Coronavirus and mental health

The current Coronavirus pandemic may cause you to feel worried, anxious or scared. Read our eight steps to looking after your wellbeing.
Man and woman standing in a busy room

1. Seek accurate information from legitimate sources

Try to only read information about Coronavirus from official sources:

Only reading credible sources of information can help you avoid the fear and panic that misinformation may cause, which can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control. 

2. Try to avoid excessive exposure to media coverage

Constantly monitoring the news and your social media feeds about COVID-19 can intensify feelings of worry and distress. It’s important to find a balance while keeping informed. If you find the news is making you feel stressed, set boundaries for how much news you read, watch or listen to. For example, turn off phone notifications from news apps. 

3. Look after yourself

It’s normal to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak. Focus on the things you can control, instead of those you can’t. Where possible, maintain your daily routine, and prioritise your wellbeing and mental health.

4. Stay connected and reach out to others

Keeping in touch with your friends and family and talking through your concerns can help ease the stress caused by COVID-19. Check in with people who you know may be worried or live alone. If you are very worried, contact a helpline for emotional support.   

5. Talk to your children

It’s equally important to help children cope with stress too. Answer their questions and share facts about COVID-19 in a way that children can understand, without causing them alarm. 

The World Health Organisation have created advice on how to help children cope with stress during Coronavirus

6. Don’t make assumptions

It’s important not to judge people and avoid jumping to conclusions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The virus can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or sex.

7. Stay well while self-isolating

If you are showing symptoms or have the virus, you will be required to self-isolate and stay away from other people. This may seem like a daunting prospect, but keep in mind that this is only temporary.

It is important to create a daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself, such as catching up on sleep.

There are still many ways to stay connected to the people who matter to you, digitally, or on the phone. When staying in touch with friends on social media, try not to share content that sensationalises things. Your friends may be worried too. Only share content from trusted sources.

Remember to also look after your wider health needs, such as having enough prescription medicines available to you.

If you need ideas about how to support your wellbeing, Mind, the mental health charity, have put together practical tips to help you. 

Find out more

8. Where can you get further mental health support?

Resources from Greater Manchester Mental Health

  • Find support in your area
  • Shout crisis service: a 24/7 text service with crisis volunteers who will chat using trained techniques via text responses. Text 85258 to Shout
  • Living Life to the Full: one of the world’s most used wellbeing support packages that aims to provide key information using everyday non-complex language
  • SilverCloud: an online therapy programme for adults proven to help with stress, anxiety, lowmood and depression.
  • Apps to help support your mental health: These apps can help you support your mental health and wellbeing. All the apps listed can be found on the NHS Apps Library, an online directory of trusted health and wellbeing apps that have been assessed to be clinically safe and secure to use.
  • Every Mind Matters: Having good mental health helps us relax, achieve more and enjoy our lives. Every Mind Matters has expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Other resources

  • Samaritans: If you need to speak to someone you can call the Samaritans day or night. They’re always open and here to listen. They are available on 116 123
  • Cruse Bereavement Care: Cruse provide bereavement support to people across the UK. Talk of death in the news and online can be distressing if you’re already struggling with grief. If you need someone to talk to you can call the Cruse helpline. You can also talk to them if you’ve been bereaved as a result of Coronavirus. They are available on 0808 808 1677 Monday to Friday 9.30-5pm (excl. bank holidays), and have extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings until 8pm.
  • Mind: Mind is a mental health charity which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
  • Mental Health Foundation: The UK’s charity for everyone’s mental health, promoting good mental health for all.
  • Mental Health Europe: Mental Health Europe is the largest independent network organisation representing mental health users, professionals, and service providers across Europe.

Resources specifically for young people

  • Kooth: an on-line counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people up to 18 years old.
  • Young Minds: Young Minds is a mental health charity for children and young people