Local mental health support

Looking after your mental health

Many people are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and scared at the moment. While that’s understandable, you might need help to deal with the way you’re feeling. We know there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to helping you through the coming weeks and months. However, we’ve compiled a list of services and tips aimed at helping people in different situations.  

Accessing mental health support

If you’re feeling anxious and/or worried about your mental health, call your GP. If you prefer, you can find help on the iCope website where there is a page with suggestions on how to keep as psychologically well as possible. iCope is offering 30 minute telephone appointments during which people can access practical support and helpful information.  To access this you can refer yourself via the website or by calling 020 3317 6670.  

Mental health support for young people

If you’re aged between 11 and 18, or a child in your care is, Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous online wellbeing and mental health support. Young people who live in Camden can sign up now for confidential support through a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor.

Young people of all ages can also access support from Childline, which has created a dedicated page with information for children and young people about coronavirus. The page includes information about: what coronavirus is, where children and young people can find help if they are worried, coping if they are staying at home and what to do if they are feeling unwell. Alternatively, young people can speak to a Childline counsellor online or by calling 0800 1111.

For further information or advice, this blog, published on the Camden Rise website, brings together the best resources to help young people stay happy and healthy during the coronavirus emergency.

Getting help if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis

The word “crisis” can be used to describe many different situations. In mental health, the term “crisis” usually suggests that someone may need urgent help to support them with mental health problems. For example, you might have feelings or experiences that feel very painful or difficult to manage such as suicidal feelings, self-harm, panic attacks, flashbacks, hypomania or mania, or psychosis (such as paranoia or hearing voices). You might also have other experiences that aren't mentioned here. 
 
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical health emergency. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and you don’t feel like you can keep yourself safe right now, seek urgent specialist mental health support through one of the following routes: 

1. Phone the 24-hour crisis line on 020 3317 6333 to access specialist support.  

  • You may be directed to attend the Mental Health Crisis Assessment Centre at St Pancras Hospital, which is providing an alternative to people in mental health crisis needing to attend A&E departments.
  • You may be supported further by the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment service.

2. If it is an emergency and cannot wait, you should call 999  

You can also contact your local GP surgery and ask for an emergency appointment. You don’t need to be registered as a patient already.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, you can also: 

  • Call the Samaritans for free on 116 123 – they're always open and are there to listen. You can also send an email to jo@samaritans.org and can expect a response within 24 hours. 
  • Contact the North Central London suicide prevention helpline: www.rethink.org/ncl-suicide. From the 22 April the Helpline will be open every Monday, Wednesday, Friday 6pm-8pm and Sunday from 6pm-9pm. Call 08088 02 00 80 for free, send a text message to 07860 058 793 or you can use the web chat function on the website. You’ll be provided with:
    - Up to 30 minutes of telephone support per evening 
    - Up to 30 minutes of web chat support per evening 
    - Text message support for the duration of the opening hours each evening 
  • The Stay Alive App can be used to help manage suicidal thoughts. It provides information and tools to help you stay safe in a crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. It is available for free download on all smart phones here 

Mental health organisations

Below is a list of local and national mental health organisations that you can visit to find out more information for you or someone you know who is experiencing a mental health problem: 

Your mental wellbeing and self-isolation

The Government has issued guidance that we should all be staying at home, away from others, and only going outside for food, health reasons or essential work. Below are some tips to help you manage this different way of life: 

  • Stay connected 
    Video calls and online communities are a great way of keeping in touch and sharing positive experiences. Try to reach out to family members and friends – why not suggest setting up a daily video call?
     
  • Avoid information overload
    While it is important to stay informed, try to limit the number of times you check the news by giving yourself a set time of day to read the latest headlines.
     
  • Have breaks from social media and devices
    If you are feeling overwhelmed, unfollow or mute social media accounts or keywords that may be triggering – it is important to set boundaries for your wellbeing. To help you have a restful sleep, switch off your electronic devices 30 minutes before you go to bed.
     
  • Keep active
    Build physical activity into your daily routine, if possible. Exercising at home can be simple and there are options for most ages and abilities, such as cleaning your home, dancing to music, going up and down stairs, online exercise workouts that you can follow, sitting less – if you notice you’ve been sitting down for an hour, just getting up or changing position can help. Or try out a 10 minute home workout routine.
     
  • Make time for positive activities
    It is important to build in time for the things you enjoy – be it reading, drawing, gaming or cooking. There are a lot of great free apps and YouTube videos that can help guide you through meditation and mindfulness techniques. You can also find activities and virtual events for people with support needs on the RecommendMe website.

Supporting your mental wellbeing while working from home

As many people are now working from home due to the coronavirus, we have shared some tips to help handle this change.

  • Stick to the basics
    Remember to eat regularly, sleep well and get some exercise in. Our physical health and mental health are connected, and during these difficult times, it’s even more important to make sure we’re staying healthy.

    Need inspiration? Here are some simple and healthy recipes ideas – or try out a 10 minute home workout routine.
     
  • Structure your day
    Try to keep up your regular work routine by waking up at the same time, getting dressed and having breakfast. Instead of the time spent on your usual commute, you can use the time to read, listen to your favourite podcast or do some exercise.

    Make sure you build in time for lunch and coffee breaks. You could spend these breaks chatting with colleagues via a video call.
     
  • Give yourself space
    If possible, try and find a space where you can work comfortably from a desk or table. Don’t forget to stand up and stretch regularly – you can set an alarm if you feel you need it.
     
  • Scheduled socials
    We may be used to sending emails and quick messages but mixing up your use of communication tools is a great way of staying connected with your team. Try to schedule weekly team catch-ups or organise a video chat to help with feelings of disconnection.