Government announces support for mental health during coronavirus outbreak
The Government has today issued guidance about looking after wellbeing during the pandemic, as well as a £5m pot to help charities support people’s mental health.
The guidance, from Public Health England, sets out principles to follow including maintaining contact with friends and family, keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern, and focusing on a hobby or learning something new. It also includes advice for parents and carers on looking after children’s mental health.
Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England said:
“During these challenging times, it is natural for all of us to feel worried or anxious, but there are things we can all do to help ourselves and others, to prevent these feelings from becoming more serious.
“We should continue to check up on friends, family and neighbours by phone or online and pursue the activities we are able to do from home and in line with guidance. By adopting a new routine, setting goals, eating healthily and maintaining physical activity, we can stay in good mental health today and tomorrow.”
The Government has also announced a £5 million grant for mental health. The fund, which will be administered by Mind, will be used by the charity sector to support people struggling with their mental health, including telephone and online support services
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said:
“We are facing one of the toughest ever times for our mental wellbeing as a nation. It is absolutely vital that people pull together and do all they can to look after themselves and their loved ones, when we are all facing a huge amount of change and uncertainty. Reaching out to friends and family is critical, as well as paying attention to the impact our physical health can have on our mental health - from diet and exercise to getting enough natural light and a little fresh air.
“Charities like Mind have a role to play in helping people cope not only with the initial emergency but coming to terms with how this will affect us well into the future. Whether we have an existing mental health problem or not, we are all going to need extra help to deal with the consequences of this unprecedented set of circumstances.”
For advice and information about managing your mental health and improving your wellbeing during the outbreak, visit Mind’s coronavirus information page.