Calderdale Council is committed to promoting good mental health and wellbeing in the borough and is raising awareness of the support available to minimise the mental health impacts of COVID-19.
The impacts of COVID-19 on physical health are well documented and residents should all follow national guidance on social distancing(external link) (limiting social contact to reduce the spread of COVID-19) and staying at home(external link) if you, and/or someone you live with, have symptoms, e.g. a high temperature and/or a new and continuous cough.
To minimise the impact that these restrictions may have on people’s mental health, Public Health England has published new online guidance to help people during this difficult time.
Everyone reacts differently to events and changes in routine, and during this time, it’s normal to feel lonely, bored, anxious and concerned about yourself or others. The guidance features lots of ways to help manage and ease these feelings, including:
- Virtually connect with others – think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family via technology.
- Help and support others – Think about how you could help those around you. Visit the Council’s virtual volunteering hub for guidance about how to help others safely: calderdale.gov.uk/coronavirusunder the Volunteering section.
- Look after your physical wellbeing:Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. Your usual sports club may not be running, but there are lots of things you can do to stay active and still practise social distancing – go to https://active.calderdale.gov.uk/ for some great ideas.
- Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns – The Every Mind Matters sleep page(external link)provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
- Manage your media and information intake:If constant news updates are making you more worried, it may help to only check the news at set times or limiting to a couple of checks a day. Make sure to use trusted sources such as the Government, the NHS, Public Health England and the Council.
Lots more advice is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing(external link). There’s also guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing at https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/(external link).
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
“Coronavirus is one of the biggest challenges our country has ever experienced, especially in the lifetime of many of our residents.
“These are unprecedented times and it’s understandable to feel concerned and overwhelmed as we all adapt to changes in our lives and routine.
“Continuing to look after both our physical and mental health is so important. This online support offers some great advice which can be of benefit to everyone at this unsettling time.”
Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher, said:
“It’s vital that everyone follows national guidance and stays at home, but there are lots of ways to support your own health and wellbeing whilst social distancing.
“I recommend that everyone looks at the guidance available, whether you’re struggling with your mental health or not. Let’s take this time to reflect on our wellbeing, to help ourselves and others who may be struggling.
“I also find it helps to focus on the positives of individual situations with what’s known as having an ‘open mindset’. For example, rather than feeling ‘stuck at home’ focus on being safe at home or seeing it as an opportunity to spend more time with family. It really can help.”
The gov.uk/coronavirus website also includes tailored advice for parents and carers on how to support children and young people with stress during the coronavirus outbreak.