Minding your mental health during Covid-19

Brigid Geoghegan
Brigid Geoghegan • 23 March 2020

Date: 20th March 2020

I hope you are all keeping well at this time.  

I hope you are well.  Please be aware that there will be no Local Forum / Consumer Panel / Let's Talk face to face meetings for some time, but will let you know as soon as they are planned again.

Some information we've been working on to communicate with People using mental health services, family members, carers.  Please note information is changing all the time so this is as things stand today.

This will go on www.yourmentalhealth.ie later but I wanted to get some information to you before the weekend.

Some information you may find useful

During the current Covid-19 situation HSE Mental Health Services want to assure you that your community mental health team will continue to provide care and treatment to ensure your recovery and well-being is maintained. Here is some information that may help answer some of your queries.

Minding your mental health during Covid-19

For information on COVID-19 and managing your well-being at this time follow this link: https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html

1.        What do I do if I am concerned about my own or someone else’s mental well being?

 (If you or the person you are caring for are already linked into HSE mental health services)

  • Please contact your local community mental health team, between 9 and 5pm to speak to a member of the team.
  • If it is after 5pm please leave a message and they will contact you the next day. In an emergency after 5pm please contact your GP out of hours service..

(if you or the person you care for is not currently linked to HSE mental health services)

  • Contact your local GP or out of hours GP service
  • If you do not know the number of your local service please contact The Your Mental Health information line Freephone: 1800 111 888

2.        If my prescription needs renewal, how can I get it renewed?

  • Please contact a member of the community mental health team you normally attend and they will help to make arrangements for your prescription to be issued to you directly or to the pharmacy.

3.        If I normally receive my medication from my mental health team but I cannot come into see my team, how will I receive my medication?

  •  Your mental health team will be aware you need your medication and they will contact you and make arrangements for you to receive your medication

4. If I need additional support can I still contact my team?

  • Yes you can contact your local mental health team by phone between 9am – 5pm and a member of the mental health team will advise you. If it is after 5pm you can leave a message and someone will contact you the next day. If it an urgent situation after 5pm please contact out of hours GP service.

5. If I have an appointment with one of the team, will it still go ahead?

  • Your mental health team will contact you in relation to your appointment. They may offer to carry out an appointment over the phone or a member of the team will talk to you over the phone.

6. If I need to get a blood test done for my medication what should I do?

  • Your mental health team will be aware that you need a blood test and contact you to make the necessary arrangements to carry that out.

7. Where can I get my injection if the centre is closed?

  • Your team will be aware that your injection is due and they will contact you to make arrangements for you to receive it.

8. If I become mentally unwell and need to access my team or an inpatient unit urgently what do I do?

  •  If you are concerned about your mental health contact your mental health team between 9am – 5pm or your GP or out of hour’s service and they will advise on the arrangements in place to assess your care needs.

9. If I feel I have symptoms of coronavirus, what should I do

8. How can I maintain my social contacts and peer support if my day centre/recovery college/peer centre is not open

  • There are other ways to keep in contact with people other than through face to face contact like phones and social media. You can check in by phone with others and send positive messages during this time. Phone a friend particularly if you know they are on their own.
  • It is important to mind your mental health during this time and to take seriously the HSE advice on minimising social contacts

Useful Information

  • If you would like to contact your local mental health services or community mental health team but are unsure of how to do so or the number by which to contact them
  • The Your Mental Health information line Freephone: 1800 111 888 is a phone service members of the public can call any time of the day. It is not a counselling service, but an information line to help point people to the correct mental health service for their needs.  If you are feeling anxious or needing to talk to someone this helpline will also signposts you to other voluntary supports that are also available or you can access them yourself through the link below.
  • The list of these different voluntary groups and their current service can be found on the following linkhttps://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/mental-health-services/connecting-for-life/news/supports-and-services-during-covid-19.html
  • If you would like other information on mental health issues and how to mind your health during this period or how to access help in an emergency please follow the link to the HSE your mental health Yourmentalhealth.ie https://www2.hse.ie/mental-health/

Other crisis supports are the

  • Samaritans:

Free phone emotional support on 116 123 available 24 hours

Email emotional support on jo@samaritans.ie

Further resources available on www.samaritans.ie

  • Messaging support service

A mental health messaging support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides in-the-moment anonymous support when you need it most.

A new mental health messaging support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides in-the-moment anonymous support when you need it most.

This service aims to connect you with a trained volunteer in less than 5 minutes. They will listen to you and help you think more clearly, enabling you to know that you can take the next step to feeling better.

Text YMH to 086 1800 280

(Standard SMS rates may apply)

For more information related to the coronavirus and what you should do please follow the HSE advice on the link here https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

Kind Regards,

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Duana McArdle
Area Lead for Mental Health Engagement
(Working with People who use Mental Health Services, Family Members, Carers and Supporters in Louth, Meath, Longford, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly),

Mental Health Services,
Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation CHO,
Health Service Executive,
St. Brigid's Complex, Kell's Road, Ardee, Co. Louth, A92 DRN0

(:           0873761552
e-mail: duana.mcardle@hse.ie or mhengage.mlm@hse.ie

Website: http://www.hse.ie/mentalhealthengagement