The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted New Zealand again and can be a stressful time due to an overwhelming amount of information about the situation.
With help from Vanessa Carty, clinical psychologist and member of the Best Doctors network of specialists, we look at some practical tips to help you and your family maintain good mental health during this time – as well as guidance on where to go if you need further mental health support.
It’s a normal response to feel some worry or anxiety about what is going to happen during such an uncertain time. There are lots of things that we can do however to help manage our mental health, even when we are in isolation or quarantine. We may not be able to use some of our normal coping mechanisms, but with a little bit of flexibility and adaptability there are lots of helpful things we can do inside our home or even hotel.
Managing your own mental health is key to managing your family’s wellbeing. The article by Matthew Whalley and Hardeep Kaur gives some helpful tools for managing anxiety and worry at a time of uncertainty. https://www.psychologytools.com/articles/free-guide-toliving-with-worry-and-anxiety-amidst-global-uncertainty/
It is normal to feel some worry and anxiety in relation to your family during this challenging time. This is a time when families are going to be spending more time than ever in close proximity to each other. There are lots of things that you can do to try and keep your family life as normal as possible.
It’s very normal to be experiencing some worry and anxiety about the current Covid-19 situation. It may be that you are particularly being affected because you have lost your income, or you are more worried about your own health situation. It is important to recognise and acknowledge your worry and look at what is in your control and what isn’t. A lot of the initial steps to manage our mental health are discussed above.
There are times however when you have been trying the above things and you are not getting enough relief. You may have noticed yourself having trouble sleeping, being unable to control worrying during the day or night, have a lot of appetite disturbance and/or are feeling very sad and hopeless. In these situations, it is important to reach out.
Talk to your family and friends and make a time to talk to your GP. There are telehealth options so if you are feeling unsure about visiting your doctor in person, telephone services are available. Your doctor can also refer you to a psychologist or mental health care professional.
There are also several support services available, such as The Mental Health Foundation, that
can guide you through how to seek help. https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/
Best Doctors’ Mental Health Navigator service can provide a confidential, thorough review of your mental health condition and treatment plan, with recommendations for improvement and ongoing support – all done remotely so you don’t need to leave home.
Accuro members with Specialist cover have FREE access to Mental Health Navigator.
You can call on 0800 425 005 and talk to someone now.
Easy and quick access to mental health diagnosis and support has been added to the range of services that Kiwis can call on from Accuro Health Insurance.