It’s normal that in times of crisis, eg. during the Coronavirus pandemic, 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 during these times.
The Community Help Service is committed to the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and clients. During the Coronavirus pandemic we put in place guidelines to protect our community whilst reducing the impact on our services. This included reducing our in-office staff and using video conferencing for our meetings and training. We continue to monitor the situation and, if you visit the Centre as a client, we ask you to follow these guidelines :
- Do not attend your appointment if you develop flu symptoms or respiratory complaints.
- Clients should sanitise their hands upon entry.
- Clients should arrive as close to their appointment time as possible.
- 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.
How can I talk to my children about the Coronavirus or similar issues?
“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
- 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.
I can’t attend my usual face-to-face therapy or support group. What are some alternatives?
- 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.
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:
- 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.