difficult times. https://www.childbereavementuk.org/coronavirus-supporting-children

Young Scot: provides a wealth of information to help support young people during COVID 19. https://young.scot/campaigns/national/coronavirus

Adults

Heads Up: has information about some common mental health conditions, and includes advice and tips on ways on how people can cope with living with the condition. http://headsup.scot/

Cruse: information on dealing with bereavement and grief during COVID 19                        https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/coronavirus-dealing-bereavement-and-grief

Beyond Words: when someone dies from corona virus: a guide for families and carers. https://booksbeyondwords.co.uk/downloads-shop/when-someone-dies-from-coronavirus

Useful telephone supports

NHS Living Life: 0800 328 9655: A free telephone based service for people over the age of 16 feeling low, anxious or stressed

Samaritans: 116 123. A free and confidential support to anyone, any age.