Ways to look after your mental health in isolation

New web pages with information on supporting people’s mental health have launched today, providing support for people who may be struggling with the effects of long-term isolation.

NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group and Cornwall Council have worked together to update the website, with a range of different support available, covering pregnancy, primary age children, young people and students, people working from home, people dealing with mental illness and feelings of suicide and, people living with OCD and anxiety disorders.

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health Sally Hawken said: “We are all living in very strange times and people are doing their best to adapt, but I recognise that often people don’t find this easy.

“Many of you are facing the pressures of childcare and home working, some people aren’t working and are worrying about bills and every one of us is missing family and friends. It’s understandable that we might need extra support.”

Cornwall Council’s director of public health, Rachel Wigglesworth said: “One thing we can all do is try to incorporate the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ into our lives.

“These are five simple things we can all do every day to improve our wellbeing: connect, be active, take notice, give and learn. These can be quite straightforward, if you’re able to get out for a walk everyday you could try doing your route the opposite way you normally would and see if you notice anything different about the houses, the trees or the fields around you. You could try volunteering or look at other small ways you can give back to people. Even if you’re housebound you can volunteer to make phone calls to others who can’t get out. If you are healthy but can’t get out there are simple exercises you can do that are available from Healthy Cornwall to help you stay physically active.”

“Sharing what you are doing to help cope with the situation can also be a simple way of helping others. Reach out to your family and friends to ask them how they are coping - we all need to look after each other as best as we can right now.”

Dr Paul Cook, NHS Kernow clinical lead for mental health and GP Governing Body member, said: “Many people are feeling concerned and anxious about coronavirus and it’s really important to know that these thoughts and feelings are totally understandable and natural. It’s why it’s also vital that we look after our mind as well as our body during this challenging time.

“Whether you are an adult working from home, schooling your children at home, a young person or a carer, know that there is a wealth of support and help out there when your struggling with your mental wellbeing. While we may not be able to follow our regular routines during the virus, remember, that you are not alone and help is out there.”

To find out more about the support available you can visit the council’s website.