Mental Health and COVID-19

Where can I find help?

If you’re looking for information on the current operation of Bristol Mind’s services, please see our homepage for the latest information. Otherwise, you’ll find useful information on services below:
  • 24/7 Support and Connect Line (0800 012 6549) – The NHS free mental health helpline for adults in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire, staffed by trained counsellors. If you’re under 18, please instead call the Children and  Young People’s Helpline (0300 303 1320)
  • Bristol Mindline (0808 808 0330) – open from 7pm to 11pm each night, providing emotional support and signposting to people in Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire.
  • Bristol Mind Information Service (0117 980 0370) – open from 9:30am – 3:30pm Monday to Friday, providing information and signposting to people in the Bristol area.
  • Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) Coronavirus Guide – a list of services in the local area and their current operations.
  • You can find a list of local and national organisations offering support on our website, here.

Maintaining your wellbeing during COVID-19

  • Stay Connected
    Positive social support improves our ability to cope with stress – so now, while many of us are experiencing feelings of isolation, it’s important to keep in touch with our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours – for your benefit and theirs! A quick text or phone call can mean the world to someone, and although we can’t reap all the benefits of face-to-face contact with friends outside of our bubbles, a video call can have many of the same effects.
  • Stop Doomscrolling!
    With all of the upheaval going on in the world right now, it can be easy to get sucked in to a routine of scrolling endlessly through bad news on social media, or refreshing the latest news updates. It’s useful to be informed, but you don’t need to be constantly switched on. Public Health advice and case numbers only get updated daily, so if you’re finding that the constant news cycle is getting to you, try limiting your checks to one reputable news source, once per day.
  • Establish a routine
    After such a long period of time working from home, or on furlough, many of us will have slipped into habits that we know aren’t good to us – so during this third lockdown, it’s a good time to take stock and reset. Having a routine can help us to feel more in control, and bring an element of predictability to this unprecedented situation. Things you could think about include what time you’ll get up in the morning, working in some daily exercise and fresh air, what time you’ll dedicate to productivity, and what time you’ll go to bed.
  • Do something that helps others
    It doesn’t have to be something big – but giving our time to help others
    can have a huge positive impact on our own wellbeing.
  • Keep physically active
    Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. It might feel tempting to stay under your duvet while the weather is cold, but there are plenty of exercises you can do indoors – why not take a look at some YouTube yoga tutorials? 
  • Remember – you can’t control everything!
    A diagram showing a circle, labelled "I can control - so, I will focus on these things". Inside the circle are items like "my positive attitude", "my own social distancing", "turning off the news". Outside of the circle is captioned "I Cannot Control, so I can let go of these things", and includes items like "how long this will last", "if others follow the rules of social distancing", and "the amount of toilet paper at the store."
  • Get enough rest and sleep
    It seems obvious, but many of us struggle with our sleeping patterns. If getting to sleep at night feels difficult, there are
    a number of things that might help – like reducing caffeine intake, avoiding screens in the lead-up to bedtime, or getting regular physical activity.
  • Breathing exercises
    Learn some simple
    breathing exercises so that you can use them when you’re feeling anxious – or follow along with our series on Mindfulness.
  • Treat yourself 
    Times are hard – if you need a cake, a new book, or a box-set of your favourite show to get you through sometimes, that’s a-okay.
  • Keep your drinking to a reasonable level
    It might feel tempting to drink more than you normally would at the moment, but this could cause a dip in your mental health – so be careful not to over-indulge.

F.A.C.E. C.O.V.I.D. – A helpful animation

In this brief animation, Dr Russ Harris, author of the international best-seller The Happiness Trap, illustrates how to use ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to deal with the fear, anxiety, and stress you might be feeling as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.