2020 has been such a challenging year for all of us, and the stress and uncertainty of living through the pandemic has affected lots of people’s mental health. On this page you will find advice and help to deal with the variety of different ways Covid might be impacting your mental health, or those around you. From childcare stresses, running businesses, isolation and having a difficult home life, you will find some tips and advice on how to get support if you’re not feeling yourself.
If you, or someone you know has concerns about their immediate health find out what to do in an emergency.
What is mental health
Mental health, sometimes called emotional health, is just as important as physical health. Mental health problems are very common, about a quarter of the population experience some kind of mental health problem in any one year.
Many people who live with a mental health problem, or are developing one, try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s reactions. People feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much.
We all have times when we don’t feel ourselves, feel sad or stressed and struggle to cope with day-to-day life. This could be for a number of reasons such as:
- following the loss of someone close to us
- relationship problems
- or worrying about money or work
Most of the time these feelings pass quite quickly, but sometimes they can develop into a longer periods of poor mental health.
The majority of people who experience mental health problems can get over them or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on.
Who needs help
Worried about myself
The ongoing pandemic can be scary and can be affecting our mental health, and for some of us we might be reaching for mental health support for the first time.
While it’s important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.
5 Steps we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing:
If you give them a try, you may feel happier, more positive and able to get the most from life:
- Connect – Talk to someone
- Be active – Move more
- Take notice – Look around
- Learn – Do something new
- Give – Be kind
To find out more, visit our 5 ways to wellbeing page.
Using different apps can be a great way to manage our daily stresses or keep track of how active we are. For NHS approved apps, please visit the apps page.
Are you a new parent? When you're a new parent, your mental health might be the last things on your list to take care off, but it' essential to look after yourself. Find information and support with looking after your mental wellbeing as a new parent.
If you or someone you know is suffering with dementia, visit our page with information, help and guidance.
We also offer plenty support for our Armed Forces Community, including mental health advice and guidance.
Worried about a child
We understand that the current COVID-19 situation is still presenting many challenges to our daily life, not just for us but for the young people around us too. Everybody has bad days, not matter who they are or what their age.
- Children can feel anxious and worried just like us, but it can be difficult for them to explain or understand their feelings. Find out how you can support your child’s mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
- If you’re worried about a young person’s mental health, find out how you can support them and encourage them to talk.
- If you’re a young person in Doncaster struggling with your thoughts and feelings, find direct information and advice.
Worried about a friend
In these challenging times, it is important to reach out to our friends and loved ones as we are all learning to cope with Covid in different ways. Talking to someone could help them know that someone cares, that they are valued and give them the helping hand they need.
Many people worry that reaching out will be intrusive or make things worse. You’ll soon be able to tell if the person you’re speaking to doesn’t want to open up or want to have that kind of conversation. However, you’ll still have let them know you’re there for them.
Samaritan’s have shared some active listening tips, for how you can help:
- Show you care – Focus on the other person, make eye contact and put away your phone.
- Have patience – It may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up.
- Use open questions – Use open questions that need more than a yes or no answer, and follow up with questions like ‘tell me more’.
- Say it back – Check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution.
- Have courage – Don’t be put off by a negative response and most importantly, don’t feel you have to fill a silence.
Now more than ever it is important to be looking out for the older people in your life. 1 in 3 older people are feeling more anxious than before Covid-19 and are also the age range who are more reluctant to discuss mental health. Whether they don’t view it as a problem or they didn’t grow up talking about it. Age UK have some tips and advice for looking out for mental health in elder people and how to approach it.
Ways to improve mental wellbeing
Top ten tips for better mental wellbeing
Talk about the way you feel: if you are facing a difficult time, talking about the way you feel with someone you know and trust can often help
Be active: find something you enjoy and make it part of your life. Regular exercise, particularly outdoors, can help you feel good, relieve stress and lift your mood
Eat well: there are strong links between what we eat and how we feel. Eating healthy foods at regular intervals with plenty of water will help you feel better and increase your energy levels
Sleep well: by having a good sleep routine you may find you are less irritable and more able to cope
Drink sensibly: limit your alcohol intake and avoid cigarettes and other drugs. We often drink alcohol to change our mood and some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary
Keep in touch: strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life
Ask for help: none of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong
Do something you're good at: what do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past?
Take a break - relax: a change of scenery or a change of pace is good for your mental health. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’
Do something for somebody else: helping a friend or relative with chores or volunteering can help you improve your self-confidence and meet new people
Organisations that can help
If you would like advice or guidance with mental health issues, there are a number of organisations that can help:
- Call for urgent support the Local Mental Health Crisis Team on 0800 804 8999 (operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
- Call Doncaster Samaritans free on 01302 327474
- Call Doncaster Mind on 01302 812190 or visit www.doncastermind.org.uk
- Contact the Doncaster Talking Shop on 01302 565650 or call in at The Flying Scotsman Centre, St. Sepulchre Gate West, Doncaster, DN1 3AP;
- CALM, thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Doncaster CAMHS service, www.camhs.rdash.nhs.uk/doncaster
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Call or visit the Talking Shop in Doncaster Town Centre (The Flying Scotsman Health Centre, St Sepulchre Gate West, Doncaster, DN1 3AP), Phone 01302 565650. The Talking Shop in Doncaster is a drop-in advice shop which gives people the opportunity to browse information on mental health issues including prevention and self-help information and also to gain information about the services available
- Speak to your GP
- NHS Choices website
- RDASH- Leading the way with care
- What to do in an emergency
For further information, please contact us: