Coronavirus: NHS mental health services offer help at home and alternatives to A&E during the outbreak. @sabpNHS

During the coronavirus outbreak, Surrey and North East Hampshire’s mental health services are raising awareness of several services available to those seeking mental health help at home or considering going to A&E for help with a mental health crisis.

Crisis mental health support

Services for people in mental health crisis are continuing to operate throughout the outbreak.

Call the Mental Health Crisis Helpline: 0800 915 4644
(Accessibility: Textphone 18001 0800 915 4644 or SMS Text 07717 989024)
The Mental Health Crisis Helpline supports adults (over 18) and their carers in Surrey and North East Hampshire who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Calls are free and lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit www.sabp.nhs.uk/help for more information.

Visit a Mental Health Safe Haven
People and their carers seeking same-day face-to-face crisis support are urged to visit their local evening and weekend Safe Haven drop-in, where possible, rather than A&E.

There are five Safe Havens across Surrey and North East Hampshire: Aldershot, Epsom, Guildford, Redhill and Woking which are open to adults (aged over 18) and their carers experiencing a mental health crisis.

During the coronavirus outbreak, Safe Havens are open as usual: every evening, including weekends and bank holidays 6pm – 11pm (Aldershot opens from 12.30pm on weekends and bank holidays).

Staff are observing government advice around hand hygiene and social distancing at all times. However, to help reduce the spread of the virus and help prioritise care to the most vulnerable, they are no longer holding sessions solely for wellbeing support.

Visit www.sabp.nhs.uk/safehaven for more information.

Access talking therapies from home
Talking therapies support people with common mild to moderate mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. They offer a range of treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which explore and change how people think about their lives, and aim to reduce unhelpful patterns of behaviour.

Mind Matters, the talking therapy service provided by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is open to adults aged 18 and over who are registered with a Surrey GP.

During the Coronavirus outbreak, Mind Matters is offering psychological support sessions by telephone or by video call via Skype. Refer yourself online at www.mindmattersnhs.co.uk or by calling the team on 0300 330 545.

There is a choice of talking therapy providers in Surrey, see the Healthy Surrey website for more information: www.healthysurrey.org.uk/mental-wellbeing/adults/local-services

Children and young people
CYP (Children and Young People’s) Havens offer a safe place for 10-18 year olds to talk about their worries and mental health in a confidential, friendly and supportive environment. While the four locations are temporarily closed at this time, a virtual service is operating a telephone service, every weekday from 4pm – 8.30pm and from 12pm – 6pm on  weekends. For the latest information, including current contact details, please visit www.cyphaven.net/.

Children and young people can also access support online through a guided self-help confidential counselling service provided by our partner Kooth. Kooth is an emotional and mental well-being community where young people can seek help anonymously. Kooth offer one-to-one text based counselling, therapeutic messaging; as well as peer-to-peer support through moderated forums and articles. Visit www.kooth.com to access this service.

Community Connections

Support from Community Connections Surrey is provided by three third sector partners:

  • Catalyst (Guildford and Waverley, Surrey Heath and Farnham, Spelthorne, Woking, Runnymede, West Elmbridge)
  • Mary Frances Trust (Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, Banstead, East Elmbridge)
  • Richmond Fellowship (east Surrey including Redhill, Reigate and Tandridge)
Staying mentally well when staying at home: tips and advice

“At this challenging time, while we all have to focus on protecting ourselves physically, we should also think about what we can do to look after our mental health. Unrelenting and worrying news coverage about coronavirus can be testing for everyone and having to self-isolate for a long period of time can also be stressful but there are some steps we can all take to look after our mental wellbeing during this time and beyond” said Dan Brown, Clinical Lead at Mind Matters.

Dan also gave the following tips and advice for staying well at home:

  • Limit the amount of time spent watching, reading or listening to news about Coronavirus, which can be upsetting
  • Social media can help you to stay in touch with people but worrying stories can feed anxieties so take a break or limit your exposure to this platform
  • Stay connected to family and friends using email, video chats, text and telephone
  • Pay attention to your own needs and feelings.  Engage in activities you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines, eat well-balanced meals and don’t drink too much alcohol

Keeping active

  • Find ways to spend your time: learn something new, get on top of admin or contact people you have been meaning to catch up with
  • Build physical activity in to your daily routine, if possible, such as cleaning your home, dancing to music, going up and down stairs
  • Try to get as much fresh air and sunlight as possible even if that just means keeping windows open
  • Practice mindfulness: Paying attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing. Go to: www.nhs.uk/mindfulness
  • Listen to the mental wellbeing audio guides provided by the NHS to help boost your mood, at: www.nhs.uk/mental-wellbeing-audio-guides

Visit www.sabp.nhs.uk/coronavirus for the latest information on Surrey and Borders Partnership’s service changes during the pandemic plus resources on how to stay mentally well when you’re at home.