Practical advice for patients

Dealing with anxiety

Many people will have feelings of anxiety, such as apprehension and fear, during the COVID-19 outbreak. A degree of anxiety is normal. Some patients may, however, suffer persistent or acute anxiety and therefore need particular help and support.

The following list of ways to manage anxiety is taken from the NHS guide to dealing with anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  1. Stay connected with family
  2. Talk about your worries
  3. Support and help others
  4. Feel prepared
  5. Look after your body - eat well and exercise
  6. Stick to facts e.g. see Public Health England and NHS
  7. Stay on top of difficult feelings
  8. Do things you enjoy
  9. Focus on the present
  10. Look after your sleep

There are a growing number of resources to help people handle anxiety and changes to home and work life such as:

  1. NHS guide to staying at home during the COVID-19 outbreak
  2. UK Government guide to staying at home during the COVID-19 outbreak
  3. MIND’s publication ‘Coronavirus and your well-being’

The following are links to specific sources of advice your patients may find helpful:

  1. Managing stress
  2. Having a low mood
  3. Talking to your children about COVID-19

Dealing with stress and other issues

For those with a history of mental health problems and/or those for whom self-management is no longer working, practices can refer patients to specialist support services. In addition to local services, further information is available at Every Mind Matters Urgent Help.


Summary

Do

  • keep your website up-to-date
  • provide links to trusted self-help materials from your website
  • get to know what general support services are available to your community and promote these online
  • tell patients how they can access specialist mental health support and services locally
  • use text messaging and voicemail messages to give patients up-to-date information

External Resources for Patients

Date Published Article Format Author(s)
26 March 2020 Mind Coronavirus and your health and wellbeing Online article Mind
Public Health England Staying at home tips for healthy mental health Online article Public Health England
Public Health England Worried about Coronavirus? Online article Public Health England
GOV.UK Coronavirus: what you need to do Online article Gov.UK
Revised 01 April 2020 NHS.UK Coronavirus advice for everyone Guidance NHS.UK
30 May 2018 NHS.UK Why lack of sleep is bad for you Guidance NHS.UK
NHS.UK The eat well guide Guidance Public Health England
NHS.UK Home workouts Videos Public Health England

External Resources for Clinicians

Date Published Article Format Author(s)
31 March 2020 RCPsych Responding to COVID for clinicians Website RCPsych
27 March 2020 Choose Psychiatry RCPsych video for clinicians YouTube video RCPsych

Page last reviewed: 03 April 2020
Next review due: 03 July 2020
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