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Help and Advice

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, people need some help during this difficult time. 

We have placed some Food and Baby Bank referral forms and information in the documents below for people who are struggling. If you need help with the forms our staff will be happy to help.

The Waltham Forest website has a wealth of information and help for people who are suffering hardship. They can help with things such as:

  • Local welfare assistance
  • Discretionary Council Tax reductions
  • Discretionary Housing Payments

Infectious disease outbreaks, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19), can be scary and can affect our mental health. While it is important to stay informed, there are also many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during such times.

Looking after your mental health while you have to stay at home

The government is now advising us to avoid all but essential social contact. This will mean that more of us will be spending a lot of time at home and many of our regular social activities will no longer be available to us. It will help to try and see it as a different period of time in your life, and not necessarily a bad one, even if you didn’t choose it.

It will mean a different rhythm of life, a chance to be in touch with others in different ways than usual. Be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone, as they are still good ways of being close to the people who matter to you. 

Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. You could try reading more or watching movies, having an exercise routine, trying new relaxation techniques, or finding new knowledge on the Internet. Try and rest and view this as a new if unusual experience, that might have its benefits.    

Make sure your wider health needs are being looked after such as having enough prescription medicines available to you.

Try to avoid speculation and look up reputable sources on the outbreak

Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus can help you feel more in control.

Follow hygiene advice such as washing your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds with soap and hot water (sing ‘happy birthday’ to yourself twice to make sure you do this for 20 seconds). You should do this whenever you get home or into work, blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food. If you can’t wash your hands straightaway, use hand sanitiser and then wash them at the next opportunity.

You should also use tissues if you sneeze and make sure you dispose of them quickly; and stay at home if you are feeling unwell.

Try to stay connected 

At times of stress, we work better in company and with support. Try and keep in touch with your friends and family, by telephone, email or social media.

Stay in touch with friends on social media but try not to sensationalise things. If you are sharing content, use this from trusted sources, and remember that your friends might be worried too.

Also remember to regularly assess your social media activity. Tune in with yourself and ask if they need to be adjusted. Are there particular accounts or people that are increasing your worry or anxiety? Consider muting or unfollowing accounts or hashtags that cause you to feel anxious.

Talk to your children

Involving our family and children in our plans for good health is essential. We need be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm.

We need to minimise the negative impact it has on our children and explain the facts to them. Discuss the news with them but try and avoid over-exposure to coverage of the virus. Be as truthful as possible. Let’s not avoid the ‘scary topic’ but engage in a way that is appropriate for them. 

Try to anticipate distress

It is OK to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed as we read news about the outbreak, especially if you have experienced trauma or a mental health problem in the past, or if you have a long-term physical health condition that makes you more vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus.

It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and remind each other to look after our physical and mental health. We should also be aware of and avoid increasing habits that may not be helpful in the long term, like smoking and drinking. 

Try and reassure people you know who may be worried and check in with people who you know are living alone.

Try not to make assumptions

Don’t judge people and avoid jumping to conclusions about who is responsible for the spread of the disease. The Coronavirus can affect anyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity or sex.

Try to manage how you follow the outbreak in the media 

There is extensive news coverage about the outbreak. If you find that the news is causing you huge stress, it’s important to find a balance.

It’s best that you don’t avoid all news and that you keep informing and educating yourself, but limit your news intake if it is bothering you. 

Source: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

 

 

Useful contacts 

Action for Children

actionforchildren.org.uk
Charity supporting children, young people and their families across England.

Anxiety UK

03444 775 774 (helpline) 
07537 416 905 (text)
anxietyuk.org.uk 
Advice and support for people living with anxiety.

Beat

0808 801 0711 (youthline)
0808 801 0811 (studentline)
beateatingdisorders.co.uk
Under 18s helpline, webchat and online support groups for people with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

0800 58 58 58 (UK helpline)
0808 802 58 58 (London helpline)
thecalmzone.net
Provides listening services, information and support for men at risk of suicide, including web chat.

Centrepoint

0808 800 0661
centrepoint.org.uk
Provides advice, housing and support for young people aged 16–25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in England.

Childline 

0800 1111
childline.org.uk
Support for children and young people in the UK, including a free 24-hour helpline.

FRANK

0300 123 6600
talktofrank.com
Confidential advice and information about drugs, their effects and the law.

Hope Again

0808 808 1677
hopeagain.org.uk
Support for young people when someone dies.

Hub of Hope 

hubofhope.co.uk
A national database of mental health charities and organisations from across Britain who offer mental health advice and support.

Kooth

kooth.com
Counsellors available until 10pm every day. Free, safe and anonymous online counselling for young people. Check whether this is offered in your area.

Me and My Mind

meandmymind.nhs.uk
Advice and support for young people struggling with unusual experiences, such as hearing voices.

Mencap

0808 808 1111
mencap.org.uk
Information and advice for people with a learning disability, families and carers.

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

0800 800 5000
0800 1111 (18 or under)
nspcc.org.uk
Support for children and anyone worried about a child.

NHS Go

nhsgo.uk
NHS app with confidential health advice and support for 16–25 year olds. 

No Panic

0330 606 1174
nopanic.org.uk/no-panic-youth-hub
Charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

OCD Youth

ocdyouth.org
Youth Support for young people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

On My Mind 

annafreud.org/on-my-mind
Information for young people to make informed choices about their mental health and wellbeing.

Papyrus HOPELINEUK

0800 068 41 41
07786 209697 (text)
papyrus-uk.org
Confidential support for under-35s at risk of suicide and others who are concerned about them.

Refuge

0808 200 0247
refuge.org.uk
Help and support for young people affected by domestic violence.

Relate

0300 003 0396
relate.org.uk
Provides help and support with relationships, including counselling, telephone counselling and anonymous live chat.

Rethink Mental Illness

0300 5000 927
rethink.org
Provides support and information for anyone affected by mental health problems, including local support groups.

Safeline

0808 800 5007
safeline.org.uk
Young people’s helpline, helping survivors of sexual abuse and rape.

Samaritans

116 123
samaritans.org
Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK
PO Box 90 90
Stirling FK8 2SA
jo@samaritans.org
24-hour emotional support for anyone who needs to talk.

Shelter

shelter.org.uk/youngpeople
Charity working for people in housing need by providing free, independent, expert housing advice.

The Mix

0808 808 4994
85258 (crisis messenger service, Text THEMIX)
themix.org.uk
Support and advice for under 25s, including webchat.

Time to Change

time-to-change.org.uk (England)
timetochangewales.org.uk (Wales)
National campaign to end stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems in England and Wales. 

Victim Support

0808 168 9111 
victimsupport.org.uk
Provides emotional and practical support for people affected by crime and traumatic events.

Voice Collective

voicecolleactive.co.uk
Support for people under 25 who hear voices, have visions or other unusual sensory experiences or beliefs.

Welsh Women's Aid

0808 80 10 800
welshwomensaid.org.uk
Information and support for women and children experiencing domestic abuse, including a directory of local services.

Women's Aid (England)

0808 2000 247
womensaid.org.uk
Information and support for women and children experiencing domestic abuse, including a directory of local services.

YoungMinds

0808 802 5544 (parents helpline)
85258 (crisis messenger service, text YM)
youngminds.org.uk
Committed to improving the mental health of babies, children and young people, including support for parents and carers. Provides information on medication for young people.

Young Stonewall

0800 050 2020
youngstonewall.org.uk
Information and support for all young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.

Youth Access

youthaccess.org.uk
Advice and counselling network for young people, including details of free local services.