Conditions & TreatmentsWellness

Resources for Anxiety and Mental Health in the Age of Coronavirus

Comprehensive guide to finding professional help near you

We live in unprecedented times – self-isolation and government-enforced ‘social distancing’ is the new order of the day around the world to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. People from all walks of life are being impacted, and there are real concerns about jobs, livelihoods and the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones.

Anxiety is a feeling of unease and fear of what is to come, and it is perfectly reasonable to be feeling this way right now. Our body naturally reacts in this way when faced with stressful situations. We all feel varying degrees of anxiety at some point in our life. But, for some, this is not an easy feeling to manage and can lead to several other conditions, such as phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is real, and for people that are already prone to anxiety and depression, this period of global uncertainty with the Covid-19 pandemic can be downright scary. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released a mental health guide for people who are self-isolating. 

 

How can you safeguard your mental and emotional wellbeing?

Acknowledge Your Reality

The most critical step in a journey to overcoming anxiety is to acknowledge your present-day reality. Only by accepting your reality today can you begin to take steps to move forward in the right direction.

Self-Care

While it is tempting to sit around all day in your pyjamas eating junk food and binge-watching on Netflix, you cannot do that for days on end. Take care with your diet, hydrate properly, exercise every day and try to connect with nature if possible. You can achieve self-care in many ways, from practising mindfulness and self-compassion to starting a gratitude journal and serving others through acts of charity, humanity and kindness.

Quality sleep can go a long way towards helping with anxiety, and the opposite is also true, as not getting enough sleep can increase the risk of developing health conditions such as hypertension and heart attacks.

Staying Connected

Talking to someone that you trust about your fears and anxiety can help to relieve the burden weighing on your mind. These days, family and friends are only one click away by phone, email or social media. However, some people may feel more comfortable speaking to a qualified person.

The great news is that there is no shortage of support available. Seeking professional help from a qualified therapist or counsellor can be a life-changing moment and here are some useful resources to point you in the right direction.

 

Finding qualified therapists and counsellors

Online Directories

A great place to start is checking out online directories (see links below). Read up on therapist profiles to make sure you feel comfortable with their level of experience and the type of therapy they offer. You will be able to find out about their background, qualifications, as well as their field of interest and specialism. Ask about waiting times to be seen, the length of the sessions, pricing and the possibility of online therapy sessions.

Clarity, Comfort and Communication

Most importantly, you will need to find a therapist that you are comfortable opening up to about your thoughts and feelings. A simple way to check is to have a telephone consultation rather than email, as this may help you get a better sense. There is no one size fits all solution to this, and a lot comes down to your personal preference. Do your homework before committing, so that you have clarity, comfort and communication. You may also want to check with your workplace if they offer an Employee Assistance Programme.

Confidentiality Agreements

Entering into a therapy and counselling session usually involves sharing private and sensitive information. As you might expect, maintaining client confidentiality is part of the ethical code of conduct for a professional therapist/counsellor. Before you begin therapy, you will most likely be requested to sign a confidentiality agreement.

 

Useful resources for you to find help

Emergency Help

If you find yourself in a crisis, please see the below resources:

  • Call 999 or visit your local Accident & Emergency and ask for the nearest crisis resolution team for people in severe distress.
  • Text SHOUT to 85258 (UK) – Give us a shout is a free text service available 24/7.
  • Call 116 123 (UK) for free – Samaritans is available 24/7 for confidential, emotional support for free. Whatever you are going through, you can give them a call any time.

 

Helplines for Information

If you find it comforting to speak to someone on the phone rather than online. 

 

Helplines for Emotional Support

 

Online Directories of Therapists, Counsellors & Psychiatrists

Find an accredited professional in the following online directories:

Online Therapy Services

  

Other Online Communities & Useful Resources

Online communities provide a safe place to listen, share your concerns and be heard.

 

Final Word

Please ask for help. You are not alone in fighting anxiety. Compassion and support services are all around you and only a click away. Stay calm and positive, as this pandemic too shall pass.

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