The coronavirus is affecting many people’s lives globally. It’s normal that in times of crisis, we can feel anxious or sad. We are all facing challenges in our social and professional lives which can make caring for our mental health seem less of a priority. Whilst it’s important that we look after our physical health we must also take some time to ensure our mental wellbeing. We’ve gathered some resources which may be of help to answer some of the most common concerns surrounding the Coronavirus.
What is CHS doing during the coronavirus outbreak?
Community Help Service is committed to the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and clients. We have put in place guidelines which protect our community whilst reducing the impact on our services. This includes reducing our in-office staff and using video conferencing for our meetings and training.
Though we’ve had to make some changes and it may take us a little longer to respond to emails and telephone calls, we are still here.
- Our Helpline remains open 24/7. Call 02 648 40 14 at any time for information, support or someone to talk to.
- Our Clinical Team is still accepting new clients via Skype, Zoom, telephone and, in some cases, in person. You may call our offices on 02 647 67 80, weekdays 10h00 - 16h00, to request an appointment.
- Clients must wear a mask at all times whilst visiting the Centre unless explicitly stated by their therapist. They must also sanitise their hands upon entry.
- Clients should arrive as close to their appointment time as possible and will be greeted at the door by their therapist. The waiting room is not in use.
- Do not attend your appointment if you develop flu symptoms or respiratory complaints.
- It is important that should you experience any COVID symptoms or test positive following a visit to our Centre, you notify CHS in writing, especially if your visit occurred within the 2 days prior to your symptoms appearing, so that appropriate action can be taken promptly.
- The Mental Health Foundation & Mental Health Europe have some excellent resources on practical things you can do to look after your mental health.
- The Huffington Post is sharing tips for mental wellbeing whilst self-isolating.
- The Bulletin interviewed CHS about the challenges facing our clients and provides some great tips for coping through crises.
- Happiful is a good source of information for those working at home, sharing 7 tips for a better work day.
- Science Magazine provides a list of motivational ways you can stay productive at home.
- The Anna Freud National Centre for Children & Families shares advice on how to support young people’s mental health during times of disruption.
- The Child Mind Institute also offers advice on how to support children through the Coronavirus crisis.
- Contact your therapist as they may be offering video or phone sessions.
- Some support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous have online meetings, contact your group to find out more.
- The Anxiety & Depression Association of America have a list of reviewed mental health applications.
- Calm, an app for meditation and sleep, has made some of its services free during the crisis.
- The World Health Organisation has reliable information about Coronavirus and how to protect yourself.
- The Belgian Government has set up a website which provides reliable, local information and news.
- The Bulletin, The Brussels Times, Flanders Today and Politico Europe publish Belgian news in English.
- Mind, the mental health charity, has some good advice for balancing your online life with your offline one.
If you visit the Centre as a client, we ask you to follow these rules:
How can I look after my mental health whilst self-isolating?
I’m working from home. What are some tips to help?
How can I talk to my children about the Coronavirus?
“It’s important for children to know they can trust adults and the doctors who are in charge, and that they are doing their best to take care of the situation.”
— Marie-Thérèse Kastl, CHS Psychologist
I can’t attend my usual face-to-face therapy or support group. What are some alternatives?
How can I navigate the news and social media in a healthy way?
“For social media, what makes a lot of sense generally is to choose your sources, those which you really trust, government or otherwise, and to reduce your consumption. It is good to do things that are separate from corona. It makes sense to structure your day and also incorporate things from before, like a nice book.”
— Lisa Classen, CHS Psychologist
It’s important to get your news through trusted sources and stick to facts. Here are some good sources of information in Belgium: