If you need to speak to someone right now, here are some confidential options which provide 24/7 support. If you're worried you might hurt yourself or someone else, please call 999, or go to your nearest A and E.
For people who are experiencing distress or despair.0808 808 8000
Helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.0800 1111
We are now in Week 13 of lockdown due to the global pandemic which has turned our world upside down.
Whilst we all share this lockdown experience, many of us will react to it in very different ways. Some people are relishing this enforced slow down, using it as a chance to decompress and take time out from the very busy lives we have become accustomed to. Others will see it as a chance to reconnect with partners and children and spend quality time together.
For many more, this period has been lonely, isolating and at times overwhelming. This does not only apply to people who live alone. Even those living in households with other people can feel increasingly lonely, anxious and feel like they are trapped.
The nature of this pandemic and the way in which we are digitally connected can also exacerbate issues like anxiety and depression. Our tendency to wake up in the morning, pick up our phone and start scrolling does not help matters and can contribute to growing feelings of panic over the situation we find ourselves in.
Whilst we understand there is a need to keep up to date on what is going on, MindWise have been working with other charities in Northern Ireland, as well as statutory partners to address the detrimental impacts this pandemic is having on our mental health and wellbeing.
The newly launched Covid Wellbeing NI website now offers a range of online resources to help people who may be worried about their mental health, or that of a loved one. Covering issues such as addiction, depression, anxiety, loneliness and bereavement amongst others, this resource aims to empower us all to take charge of our mental wellbeing as much as we can.
Information and tips will be shared weekly across partner social media. From Monday 15th June, #CovidWellbeingNI will be sharing our tips on protecting your wellbeing and staying informed. We have developed some practical advice on encouraging people to filter out the bad news and take time out from what is going on around them. Our very practical tips include turning off news notifications, following only trusted sources of information, talking to other people about your worries and doing more of the things we enjoy like cooking or going for walks. Eating healthily and getting outside can also help.
Only time will tell the true impact that this experience has had on us. What we must do now, is try nurturing our own wellbeing by taking some measures that can protect our mental health against the worst impacts of this pandemic. Filtering out the negativity through the news content we consume daily is one such way of doing so. A very small step like this can make a big difference, but one small step is all it takes.
MindWise are part of the Covid Wellbeing NI initiative. The Covid Wellbeing NI website is supported by 15 mental health organisations in Northern Ireland and is also supported by the Public Health Agency, Department for Communities and Department of Health.
Anyone looking for advice and support on managing their mental health and wellbeing can visit: www.mindingyourhead.info