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Mental Health and Wellbeing

Category: General

Messages for key workers and those working from home

You are likely to be under increased pressure over this period and you will need appropriate support. It is crucial that we are all able to talk openly and honestly about our mental health and wellbeing, and that we have access to the right help and support when we need it. Looking after our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

Remember while keeping the Nation going, you need care too

Here are some tips for staying safe and well

Information and social media

  • Get timely, accurate and factual information about COVID-19 from a reliable source no more than a couple of times a day.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious, consider how you feel when you have a lot of exposure to media coverage and read graphic news stories. Although it is important to stay informed, consider taking a break if you feel things are getting on top of you.


Looking after your basic needs

  • Take care of your basic needs at work. Eat and drink regularly and healthily. Always take regular breaks during shifts.
  • Allow time for sleep, rest and respite between shifts.
  • Try and stay as connected to your friends and family as much as possible via technology.
  • Maintain, your normal daily routine and a healthy diet where possible, and get fresh air when you can. Avoid using unhelpful coping strategies that involve alcohol, tobacco or an unhealthy diet.
  • Think about creating a consistent routine to ensure you get the amount of sleep you need, but also about ensuring your bedroom is quiet, dark and a relaxing environment to sleep in.


Looking after each other

  • Speak to colleagues, line managers and professional leaders, building this into your team’s daily huddles and handovers. They may be feeling the same way. It’s good to talk. Peer and social support are often the best buffers against stress and adversity.
  • Look out for each other and share small successes about what’s gone well.
  • Be kind to each other. This can have a profound impact on staff wellbeing.
  • Use the MIND Going Home checklist, where relevant, to leave work in work (even if you now work in the spare room!).
  • It’s good to talk, but not all of you will be ‘talkers’. That’s OK too, but make sure you give yourself space to process the events of the day and deal with your feelings.


Additional information

  • It is perfectly normal to feel worried during exceptional times such as these. However, if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and speak to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, a family member, or a colleague. A helpline such as Breathing Space (0800 83 85 87) or NHS24 (shortcode 111) may also help.


You may find the following websites of assistance

NHS Education for Scotland

NHS Inform

Support in Mind Scotland

Breathing Space

Mental Health Foundation

SAMH for Scotland’s mental health

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