Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Taking care of yourself and managing anxiety

Everyone’s actions have helped to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in our communities. This has led to some changes to the 2m social distancing guidelines. From 4 July 2020, the new "one metre plus" rule will apply but it is also important to remember to continue and remain two metres apart where possible, and to follow existing hygiene measures in place.

While these changes will help you socialise with other households, it is still important to follow the new ‘staying alert and safe (social distancing) guidelines from 4 July. For example, these new guidelines will allow groups of up to two households to meet and meet in groups of up to six people.  Certain venues and public spaces may also open. These include restaurants, pubs, cinemas, visitor attractions, hotels, campsites, libraries, community centres, places of worship, outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gyms.

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While these changes will help us to return life to as near normal as possible, the guidelines still mean that we will be living, learning and working in unusual ways. The 2 metres distancing should always be used when and where possible, but some spaces may use the 1 metre plus mitigations if needed. Existing care and health services such as your GP practice are also likely to maintain their existing social distancing measures and use virtual methods of appointments (where possible) to maintain your safety.

These changes to the way you live your lives may still continue to create feelings of stress and anxiety. You may experience feelings of fear, irritability, insecurity or being unsettled. You may also feel like you have a lack of control, experience trouble sleeping or eating, and are excessively checking for symptoms. Additional factors may heighten these feelings. These may include for example, feelings of isolation and/or additional pressures from housing, employment, relationship and/or financial uncertainties.

There is also a range of support available on the Every Mind Matters page on anxiety, the NHS mental wellbeing audio guides and the NHS mindfulness page. If you have short-lived physical symptoms of feeling anxious (e.g. faster heartbeat, dizzy, headaches, chest pains or lack of appetite), then there is some useful information on the NHS anxiety page. 

While doing any outdoor activities, it is important to follow guidance from Public Health England and maintain hygiene to the recommended amount of time to prevent the spreading of the virus (i.e. hand washing for 20 seconds). Equally, it is as important to avoid this becoming ritualistic in the way we live our lives. If you experience difficult feelings or behaviours to do with washing and hygiene, you might find it hard to hear advice about washing your hands, and the Mind website for support to help you with this.

While we may all react differently, being worried at this time and needing a bit of extra help with your mental wellbeing is completely normal. Our Five Ways to Wellbeing are designed to offer you a host of tips and advice on nourishing and protecting your mental health, with specialised information on:

  • Connecting with others
  • Being active
  • Continuing to learn
  • Supporting others
  • Taking notice of your environment

It is also important to take the time to relax, eat well, stay hydrated and maintain healthy and active lifestyles that include good quality regular sleeping patterns. Further information can be found on the Every Mind Matters web pages.

We have lots of support and information on our mental health web pages and Start Now for young people have a lot of information to help you look after your mental wellbeing. In addition, you can find out more information from the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group mental wellbeing pages for children and adults.

Using online apps such as “Calm” and “Headspace” may help with promoting calming thoughts and/or escaping the news. The Mental Health Foundation has provided some useful guidance about maintaining your mental wellbeing whilst at home.

And if you’re living with arthritis, Arthritis Action has a lot of very useful information on their website on how  to stay physically active and maintain good mental health when you’re spending more time inside.

They’re also listed on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy new webpage ‘Managing your bone, joint or muscle pain’ which gives practical steps to help you manage your condition at home during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

Financial concerns about work and money can also have a big impact on your mental wellbeing. There is a range of guidance from Public Health Englandcitizens advice or the National Debt Line that can help you find out more about your rights at work, benefits and wider support.

The Cornwall Council web pages also provide a lot of information to help children young people, adults. This include apsychological wellbeing guidance (available in large print and easy read) for those aged over 16 years, including older adults and key workers. These guides also have a lot of information to help you find the support you may need for your wellbeing.

Hard copies are also available if you struggle to get online and read our information. Please email phdesk@cornwall.gov.uk if you would like a hard copy of our guidance, detailing the type of guide and where you wish it to be sent.

Citizen Advice Cornwall (CA)

You may also be concerned about your economic and financial situation which can leave people feeling anxious and worried. You can find out what help is available by contacting Citizen Advice Cornwall (CA). CA Offers free, independent, confidential and impartial advice. If you would like CA to call you then you can ask for a call back by texting the word ADVICE for general queries or DEBT for debt related issues, to the number 78866. Or you can call 03444 111 444 Monday – Friday, 10.00am until 4.00pm 

Social prescribing

Many GP surgeries offer a social prescribing service that helps you access a range of activities to support your wellbeing. Social Prescribing Link Workers are providing 1:1 consultations via telephone or video conferencing. Please contact your GP to find out more.

Safety Planning

A safety plan is for someone to use when they are feeling that their mental health and wellbeing is low, and/or that they are at risk of self-harm or acting on suicidal thoughts – a plan to remind themselves of reasons to live, family and friends they can talk with and things that can make them feel strong and in control of their feelings. This includes a printable, interactive online and easy read  versions.

More information about how you can support someone to create a safety plan, alongside signposting to further sources of support, access to free online suicide prevention and general wellbeing training for adults, and Papyrus’ children’s safety plan can be found on our safety plan pages.

Feeling vulnerable or need to speak to someone?

To talk to someone about your mental wellbeing you can call the 24/7 NHS mental health telephone support, advice and triage help line – 0800 038 5300. Support is available to anyone, regardless of age, all day every day. If you or someone you know feels they need to access urgent mental health support, they will listen to you and asses how best to help.

Your GP or NHS Direct 111 is also available if you need support with your mental wellbeing. 

If you feel overwhelmed you could call your GP or 111 OR;

If you are a child/young person under 19;

Or

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours
  • To find a list of other organisations that can help, you just need to google “I need help now Cornwall”.

For additional support for your mental wellbeing;

  • If you are a young person or worried about a child you can call the Early Help Hub for advice and help (call 01872 322277 or email earlyhelphub@cornwall.gov.uk.
  • Outlook South West offer online support and talking therapies – call 01208 871 905 for people aged 16+ years.
  • We are with you’ for support with alcohol, drugs or mental health call 01872263001 or visit .
  • Call 0300 777 4777 or get help from Safer Futures if you or someone else is affected by domestic abuse, sexual violence and those demonstrating abusive behaviours.

And finally, if you need medical treatment don’t forget you can attend A&E.