Mental Health Ireland is encouraging people to stay informed, stay connected and stay calm in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Following the release of guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on how to protect our mental health and wellbeing amid Covid-19, the charity is encouraging people to seek information from legitimate sources only, to stay connected safely with those who are isolated, and to curb exposure to news that makes them feel anxious or distressed.
Mental Health Ireland’s CEO Martin Rogan said, “For most of us, this is our first experience of a situation of this kind, and it is a real concern. The best way to match this concern is to stay informed using legitimate public health messages. MHI would encourage members of the public to use the HSE website, which provides evidence-based advice on the practical and necessary steps. This information is up-to-date, timely and proportionate.”
“When faced with a new and unfamiliar situation, there will of course be some degree of anxiety until the picture becomes clearer and the full extent implications of the Covid-19 outbreak are known. Try not to feed your anxiety by tuning into unreliable sources on social media and don’t spread unfounded rumours.
“If people find that watching or reading the news is distressing or makes them feel anxious, they should, while staying informed, limit their exposure to it. Maybe check-in in the morning and evening, but not continuously and not just before bedtime. If you are feeling anxious, then share your concerns with a supportive family members or friend.
“While maintaining a social distance, people should guard against becoming socially isolated. Look out for other people who may be feeling alone or concerned. While you may not be able to make physical contact with a person who is feeling isolated or alone, it’s really important to still reach out to someone who might be isolated or vulnerable at this time, or be an identified at-risk group. During this time, people should make a special effort to proactively make phone contact to stay connected,” said Mr Rogan.
Mental Health Ireland has listed a number of resources for those feeling anxious, isolated or concerned about their mental health.