Things are a little bit strange at the moment. Maybe you’re used to looking after someone, and are dealing with all new kinds of worry about their health and yours. Or maybe looking after someone is new to you. No matter your situation, we’ve got together some great websites, apps and helplines to help you at this difficult time.
Please remember in an emergency to call 999.
A children and young people’s mental health helpline called On Your Mind has launched in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire. The helpline is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering advice, guidance and support to children, young people and carers.
9am – 5pm weekdays – 01865 903777
5pm-9am on weekdays or weekends – 01865 901000
Barnardos has launched a new helpline for children and their families affected by COVID-19.
You can call them for free on 0800 157 7015 to speak to a friendly person in their team, and they’ll help you figure things out.
Monday and Friday 9am – 9pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am – 6pm or use their self-referral form on their website.
Young Healthwatch Wiltshire volunteers have produced their own comprehensive guide to mental health and wellbeing services on offer in the county to help children and young people find the right services they need quickly and easily. Have a look here.
Anxiety, low mood and stress helplines/webchats:
It’s completely understandable to be anxious or stressed right now, but it’s important to get help and talk to someone if you’re feeling low.
Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous online support for young people. You can also read blogs from other young people, and write in a private online journal about how you’re feeling. Their counsellors are online Monday – Fridays 12pm-1opm, Saturday – Sunday 6pm – 1opm.
Childline has a free helpline and also a 1-1 chat where you can talk to counsellors about anything you’re going through from 9am – 12am. They also have great resources for young people and children on a wide range of topics. They have a page dedicated to young carers.
The Mix has a free helpline and online web chat for young people under 25 to talk about anything they’re struggling with. Their helpline and web chat is open from 4pm – 11pm, 7 days a week. You can also find information, advice and support for young people on a wide range of topics from mental health, to body image and more. They also have information around coronavirus.
Shout is a free text line that you can text 24/7 about anything you’re struggling with. Text SHOUT to 85258 to get connected to a trained volunteer.
Samaritans has a helpline you can call 24/7, 365 days a year to talk with someone about whatever you are struggling with. Call them on 116 123. You can also email their email service email@example.com and they will reply within 24 hours.
Easy to understand advice, information and support on living with mental illness or caring for someone with a mental illness.
Websites with helpful blogs and information around mental health and more:
The Children’s Society has an amazing ‘advice hub’ on a range of topics like money problems, anxiety and low mood and more. They also have advice and information around coronavirus.
Friendly website with support for depression and other mental illnesses. They also have a dedicated ‘Coronavirus Advice Hub’ with easy to understand information, ideas on how to stay busy at home and more.
Information, support and advice for young people and children with mental health issues. They also have easy to understand information and advice around coronavirus.
Great tips and information around anxiety and low mood, plus how to stay well when self isolated. They also have a ‘Your Mind Plan’ quiz which points you in the direction of information right for you.
Quick tips for staying calm:
- Remember to breathe. Take a moment to sit and close your eyes, imagine breathing in your favourite colour, and breath out all the negative thoughts in your mind.
- Distract yourself. Don’t spend all day looking at the news or checking Facebook for updates. Read your favourite book, put on a movie that makes you smile or take a warm bath and relax to some music.
- Repeat positive words to yourself. When everything gets overwhelming it can be hard to shut off the bad thoughts in our heads. If you find yourself being dragged down with negative thoughts, take a moment to repeat something calming. Try ‘I am safe and loved.’
Ideas to keep your mind busy:
- Exercise is a great way of letting go of built up worry and stress in your body and mind. Get involved and have fun with some online PE with Joe Wickes, or do some relaxing yoga with Adriene.
- Tour some museums, zoos and theme parks from your sofa!
- Relax with a podcast – The Mindful Podcast helps you to take a few moments and focus on your body and being calm.