Mental Health Support

The physical injuries sustained in an accident can take months, if not years, to heal but more often it is the psychological trauma which can leave long-lasting implications.

After sustaining an injury, clients can be left with mental health issues and in some cases are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Symptoms can be amplified by events which are beyond the client’s control such as the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. However, there is support available for anyone suffering from mental health issues.

Mental Health Minister, Nadine Dorries has announced that the government is offering additional online support and practical guidance to help people cope during the current crisis.

In recognition of the challenges which the outbreak and extended periods of self-isolation can pose, Public Health England has published new online guidance setting out principles to follow to help people to manage their mental health during this time, such as:

  • Maintain contact with friends and family via telephone and video calls, or social media
  • Keep a regular routine and sleeping pattern
  • Focus on a hobby or learning something new
  • Parents and carers will also benefit from tailored advice on how to support children and young people with stress during the Coronavirus outbreak, which includes providing clear information, being aware of their own reactions and creating a new routine

The guidance has been developed in partnership with leading mental health charities and clinically assured by the NHS. It also includes steps that those living with serious mental health problems can take, including seeking support from their mental health teams.

Nadine Dorries said: “When I discovered I had Coronavirus I felt anxious and scared. For those who already suffer with anxiety or other mental health issues this may present new and difficult challenges.

“It’s imperative that we stay home if we are to beat Coronavirus and save lives. I know how important it is that people have support to look after their mental health and this guidance will be of huge value.”

The government has announced a £5 million grant for leading mental health charities, administered by Mind, to fund additional services for people struggling with their mental well-being during this time. This could include telephone and online support services for the most isolated and vulnerable.

Public Health England has also updated its Every Mind Matters platform with specific advice on maintaining good mental well-being during the outbreak.

Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said: “During these challenging times, it is natural for all of us to feel worried or anxious, but there are things we can all do to help ourselves and others, to prevent these feelings from becoming more serious.

“We should continue to check up on friends, family and neighbours by phone or online and pursue the activities we are able to do from home and in line with guidance. By adopting a new routine, setting goals, eating healthily and maintaining physical activity, we can stay in good mental health today and tomorrow.”

Mental health charity YoungMinds carried out a survey with 2,111 young people with a history of mental health needs between Friday 20th March, the day on which schools closed to most students, and Wednesday 25th March, when further restrictive measures had been put in place.

When asked to share how different activities affected their mental health, respondents reported that face-to-face calls with friends (72%), watching TV/films (72%), exercise (60%) and learning new skills (59%) were helpful for their mental health during this time. A further 66% of respondents agreed that watching or reading the news was unhelpful for their mental health.

These activities can also be applied to those already out of work due to psychological trauma following their accident.

Tips for managing your mental health during lockdown

  • Stick to a routine
  • Get up and dressed in the morning
  • Stay connected with friends and family
  • Get some fresh air – exercise once a day even if it’s a walk around the block
  • Limit the amount of news you watch
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Occupy your mind with a hobby, learn something new
  • Unplug – take regular screen and device breaks
  • Keep a regular sleeping pattern
  • Reach out – there are support networks out there

Useful links

NV Legal (legal advice on psychological trauma following an accident or injury)

NHS UK

Mind 

Mental Health 

Samaritans 

Young Minds