NHS Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust are the main provider of mental health services across Coventry and Warwickshire. Along with supporting Mental Health Awareness Week, they would like to remind people their mental health services remain open for those who need support during the coronavirus outbreak. In line with the national call to “help us help you” urging the public to seek help when needed.
The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from 18-24 May is kindness, along with highlighting the need for us all to look after our minds and bodies. As well as promoting public awareness of mental health in general, the Trust is promoting how to access urgent mental health support during the coronavirus outbreak and how to look after your emotional wellbeing.
Urgent mental health support during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is being prioritised through their crisis services and virtual and telephone assessments are being provided where possible. If anyone is experiencing a mental health crisis now and need urgent support, they can call 0300 200 0011 which is open 24/7 or find further information at: https://www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk/urgent-advice.
Looking after your emotional wellbeing is always important but particularly during this virus outbreak. It is vital to take care of your mind, body and emotions so the Trust has published some techniques they use for public to access. They share how to balance your emotions, keep a healthy routine and to keep connected in a safe way at: https://www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk/emotional-wellbeing.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is kindness, because research shows this it is linked to good mental health. Kindness connects people and communities and can therefore boost our mood. Being kind to others makes us feel good and also lifts the spirits of those who receive acts of kindness.
Some of the benefits of kindness include:
• Stress reduction
• Boosts self-esteem
• Increases sense of belonging/connection
• Improves feelings of appreciation and optimism.
• Deepens relationships
• Antidote to feelings of isolation
The Trust will be delivering a social media campaign to mark the week and create further awareness and will showcase a range of advice videos put together by their mental health consultants.
Dr Dan Barnard of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust said: “The need to look after our mental health has come into even clearer focus since Covid-19 shook us from our normal ways of life. The lockdown measures have been particularly challenging for us all, and people’s emotional well-being has been challenged in many ways.”
“People might be feeling stressed and anxious, lonely or isolated and whilst this is understandable and normal, it is not an inevitability. We can learn to better reduce anxiety using even, rhythmic breathing and then shifting focus to positive emotions like appreciation, compassion or gratitude. We are social animals too and as well as take control of our own emotional well-being, need to reach out to other people in kindness and compassion to support theirs. We know from evidence that this combination will improve your mental health and your immunity too. The psychological impacts will continue beyond the physical symptoms of the virus, and as the restrictions on our freedoms to move about and congregate are lifted.”
“Physical and mental health are inextricably linked and being active is vital for both. So you can also take part in the campaign’s challenge to get active for 30 minutes a day. If you look after yourself physically, you are improving your biology, your thinking and your emotional well-being as well as strengthening your ability to look out for the wellbeing of others and those you love.
“‘Acts of kindness’ the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week means so much and will protect our mental health. It could anything from offering and doing an elderly or more vulnerable person or neighbour’s shopping, collecting and dropping off medications, and phoning to check if family and friends are ok. Kindness and compassion can help transform our schools, places of work, communities and families. Join in with Mental Health Awareness Week and let’s work together to help create a society that promotes good mental health, for all of us.”
Dr Sharon Binyon, Medical Director said “Looking after our Mental Health and Emotional Well-being has never been more important than it is now in the unusual circumstances of Covid-19. Mental Health awareness week is a great chance for us to remind the communities of Coventry and Warwickshire of the help and assistance that is available to you all and to ask that you look out for each other, particularly remembering those who are isolated and alone. Be kind and don’t be afraid to talk to people, you will be listened to”
Please ensure you continue to follow the government’s advice on social distancing and stay safe. For the latest guidance visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus