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Mental Health Support During COVID-19

10 May 20 words: Notes from a Mental Health Nurse

During these uniquely difficult times, focussing on a single mental health problem doesn’t quite seem right. So instead, here’s a round-up of some of the services available in Nottingham, and how they’ve been affected by COVID-19...

Framework has announced that the only major change to their service is that their support workers are all based at home, meaning that they are still currently offering phone support. They have also said that face-to-face appointments will be available in extreme cases if required, and new cases are also still being accepted. Prior to COVID-19, the services Framework were providing included specialised supported housing; Wellness in Mind (advice and signposting regarding mental health); support outreach programmes; therapies including CBT, mindfulness and psychological and talking therapies; employment and skills support, Better working futures: health management, training and skills support, help applying for jobs and with personal circumstances affecting employment. Opportunity and Change: Help for people with complex needs to access education, training and employment. Social enterprise: Work placements in Sutton in Ashfield. Skills Plus: support with money management, shopping on a budget, communication, tenancy, health and wellbeing, mortgages/tenancy support, confidence, healthier lifestyles support, move towards employment.
Nature in Mind: walks, workshops, gardening and cooking support and skills building.

Nottingham Women’s Centre
The centre is currently closed and all face-to-face contact is cancelled, although they are still offering telephone and online support. There is a link on their website with COVID-19-related local support groups across the country. 

The services prior to COVID-19 included: Advice on: Enrolling in learning/training, getting jobs, arranging volunteer placements, benefits/financial support, money management, difficult life issues. Counselling: Group therapy, psychodrama, peer support groups. Courses: Such as academic, personal development and activities/crafts. Online resources: on social media safety. Spaces to meet, libraries and pamper sessions.  

Middle Street Resource Centre 
Room hires are currently cancelled, as is their Mindset programme. The café is closed, and visits to the premises are limited and only with prior arrangement in exceptional circumstances. Staff are still in the centre providing telephone support, and their garden and gardening activities are still operating. They are also looking into providing outreach support for food deliveries. Services listed on their website include: their café, which offers affordable food in a supportive environment, their gardens which provide social interaction and teaches gardening skills, support groups, Mindset, which is run by people who have experienced mental health issues and Next Step, which is peer-led. 

Open Door
Their home care support is running as normal. Pre-COVID-19  services included: Recovery and social activities including coping skills, discussion groups, cookery groups, walking groups, art groups, relaxation groups and outdoor/adventure therapy.

Branches are currently closed and training for volunteers has stopped, which means longer response times, but they are still offering telephone and email support as normal.

Mind is currently running telephone helplines and video conferences. Pre-COVID services included: telephone support, information and signposting, legal advice and mental health-related law advice, online community support, peer support. According to their website, there is currently no branch in Nottingham for people to drop into. 

Staff are working remotely and can be contacted by email ([email protected]) or on 0115 934 8400. There is also a dedicated COVID-19 resource page with appeals for supplies, donations and links to local resources and groups. They are also hosting virtual events, like singing workshops and self-employment webinars. There are also websites offering advice and support on looking after your mental health including resources on sleep, wellbeing, anxiety, low mood, including:

Support for Isolation and Loneliness

You can call their helplines, or find support online
0300 123 3393, or text 86463

Age UK Notts
Welfare service offering shopping/medication collection support and telephone emotional support. 
0115 844 0011

Telephone support for all ages 

The Mix 
Telephone support for 13-25 year olds
0808 908 4994, or text THEMIX to 85258

There is a NHS page that has videos on dealing with unhelpful thoughts, tackling worries and relaxation exercises, as well as a list of mental health helplines.

Support for Autism

The National Autism Society have some resources online to help with COVID-19, as well as telephone and online helplines
0808 800 4104

The Autism Certification Centre have set up online video learning resources 

 And Autistica have a website for coping with uncertainty, that offers coping mechanisms and strategies

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