New advice to support mental health during coronavirus outbreak

By MHFA England


People struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak will be offered additional online support and practical guidance to help them cope, Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries has announced. 


In recognition of the unprecedented challenges which the outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can pose, Public Health England has published new online guidance on gov.uk. This sets out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health during this difficult time.


Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the coronavirus outbreak, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their own reactions and creating a new routine.  


The guidance has been developed in partnership with leading mental health charities and clinically assured by the NHS. It also includes steps that those living with serious mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams.


Minister for Mental Health, Nadine Dorries said:

“When I discovered I had coronavirus I felt anxious and scared. For those who already suffer with anxiety or other mental health issues this may present new and difficult challenges.  “It’s imperative that we stay home if we are to beat coronavirus and save lives. I know how important it is that people have support to look after their mental health and this guidance will be of huge value.” 

The Government has also announced a £5 million grant for leading mental health charities, administered by Mind, to fund additional services for people struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time. This could include telephone and online support services for the most isolated and vulnerable in our communities.


Public Health England has updated its world-leading Every Mind Matters platform with specific advice on maintaining good mental wellbeing during the outbreak. People can also complete a ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free tool that has already been completed over 1.8 million times.  


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.” 
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