COVID19 & Mental Wellbeing
by Hollie Smith
We are in truly tumultuous times. Each day can feel totally different to the next. Maybe your exams have been cancelled, or your first year at university has come to a sudden halt, or school has been closed for the foreseeable future? Either way, what’s happening in the world right now can feel really daunting, and it\’s okay to feel anxious and unsure about things. Trust me when I say – we all are.
There’s a lot of advice and information floating about on the internet and social media regarding ways to cope with the coronavirus pandemic (or Covid-19 if you want to be technical). To make things simpler, I’ve compiled a list of my favourites, including useful websites, apps and services that have helped me through these uncertain and unnerving times.
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By far my favourite, Young Minds is a service based upon leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered. They not only have a great website overflowing with articles, information to empower and help young people, but they also have a brilliant page dedicated solely to helping us cope with the coronavirus pandemic and any anxieties they may have.
Each article is specifically written by a young person, for a young person: aiming to promote inclusivity and convey the information in a friendly approach. They also have a great tool to filter the articles for you, ensuring you find the most suitable information straight away.
I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Kooth before until now. Kooth provide a free, confidential, anonymous online counselling service for young people aged 11-18. You can chat 1-2-1 with a registered counsellor and you may be assigned one counsellor to track your progress with. Or, if you’d rather take a more independent approach, Kooth provide amazing resources such as online journaling and goal setting, as well as unlimited access to articles, blog posts and resources, there to help with whatever you need.
Signing up is totally free and 100% safe and confidential.
Smiling mind are a great, Australian based mindfulness service, working completely online to deliver fantastic resources on mindfulness and wellbeing for both adults and young people. They, too, have a part of the website specifically designed for coping with coronavirus pandemic. I’d highly recommend a flick through – I found this site the most helpful!
Smiling Mind also have an app which is available in the UK. It’s a great mindfulness guide and helps you through, step by step, in feeling a new sense of clarity.
Last but not least, stem4 have created 2 apps designed to help teenagers struggling with issues of self-harm and anxiety. These apps are available to provide support and help in times we need it most. Both were designed and created by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of evidence-based therapies called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
‘Calmharm’ is a free app to help teenagers manage or resist the urge to self-harm when treatment might not be as readily available as usual. It provides tasks to help you manage or resist the urge and tracks your progress anonymously. You can password protect it and personalise it too.
‘Clearfear’ was created to help young people facing anxiety take control of their thoughts and learn to reduce the physical response to threat. Using CBT techniques, clearfear helps you relax and be mindful as well as changing your thoughts and behaviours and releasing emotions. Again, like calmharm, you can personalise the app and everything is password protected, anonymous and confidential.