Looking after your mental health during coronavirus – Mental Health Foundation

Over the last 70 years the Foundation has provided evidence informed advice, not just to people like you, but also at a society level to drive necessary change so good mental health is for all. Today is no different, as we recognise we are in challenging times and the Foundation is rising to this challenge as part of the national mental health response, providing support to address the mental health and psychosocial aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak, alongside colleagues at Public Health England, Wales and Scotland.

We are working with many others in building a mentally healthy society and over the coming weeks and months public health will rightly be at the front of everybody’s thinking. As a charity, we stand for prevention in mental health and we are working tirelessly to help get information to people about the outbreak. As time passes we will also be getting ready to address the very real mental health challenges that this pandemic will bring to communities across the UK and beyond.

I have highlighted some tips I hope you find helpful:

  • Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak
  • Try to stay connected at times of stress, we work better in company and with support. Try and keep in touch with your friends and family
  • Try to anticipate distress – its normal to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed, it is important to acknowledge these feelings

“And the very last thing we need right now, is a mindset of mutual distancing.

We actually need to be thinking in the exact opposite way: Every hand that we don’t shake must become a phone call that we place. Every embrace that we avoid must become a verbal expression of warmth and concern.

Every inch and every foot that we physically place between ourselves and another, must become a thought as to how we might be of help to that other, should the need arise.”

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky

We too are aware that many people are counting on us, so alongside developing our public advice, we continue to run our life changing community programmes. How we do this may change but we believe that our peer support is needed now more than ever, so we will adapt our approach. Just as Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky says the last thing we need right now is a mindset of mutual distancing.

Change takes time but our wider work continues. Last week we launched of our ‘Recommendation report from the Scottish Government Body Image Advisory Group’ Co-chaired by our own Julie Cameron with key recommendations to bring about lasting change to support good body image.

Please come together with the Mental Health Foundation to look after all of our mental health. Let’s look to find shelter under each other’s wing.

Thank You.

Mark Rowland
Chief Executive
Mental Health Foundation